Forging partnerships, fostering collaboration and the lightbulb moment

For Population Matters, reaching out to individuals and groups who share our values and mission to achieve a sustainable human population enables us to build valuable partnerships. Here, Abimbola Junaid talks about her role in helping us to foster those relationships.

My job as Partnerships, Advocacy and Voice Manager is to extend and promote Population Matters’ vision globally, enabling the charity to be better seen, heard, and engaged. This entails applying my versatile relationship-building skills in mapping and seeking out critical stakeholders with a view to brokering mutually beneficial engagement and advocacy as a partner of choice.

It’s a role that’s been newly created at Population Matters (PM)– and it will enable me to focus on strengthening PM’s external communications and partnerships, built on the principles of inclusivity, diversity and sustainability

Our collective problem

Unsustainable population is a collective problem – and one that needs a collective behavioural change to fix. That’s why it’s essential that groups across the world who are traditionally underrepresented are included in PM’s discussions and activities.

Abimblola speaking at the Fifth International Conference on Sustainability Education this year

In recent years, PM has pushed to open up the population conversation and has done incredible work through advocacy, research and public engagement. I’m committed to building on that, to increase momentum towards positive, practical, ethical solutions that can achieve a sustainable human population.

This can only be achieved by investing in building global partnerships to help power the grassroots change that is making a real difference to communities across the world. PM’s vision is global reach with local and regional context, brokering advocacy partners such as civil society networks, non-government organisations (NGOs), community leaders, campaigners and the media.

Turning plans into action

The information I uncover through the connections I make will further PM’s
knowledge of the local context and intersectionality surrounding unsustainable human population growth, thereby enabling the charity to put its plans into meaningful action.

Engagement also helps PM to recognise and support those who deserve to be listened to but are often overlooked by the mainstream media. PM is committed to amplifying the voices of global campaigners who recognise that human population is a key factor in climate change, biodiversity loss, and people’s quality of life.

A key part of my role is enabling some of the people I engage with to think differently about population and its impacts. When people come to realise that population is connected to everything – from quality of life and education opportunities to women’s rights, the natural world and global justice – it’s like a lightbulb moment, when they suddenly connect the dots.

When people realise that population is connected to everything, it’s like a lightbulb moment.”

When having conversations about population, it’s important to understand where the other person is coming from. A little patience, resilience and flexibility go a long way and result in meaningful discussions about how it’s possible to achieve a sustainable human population via positive, practical and ethical solutions – and the benefits this would bring to people and planet.


Abimbola is a seasoned development practitioner who has delivered tailored
social change and social justice programmes and projects for NGOs and civil society organisations, including Transparency International NG, Oxfam, and the Department for International Development UK. She has campaigned on anti-corruption and illicit financial flow, tax justice, gender equality and social protection, and delivered a self-management mental health and wellbeing course – a partnership project of the Mental Health Foundation and The Wildfowl and Wildlife Trust, at the London Wetland Centre. She successfully campaigned for the first female director of the World Trade Organisation and the landmark Disability Rights Law in Nigeria.


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