How to be an activist | The Economist

From climate strikes to Extinction Rebellion, activism is gaining momentum around the world. At The Economist’s Open Future Forum we spoke to three campaigners with different takes on how to be an activist today.

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Activism today can take many different forms. Sokeel Park works with defectors from North Korea to accelerate change in the dictatorship. Nimko Ali leads a global campaign to end the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. Richard Ratcliffe campaigns for the release of his wife from an Iranian prison. Three different activists talk about their campaigns and what they think it takes to be an activist in the 21st century.

If you look at activism around the world there seems to be an amazing sort of flowering of different approaches being taken to tackle these deep-seated problems. What does it take to bring about change in today’s world?

Nimko Ali’s activism grew from her personal experience as a survivor of female genital mutilation or FGM.

Richard Ratcliffe became an activist in 2016 when his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

The most important thing is to keep that hope that the world can be different, the world should be different and, you know, by God will I make it.

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20 comments

  1. Flint Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water. Effective 4/25/2014. Just saying.

  2. It’s called using discretion…elites have the money as well as holding the strings of most grassroot organizations and use common ordinary uniformed people to do THEIR DIRTY WORK to make the changes. Think Greta Thunburg a F***ING Joke or the Pakistani protests both are related to an elitist agenda.

    Economist there are those who have hidden talents that go.beyond the 5 senses….its called the 3rd eye that sees what is hidden by the first five senses…so go on and tell Rothschild and his minions to continue using the hapless masses for their NWO agenda as those of use who see through the veil of bull **** and wait for OUR TURN to use OUR GOD GIVEN GIFTS at a later time to TURN THE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT ON ITS HEAD!

  3. How to be an activist? First, attend University and enroll in an program that majors in activism (oh, wait that doesnt exist). Second, have a successful career so you are in a position to make changes (oh wait, thats not required either). Third, come up with catchy slogans and get as media attention as possible (kinda easy in todays social media filled world).

    In a nutshell: its easy to become an activist and everyone can become an activist, lol.

  4. I would rather be influential with my music and my money. Right, originally I was working with Documentary film crews.

  5. Nimco Ali is not an activist, she is an ideologue masquerading as an activist who is carving out a career for herself.

    She has attacked other women, women who have been imprisoned by an authoritarian regimes for simply speaking their mind. Nimco is supportive of these obsessive self titled regime who crack down brutally dissent.

    Nimco has been exposed within the Somali community the hack she is, she was exposed posting on her private FB encouraging the brutal treatment for a women who was visiting her ill dad.

    Please Economist, vet your guests before providing them with a platform. If you invited for being an activist against the FGM practise there are countless Somali women who already run successful campaigns. Nimco is a political hack, an ideologue who hides behines the veil of activism in order to gain financially and also push the support of obsessive regime in north Somalia because the leader is the same tribe as her.

  6. We should all strive for social change. There’s a lot of injustices in this cruel world and we need to be informed, outspoken and energized to seek our change or else history will repeat itself. The youth of tomorrow will be the change the world needs 💯

  7. ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻ says:

    These are real activism. Pretending to be “woke” on Twitter is not activism, neither is extinction rebellion

  8. I especially want to help people who live in dysfunctional families, children who grow up without their parents’ love and spouses who recieve physical and psychological harm…. no one deserves this. I really want to help them, but I don’t know how. But it’s so horrible to grow up in a family without love