The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to safeguarding human rights and reversing the rising tide of polarisation, extremism and disinformation worldwide.
Who we are
Since 2006, ISD has been at the forefront of analysing and responding to extremism in all its forms. Our global team of researchers, digital analysts, policy experts, frontline practitioners, technologists and activists have kept ISD’s work systematically ahead of the curve on this fast-evolving set of threats. We have innovated and scaled sector-leading policy and operational programmes – on- and offline – to push back the forces threatening democracy and cohesion around the world today.
ISD partners with governments, cities, businesses and communities, working to deliver solutions at all levels of society, to empower those that can really impact change. We are headquartered in London with a global footprint that includes teams in Washington DC, Berlin, Beirut, Amman, Nairobi and Paris.
How we affect change
ISD is uniquely able to turn research and analysis into evidence-based policy and action. Our research and insights shape our action programming on the front lines, and inform the training and policy advisory work we provide to central and local governments, civil society, front line practitioners and international organisations.
Analysis: We combine sector-leading expertise and research in global extremist movements with an advanced digital analysis capability. With this, we identify and track online manipulation, disinformation, hate and extremism in real time. Our Digital Analysis Unit has built proprietary tools delivering social science standards of data. This provides ISD and our partners with granular insights into the evolving actors, tactics, technologies and audiences involved in proliferating hate, disinformation and extremism online.
Thousands of white supremacist, Islamist and covert disinformation Twitter accounts, Telegram channels and Facebook pages, groups and accounts have been removed as a result of ISD’s digital analysis and advocacy.
Action: We design and deliver programmes that empower cities, practitioners and civil society around the world to mitigate hate, polarisation and disinformation. Our Strong Cities Network (SCN) has delivered training to 5,000 practitioners (police officers, teachers and youth workers) around the world. This 3-minute video captures the impact of the SCN over the past 5 years.
Our counter-extremism and digital citizenship education programmes have been rolled out in 12 countries. From the first multi-media counter-extremism educational resources for schools, to our cutting edge digital citizenship programmes, our work builds the resilience of young people to hate speech, misinformation and extremism on and offline.
Crucially, we work to empower civil society, fostering networks of community influencers – including the first and largest global network of former extremists – that have the credibility to reach hard-to-reach target audiences. We have trained over 32,000 activists and social influencers around the world, and have pioneered first of their kind intervention models across different online spaces – gaming, social media, alt-tech platforms – reaching over 100 million targeted users online to date. Our policy and community networks make ISD uniquely equipped to scale proven solutions and programmes.
Policy: We formulate and advocate policy solutions, and provide local authorities, central governments and multilateral institutions with the data, expertise and technical support to deliver evidence-based policy and programming. ISD has provided policy support and training to over 40 governments and 150 cities worldwide. We launched the Strong Cities Network, at the UN General Assembly in 2015 as part of our strategic support to the White House’s countering violent extremism agenda.
Beyond partnerships with institutions like the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, ISD has spearheaded and led inter-governmental initiatives in the domains of counter-extremism and digital regulation. ISD’s Digital Policy Lab brings 12 governments and regulators together to chart the path forward on platform governance, a vital aspect to our work on safeguarding democracy.