New7Wonders of the World (2000-2007) was an initiative started in 2000 as a Millennium project to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. The popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation based in Zurich, Switzerland, with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon.
The New7Wonders Foundation claimed that more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. The voting via Internet was limited to one vote for seven monuments per person/identity, via telephone multiple voting was possible, so the poll was considered not scientific ("decidedly unscientific"). According to John Zogby, founder and current President/CEO of the Utica, New York-based polling organization Zogby International, New7Wonders Foundation drove "the largest poll on record".
The program drew a wide range of official reactions. Some countries touted their finalist and tried to get more votes cast for it, while others downplayed or criticized the contest. After supporting the New7Wonders Foundation at the beginning of the campaign, by providing advice on nominee selection, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by its bylaws having to record all and give equal status to the world heritage sites distanced itself from the undertaking in 2001 and again in 2007.
The New7Wonders Foundation, established in 2001, relied on private donations and the sale of broadcast rights and received no public funding or taxpayers' money. After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it didn't earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investment.
It was the first in a planned series of lists; in 2007 the foundation launched New7Wonders of Nature, which was the subject of voting until Nov. 11, 2011. New7Wonders Cities is the current project, with voting through July 2014.