Joel Dunn

Joel is the CEO and Founder of Paradigm Project; they are a charity based in South London that focuses on youth empowerment. Joel founded the organisation because he wanted to create a paradigm shift in working with complex youth issues. His approach is all about prevention and understanding the root causes.

The three values that define Joel as a leader are:- Compassion: He uses his personal story of triumph over adversity, and the examples of love and compassion poured into his life to the young people he works with. Authenticity: One of Joel’s greatest skills is adapting to different environments. He describes this as being equally as comfortable in the board room as talking to young people in prison. However, this also presents a challenge to maintain authenticity in all spaces, which Joel believes is done by projecting your values and being transparent. Curiosity: Joel has a never-stop exploring and a never-stop learning approach to life. He believes this journey starts within and always promotes the importance of self-exploration before you can help others.

The Shackleton award will help fund the delivery of Paradigm Project’s My Next Step programme, which focuses on the transition from primary to secondary school. The programme is designed to identify the young people who are most vulnerable then give them the extra support they need at this critical development stage.  In June 2021, Paradigm Project produced Bridge the Gap report, which was a survey that sought to understand how young people who made the primary to secondary transition during the pandemic had been affected by the disruption to their education. You can find the full report, including key findings and recommendations, here: 




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