Joel Mordi is a multi-faceted Social Advocate, Entrepreneur, Model, Feminist, Philanthropist, Farmer, Thespian, Creative content producer and social media star who blends philanthropy and year round social advocacy with unwavering passion, which inspired the birth of his worldwide iconic non-profit “The Mordi Ibe Foundation” (MIF: @Mif_Nigeria)
His passion for foreign policy, national development and policy implementation, personal growth and development further propelled him to create a non-profit platform attracting millions of views with core millennial audience and pre-teens alike.
In 2013 at the age of 18, he was nominated for the prestigious shorty awards in New York; honouring the best in social media for four (4) categories making him the first ever African with the most nominations to date.
Joel is a very passionate African youth when it comes to under-reported social issues affecting gender equality for both young and old. A single post generates millions of impressions across social media platforms from a plethora of issues inspired by poverty, gender equality, human rights etc. Unsurprisingly, he is the biggest “individual youth” Advocate for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the African diaspora and arguably the world.
Merging his non-profit social media presence, and his personal social media power creates a ripple effect with a wider reach, staying true to the purpose of “leaving no one behind” in line with the United Nations Global Goals core theme.
Joel is unafraid to bring pressing under-reported issues to light, with “menstruation matters” and “Breastfeeding week” as examples. He believes in utter inclusion, championing human rights causes for women, young people and children, by influencing policy formulation and implementation as well as inspiring youths to speak up while matching their words with well-executed and productive actions.
As a visionary, Joel believes that citizens (especially youths) who channel their ideas into actions can do just about anything. Just as entrepreneurs redefine the face of business, social advocates reinvent the wheel when it comes to philanthropy, advocacy and social enterprise. Acting as change agents for the greater good of society, seizing opportunities to improve systems, inventing new approaches to otherwise impossible problems whilst creating lasting solutions.
In a nutshell, millennial social advocates develop innovative solutions to social problems and then implement them on a small or large scale.
The majority of Joel’s friends today are individuals with whom he volunteered with on a specific project or from projects which he started from scratch.
There is no better feeling than being able to give back to your local community or a cause that is close to your heart. Joel is a living proof of this and each time he has given his time to social action, he is always delighted that a little action from a few individuals can have a large impact on many; staying true to the “ripple effect”. He initiated his social movements; #ImpactMillennials and #NigerianYouthsCan to inspire young people to do more and be more through his authentic vision and mission. MIF has since generated millions of impressions across cyberspace.
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, more than 150 world leaders adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) succeeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) from the year 2000 until 2015.
The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, and improve access to health and education, whilst building strong institutions, partnerships and more.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without the inclusion of youths and the power that we hold.
There are about 1.8 billion youths according to recent statistics, which is too high a number to ignore.
It is important that youths become ambassadors for these goals both with our words and actions while holding our leaders accountable for their promise through governance in policy formulation and implementation in line with the global goals’ core mission of “leaving no one behind”.
I believe Nigeria can be the Flagbearer for the SDGs not just in the African diaspora, but the world.
To inspire people, not just in the African diaspora but on the global scale with core focus on millennials to seek productivity while having a sense of self, to further make better choices in their life mission and move from mediocre to the paradigm shift.
Getting involved in social action offers young people the leverage of obtaining real life skills that they would not otherwise get through mainstream education. Launching a campaign to raise awareness about a particular cause is a form of social action that develops communication skills, fosters teamwork, build organisational skills and more. All these skills are vital to personal development and will be needed throughout the whole of life.
There are many different things youths can be involved with to enhance experience and expose them to something new, especially in the world of social action. Whether it is new information and social projects about your local community, or about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and its youth delegation.
Did you know that nearly half of the world’s population is under 25 years old? If you have followed the emerging media coverage of this drastic demographic shift, your answer was probably yes. We are not short of articles touting the challenges of today’s growing youth population, but with each new story I read, I find myself asking the same question: why has the most important piece of the puzzle been left out?
Taking, for instance, this boldly titled story by Somini Sengupta: The world has a problem: Too many young people.
As the conversation on our “lopsided” demographics plays out, authors like Sengupta often use data to paint a picture of the millions of disenfranchised, unemployed youth around the world. The statistics cited around the growing youth bulge, especially in developing nations, are striking and true. But these statistics only show readers a half-truth (Single story).
On the flip side is the role of youth as agents of change, as problem-solvers instead of problems to be solved. By focusing only on the strain put on society by this unprecedented cohort, we miss out on the immense potential of what is possible if we view youth not as a bulge, but as the largest “demographic dividend”.
“By and large, today’s global youth are more connected to social media platforms through smartphones and other tech devices and more educated than our parents were; we are more connected to the world than any previous generation ; and we are in turn more ambitious.”
Today’s youth are taking stock of existing systems and measuring the gap between where we are now and where we believe we should be. We are asking governments to be accountable and transparent. We want economic systems that work for everyone, not just some. And of course we react strongly to short-sighted policies that fundamentally affect the society and environment we and the generations after us will inherit. We want to be heard, valued and considered as partners in development, for we are the ones who will live with decisions made today.
What we need is not fewer young people, but more trust in the many that we have.
The value of youth as advocates not just for our own generation, but for all groups of marginalized people, should not be underestimated. From raising awareness for important causes to starting productive conversations on governments more often than not bottle-necked policies to seeking “true and functional democracy”.
I believe there is a strong movement of young people who are not just visionaries, but pragmatic doers, and are recruiting a steady influx of peers to join them.
It’s hard to argue with Malcom Gladwell. In his October 2010 New Yorker article, he pointed out that “it is not right to compare social media ‘revolutions’ with actual activism that challenges the status quo ante.”
He argued “that today’s social media campaigns can’t compare with activism that takes place on the ground.” Indeed, it seems that social media lacks one key component, the actual physical presence of people. Merely hitting the “like” or “Retweet” button about a protest in Washington D.C. on a page with 100,000 likes is not going to scare a government office. But 100,000 people in front of the White House will.
Millennials have however mistaken social media for “reality” citing the famous modern day quote “social media is the new reality”, but is it really?
Political Activism and Social media are two powerful tools, yet only if combined and planned carefully. “So many people are open to “like”, “share” and “comment” for social issues and it makes sense. Things like this play on our emotions.
“But how many of us actually put our money where our mouth is and help change the world? Very few.”
Simply tweeting what we feel to several thousand followers is not going to create action, unless an action is created by the originator through effective, efficient and dedicated work. Social media activism is rendered ineffective if it fails to result in concrete “action”. The message has to be pushed, and supported with high levels of organizational assistance, time and hard work; surely a task that most people would not openly embrace.
Internet activism has increased while the physical presence of activists seems to be on the decline. However, many campaigns around the world have seen huge success. Just recently, movements as simple as #CancelColbert, which was in response to Colbert’s racism skit, or the sensitive campaigns as awful as #kony2012 have a large following. Remember #BringBackOurGirls? (Yes, it happened in my home country, Nigeria)
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