Joseph Bish, Senior Population Communications Associate
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Joe Bish, Director of Issue Advocacy,

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We strive to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education. The emphasis of our work is to educate people about the benefits of small families, encourage the use of effective family planning methods, elevate women's status, and promote gender equity. Our work has impacted more than 50 countries.

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"Bold, beautifully written, and surprising page-by-page."
I am happy to let you know about a new novel, Patriarch Run, which broaches the population issue in a highly-entertaining, yet educational manner. Written by author Benjamin Dancer, the fictional thriller has seen strong endorsements and good reviews, including from the likes of Alan Weisman and Paul Ehrlich. 

Benjamin reached out to PMC earlier this year, impressed with our integrated approach towards the status of women, population and the environment -- and, of course, our strategy of entertainment-education. After getting to know us more, Benjamin has agreed to promote PMC's programming, when he is able, during his current publicity tour.

"There is no more important issue for us to tackle than population growth," Benjamin said. "Almost every other global concern stems from this root cause. Patriarch Run is meticulously researched and realistic. I wrote it to sell; my calculation was that the better the story does in the marketplace, the larger the platform I will have to bring attention to Population Media Center and its good work." So, many thanks to Benjamin for his determined efforts on PMC's behalf.
Patriarch Run
Colorado author Benjamin Dancer wrote a "a hard-shooting kick of a thriller" to raise awareness about the rapid growth of the human population. "Disguising a heart of pure poetry," the novel Patriarch Run has been described as "a literary meditation clutching a straight razor behind its back."
That straight razor is the truth. "It is my intention," said Benjamin, "to use the platform of my thriller to promote real-world solutions to overpopulation: voluntary initiatives that help empower women and men to plan their families."
Population Media Center (PMC), an international leader in entertainment-education, knows that for media outreach to be effective, a story must be a thrill for the audience -otherwise, it won't work. That's the approach Benjamin took with Patriarch Run. The story is "bold, beautifully written, and surprising page-by-page."
Benjamin's eco-thriller is "a gripping exploration of our gendered culture and the poignant moments entailed in coming of age." It has been endorsed by a number of leaders in the sustainability movement, including Bill Ryerson, the President of PMC, Paul Ehrlich, and Alan Weisman. You can read those endorsements and learn more about Patriarch Run at Benjamin's website.
How do you leverage an "unsparing" thriller to raise awareness about the most important issue of our time? Benjamin answers that question with an impressive list of outreach activities:
  • Benjamin is currently engaged in a media tour in which he will use the platform of his book to direct attention to sustainability issues, namely the unintended effects of population growth.
  • Benjamin is also partnering with journalist Alan Weisman and filmmaker Dave Gardner of GrowthBusters in the first episode of a webinar series about the human population.
  • Journalist Tedd Koppel's recent book Lights Out has opened the door for Benjamin to connect the issue of population growth to national security by revealing just how vulnerable America is. The bad guy in Patriarch Run intends to cripple the country by taking down the power grid. A threat that had no teeth until the country's growing population outstripped the land's "pre-electrical" carrying capacity. Prominent national security experts have endorsed Patriarch Run's realistic portrayal of this threat.
  • Ethicist Travis Rieder, recently profiled on NPR, and Benjamin will be discussing the ethics of population based on Jack's world view. Jack is a character in Patriarch Run.
  • Benjamin is also directing readers to a rich set of resources about these issues in the Discussion Guide at his website.
About Patriarch Run
Nine years ago, Jack Erikson was deployed to China to protect the United States from a cyberattack. Now, suffering from a drug-induced amnesia, he is unable to recognize his own son. What Jack knows for sure is that an elite group of operators is determined to kill him. What he does not yet remember is that he controls a cyber-weapon powerful enough to return human civilization to the Stone Age. If Jack lives long enough to piece together his mission and his identity, he will be forced to choose between the fate of humankind and that of his own family.
Readers of Cormac McCarthy and Peter Heller will appreciate both the suspense and the Western setting. In his thrilling literary debut, Benjamin Dancer also explores the timeless themes of fatherhood, sustainability and the fraying fabric of global stability.

Benjamin Dancer, author of Patriarch Run.