Let me start by saying a big CONGRATULATION to all the winners of Spaces for Change’s Social Media Foursquare Awards. We are very excited that this competition and the resulting awards have been so successful in its first year, deepening camaraderie and the bonds of solidarity among 5,708 members of Spaces for Change’s online platforms.  

Spaces for Change’s Discussion Forum is particularly famed for its e-conferences, leveraging new media technology and crowd-sourcing tools to promote public awareness and facilitate citizen engagement in policy and public decision-making processes. Both the administrators and members of the group capitalize on S4C’s strong online presence to promote citizen engagement in the democratic process, mainly using moderated group discussions and web seminars to interrogate policy proposals, official decisions and development programs with a view to enhancing public governance policing, social innovation and to restore inclusive economic growth.

In general, the four categories of the Social Media Foursquare Awards (SMFA) aims to recognize and celebrate members who invested enormous energy and commitment to issues of democratic accountability, social justice and youth development in Nigeria. More specifically, SMFAis our own way of thanking all our members for their unalloyed loyalty and support to Spaces for Change since its establishment in May 2011, including the various roles they played towards upscaling the organization’s ethical culture and performance in 2013. The award winners are no doubt, trailblazers of social change in Nigeria.

The winners are:

Celebrating Trailblazers of Social Change
The Conversation of the Year: Chinedu Akwuobi popularly known Chinedu Chiefsan started a conversation in June 2013 interrogating the popular statistical myth which claims that more than 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1 per day. That conversation which lasted for more than a month provoked intense intellectual debate and academic engagement on the validity of this claim, generating almost a thousand commentaries by a broad spectrum of young professionals and experts in the field of economics, oil and gas, law, medicine, education, geophysics, development, journalism, engineering, urban planning, including Nigerians students in institutions of higher learning across the world.  
Chinedu Chiefsan is a 300-level student in the Department of Education Economics, Imo State University Owerri, Imo State. Besides schooling, he works as a financial analyst with over 7 years of active participation in the Nigerian capital market. He has started a hedge fund startup based in Owerri, Imo State.

Celebrating Trailblazers of Social ChangeGroup Influencer of the Year: This award given to Pamela Braide recognizes the most outstanding personality in the group whose contributions regularly radiates profound intellectual energy, topical versatility and strong potential to educate and influence the group’s policy discussions and recommendations. 

Pamela Braide is a development and communications consultant with roots in entertainment spanning over 20 years experience in working with government at all levels, civil society, private companies and individuals. Pamela is an architect who diverted to a communications career as an illustrator of health campaign IEC materials and entertainment promotion and moved further to the field of participatory communication methodologies, behavioural change communications, public relations, online engagement and reputation management. Her civil society engagement is largely focused on project delivery and policy advocacy on issues which intersect with gender, leadership, human rights, youth employment, and issue-based coalition building, sustenance and awareness creation via online and offline engagement. Pamela is also a singer and writer passionate about societal issues. Her hobbies include history, literature and pop culture.

Celebrating Trailblazers of Social ChangeThe Most Civil Debater: Kelechi Deca received this award for consistently maintaining high level of civility and decorum in his online interactions and engagement with members of the group. He is a multilingual journalist with over 17 years experience with bias in development journalism. Since year 2000, he has consistently covered organizations such as the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank, African Union (AU) and African Development Bank (ADB). He was the editor of African Economy magazine and Banking & Finance in Africa for 8 years. Presently, he is the Group Managing Editor, National Standard Magazine and The National Daily newspapers. He also runs Deca Media, a media consultancy outfit. 

He attended the University of Nigeria where he studied Foreign Languages and Literatures. He has over the years attended various professional training within and outside Nigeria. He has traveled to 69 countries in the course of his duties. He has researched extensively on culturenomics, how culture influences business attitude. He is married and blessed with four sons.

Celebrating Trailblazers of Social Change
The Most Active Discussant: We celebrate Adesoji Adebisi in recognition of his strongest and consistent presence in most of the group discussions and debates in Spaces for Change and S4C Political Forum. Adesoji Adebisi was born and brought up in Kaduna. He attended Army Children School, 1 Division Artillery Kakuri Kaduna (1982),G.D.S S, Kakuri Kaduna (1988) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, Nigeria (1998). He is a tutor in his spare time and is particularly interested in making sure the experience of want (academically) is not passed onto the coming generation by advocating for a robust system that would give every Nigerian child a shot at living well and aspiring to thriving well. Poetry, reading, writing, cycling and do-it-yourself are some of his hobbies.

We celebrate your victory and commitment to peace, democratic accountability, and justice using your voices, skills and connections on the social media to impart ideas and propose creative solutions to some of the present difficulties facing our country Nigeria. 

We thank you for the enormous energy you invest in a wide range of online conversations and web-based activities in S4C’s Discussion Forum on Facebook, Twitter (@spaces4change) and on the Google Blog- http://www.spacesforchange.blogspot.com/. 

Spaces for Change is even more determined to work towards creating more innovative ways that will allow our young professionals to engage social and economic governance processes, in the belief that small online encounters have the power to spark curiosity and create offline actions that lead to sustainable change.

Thank you

Victoria Ohaeri

Executive Director

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