Comment: “No man is an island” – why the Maldives should participate in New7Wonders

“No man is an island.” That’s what the English poet John Donne said 500 years ago. He meant that people by nature belong together.

So, although we are all individuals, we are one. And even though islands may appear to be separate, they are all part of the same planet everyone shares: Earth. The New7Wonders of Nature campaign, with its goal of generating one billion votes worldwide to select seven icons of nature, represents a noble ideal in which modern communications technologies allow us to create a global community.

This is the background against which Wednesday’s statement by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has to be seen.

I have good news, however, for Maldivians and fans of the Maldives around the world: the Maldives are still in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign! That’s because the authority to withdraw a participant from the campaign is a decision for New7Wonders alone, not for any government agency. In this respect, New7Wonders adheres to the same principles as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), organisations that do not tolerate any government interference so as to ensure their independence.

So, with the Maldives still a finalist, the critical choice to be made by the key decision-makers in the Maldives is whether to support the campaign or not.

I think that it would be a good idea for all the leaders in the Maldives to be active participants in the campaign for the simple reason that it makes good business sense. After all, this is why so many countries, with their public and private sectors, are enthusiastically involved in this global event. And at a time of such economic difficulty for the Maldives, the return on investment by participating in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign could be enormously beneficial for the country.

Two independent studies support this assertion.

First, an analysis produced last year by Pearson (publisher of the Financial Times) valued the overall economic success in the first campaign to elect the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World as being more than US$5 billion for all the participants. Second, a report last month by the audit firm Grant Thornton in South Africa estimated the economic benefits alone at US$1.012 billion for each of the New7Wonders of Nature winners.

The unfounded complaints by the MMPRC regarding the campaign sponsorship options have to be seen in the light of these extraordinarily positive numbers.

Now, as a rule, New7Wonders does not comment on any reported sponsorship numbers, as it respects the confidentiality of such matters. Unlike the MMPRC, we honour contractual confidentiality. Nevertheless, New7Wonders can confirm that at no stage was the government of the Maldives invited to be a sponsor, nor was any government sponsorship money requested.

As well, leading companies in the Maldives have been, since 2009, invited to be sponsors of the campaign. For the record, New7Wonders has made many practical suggestions for how the sponsorships can be adapted in line with the specific requirements of the Maldives economy.

In a further attempt to delegitimise the New7Wonders campaign, UNESCO and the UN were brought into the debate. Well, as we make clear on our website, the New7Wonders of Nature campaign is not a UNESCO campaign. New7Wonders does not request nor seek the endorsement of UNESCO, nor vice-versa.

There is a very good reason for this: due to its specific remit of cataloguing and listing hundreds of world heritage locations, without being seen to favour some over others, according to its own statutes UNESCO does not have the authority to officially organise or endorse a popular initiative such as the New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

As regards the New7Wonders relationship with the UN, this is at headquarters level in New York. We have successfully cooperated with The UN Office of Partnerships in the past, and look forward to doing so again in the future, for example through such initiatives as making the New7Wonders Global Voting Platform available to promote the UN Millennium Goals.

By the way, when it comes to making comparisons between international organisations, we feel that New7Wonders offers a model that deserves more recognition, especially in times when people are worried about personal and state finances. The fact is that the New7Wonders campaigns are delivered to the world without any government subsidy. The extraordinary economic value that is created for the participating locations is done without the spending of any public money. What is more, when all the costs have been covered at the end of our two global voting campaigns, 50 percent of any surplus will be donated to the New7Wonders Foundation to help make the vision of Global Memory a reality.

It is not for me to say what is best for the Maldives; that is a decision for the people of the republic and their representatives. New7Wonders, however, continues to believe that the Maldives is a worthy participant in the New7Wonders of Nature, and that the potential economic, tourism and image benefits far outweigh the concerns that have been so blatantly misrepresented by the MMPRC.

New7Wonders offers Maldivians and fans of the Maldives around the world the benefits of being part of a global community. It would be a pity not to participate. As the poet said, we are all part of something that’s much bigger than ourselves.

Eamonn Fitzgerald is Head of Communication at New7Wonders.

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32 thoughts on “Comment: “No man is an island” – why the Maldives should participate in New7Wonders”

  1. 1 billion votes - really? 5 x more poplar then Facebook & Google?
    PROVE IT!!!!! Also,why has it been extended by 3 year?????!!! No-one out-side of their organisation have even heard of this competition. A billion is more like the sum of money N7W stand to gain if they get away with this scam!!

  2. I don't know, I still find the government's argument far more convincing.

    This still smells like a scam to me.

  3. I heard that you can buy votes for N7W campaign. That it is legitimate for someone to pay money to the campaign website for extra votes.

    What election, where votes are for sale, was ever free and fair?

  4. I like this comment!!! It seems these are nice people trying to do something good n nice in the world which is full of negatives and bs. Maybe the truth is that our government did not do their job properly, unlike the other ones participating, so are now looking for excuses. Anyway it does not matter what the government thinks. We can still vote and get everyone to vote. I love Maldives the wonder!!!!!

  5. LMAO @ Ahmed
    "1 billion votes – really? 5 x more poplar then Facebook & Google?
    PROVE IT!!!!!"

    I assume Facebook and Google proved their figures to you as well did they.
    Hard to find the truth when you'll believe anything you read isn't it.

  6. I have heard that New7Wonders is a money making scam.. Stay away...

  7. Even Indonesia pulled out for the same reason. New7Wonders were trying to scheme thousands of dollars from that country

  8. "What election, where votes are for sale, was ever free and fair?"

    Here...I fixed that for you
    "What election...was ever free and fair?"

    (And as any voting human being anywhere in the world will attest to, the answer is quite clearly: None).


  9. EVERYONE: DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE PUTTING IGNORANT POSTS HERE!  I have found out more about the two studys Fitzgeral mentions. they are true!! so this means we are missing out on a billions of dollars opportunities for the Maldives. don't waste time protesting in street for a few dollars, protest that our governments is making us miss this $ billions chance!!! too many egos, not enough sense. I am still voting for Maldives a wonder for sure.

  10. Hassan - go back to school and learn to do your homework first. indonesia lazy ministry were fired by N7Wonders. and their Komodo Island remains in the voting. dumb move by indonesian ministry. smart move by indonesian people. we should do the same!

  11. The figures are really unproven and its a scam to be come rich.

  12. This is a scam and the government, like many others fell for it.

  13. j l m
    1) Indonesia got a surprise bill of $45 million for considering hosting the event & competing - may-be you should do your homework first?
    2) N7W paid for their own research - of course it reads like a poem what do you expect!!!
    2) The testimonial sales pitch logic implies that "it worked for some-one else (who have absolutely nothing in common with you) so it will work for you too!!" This is the oldest media sales trick in the book and is pure smoke and mirrors. I hope you do not part with your own money so easily???

  14. MF SCAM WHITE BASTARDS trying to RIP-OFF poor Asian countries in a modern way just as what their forefathers did when they PLUNDERED poor countries in the Colonial ear.

    Keep your white ass-ed hands off our islands if you're going to offer any services for Millions and Millions of dollars. We can afford to do a simple thing like PR with much less money. All we need to hold one more underwater cabinet meeting. No money gone from us and all the cameras in the world is here.
    Fuc# you ass#h0[#.

  15. Or we could FART under water. The slogan is "World's Farting Underwater Competition - in the Sunny Side of life - Maldives"

  16. Ahmed. u need to relax more and simply not swallow everything you read. indonesia is well documented as a government poor management situation, with false numbers like $45m, so just like here mmprc are hiding behind false claims about money. oh and the studies fitz gerald quotes are totally independent so again CHECK YOUR FACTS. maybe u work for the government as u sound very defensive! personally I dont care a dam about N7w or about you. i just believe the gov has no right to ban me from voting for MALDIVES WONDER OF NATURE OF THE WORLD!!!!

  17. Ahmed you right and those facts are correct.
    J L M you sound like you work for n7 wonders? Calm down. Oh if you want to vote, you can as many times as you want. But it will cost you, that is how they make their money you idiot.

  18. one word: FREE

    I just went on the n7wonders website and voting is FREE......

    we are FREE to choose to vote or not - ahmed, shahid, just go home and leave us alone - u dont like it, u dont vote!! u goodbye!! hehe


  19. Fortunately, the Maldivian government has not be been blinded by such superfluous arguments. How can a voting system that's mainly based on the internet be considered fair? In developed countries such as US, UK, Germany, France the percentage of internet users are close to 80%. However, in the developing world this is below 40%, in India it's only 6% ( Besides, it appears that the sole aim of this whole project is to achieve economic benefits, both for the organisation and the winning nations. We voted for the Maldives simply because we were Maldivians. If we haven't visited other nominated regions how can we claim that Maldives is a wonder?

  20. How do you ask for huge sums of money from the government or from the economy for that matter yet say we do not want any interferance from them... This is an argument made for fools. I have lost all respect for this campaign and we should just let them do whatever they want and just stay out of this 7Scams campaign...

  21. Eamonn Fitzgerald as Head of Communication at New7Wonders is spinning their version. People pay to get them ahead statistically (such as in Pearson etc). Marketability of a destination is not solely based on votes that they get. Transparency is key to any marketing gimmics - and N7W appears to be major con-artists.

    The government failure is that they did not research on the N7W campaign and expected it to be a year-long thing with an outcome and spent buckets of money on campaigning e.g. on the voting systems they installed at the departure halls at the airport. Typical of the government, they went head-in to this campaign without a cost-benefit analysis.

  22. if this is a so noble cause, then why involve millions of dollars? why not just enough to cover the expenses? like non-profit?

    as for public subsidy, if you are getting so much then is there any need for public subsidy?

    sweet talking does not adequately mask the insincerity behind. the bottom-line is that this is a big SCAM in CAPITAL LETTERS.

  23. very sophisticated scam!!
    no one should participate! voted or not, maldives will always be a 7 wonder. does not matter what 1 billion people think..
    ever read crime of logic?

  24. I have already made Maldives the biggest wonder of the world. From now on, the Maldives is the biggest wonder of the world.
    Why would anyone think what Eamonn Fitzgerald say is more important than what I just said?

  25. Can the vote be legit if you are force to vote for a place you never knew about? For example when we were voting to Maldives we were forced to vote few other places, like mountains and places we even never heard before.

    This is a big SCAM. Wake up!

  26. "You're in it whether you like it or not" tone is telling. It is bulling, very intimidating...

    Maldives, please seek legal advice and get the heck out of this thing.

    Eamonn, leave the Maldivians alone! It will not be the rich who pay for this, in the end, the rich will squeeze the poor to pay for this.

    The poverty, rising cost of living is already destroying Maldivians, you are enforcing more pain on these people, let them go!

    It hurts me so much when I see Maldivians being exploited like this. Maldivian people are so gentle soulled that they can be too trusting, this really hurts me. My Goodness Maldives dear maldives how did you get into such a thing...

    Eamonn, the money you and the campaign make will not make you rich, it will make you nothing, it will make you poor! It will make you immoral, souless, empty, mistrustful, cynical, void of real meaning and eventually, though you will be rich financially you will still FEEL like scum, like ppl in desparate poverty who seel drugs!

    A poor person with an inch of morality is richer than you Eamonn.

  27. One word: SCAM!!!

    Who gave Bernard Webber the authority to choose the wonders of nature? And do it as a personal business?

    And why has the N7W foundation not replied to any of the communication sent recently by the MMPRC?

    Give your business pitch to someone who will believe you.

  28. Dear N7W/Eamonn Fitzgerald and from the commenter's The Wraith/j l m

    Please take a look at the figures in these links to understand the magnitude of the traffic generated by both Facebook and Google.



    Now please compare the traffic of the N7W where a billion people are supposed to vote for this competition


    N7W site has a total of 20,473 visitors coming to it daily.

    Now multiply this figure by 365 for the number if days in the year.

    = 7,472,645 visits to the site in a year.

    That means at their current traffic rates, they would have to conduct the voting for 13.4 years with every single visitor voting for them to get a billion people to vote.

    Prove me wrong!

    I call it a cleaver internet scam because I understand very well how internet based media works!!!

    I went to a University in Australia for 4 years to know what I know about internet based new media.

  29. They forget that Maldivians are not little helpless black people living on little sand islands in the middle of nowhere.

    We don't like to be taken advantage of!

  30. Muju,
    The smartest people I know happen to be Maldivians. Well done!

  31. Muju Naeem here is more accurate data


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