Education & Digital Citizenship

ISD’s cutting-edge education programmes build resilience to hate, extremism and disinformation in contexts across the globe.

Our research and frontline experience has shown that education is integral in undermining the appeal and impact of propaganda, as well as challenging ‘us versus them’ dynamics at their root. ISD’s programming has reached hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, youth workers and parents worldwide, exploring what citizenship means in the Digital Age. We equip both young people and adults with the tools and knowledge to challenge online harms, but also galvanise them to consider what a ‘Good Web’ should entail in the years to come.

Over 1,000 practitioners worldwide have been trained in ISD’s resources, spanning both the formal and informal education sectors. In parallel, we engage policymakers at the highest level of government to forge a common agenda for Digital Citizenship Education and counter-extremism efforts, building political will at the domestic and multilateral level. 

For almost a decade, we have partnered with those most affected by violent ideologies, including former members of Islamist, paramilitary and white supremacist groups, as well as victims of hate-crime or discrimination. We combine this direct testimony with broad-based research into emerging harms and trends across social media. As such, our programmes are underpinned by leading research into how and where hate, extremism and disinformation are being mainstreamed online, and which interventions are most effective in response. 

We design accredited digital citizenship curricula that support teachers and youth workers to discuss complex issues with young people. This includes:

  • How to identify mis- and disinformation (e.g. conspiracy theories, clickbait, manipulated media);
  • Exploring fact versus opinion, including how sensational content can be used to drive user engagement;
  • The benefits and pitfalls of a ‘personalised web’, including algorithms and filter bubbles;
  • Understanding unconscious bias and how it influences our worldview;
  • Analysing ‘us vs them’ narratives, and how online echo chambers may widen social divides;
  • Responding effectively to hate speech and forging more inclusive digital communities;
  • Creating inspiring digital content to champion causes, promote positive messages and support peers

Additionally, we produce resources for parents that enable them to understand and proactively support their children’s digital journey beyond the classroom, an area where carers consistently report low confidence.

Finally, we aim to demystify topics which are often dismissed as contentious, sensitive or overly complex for an education setting. We believe that with the right frameworks and training, these issues can and must be addressed in a range of contexts – from schools and youth clubs to workplaces and religious institutions.

ISD’s flagship education programmes include:

Be Internet Citizens: Developed in partnership with YouTube and Google, this pioneering programme builds the resilience of young people across the UK to a range of online harms, supporting them to become more literate, accountable and inclusive digital users.

Young Digital Leaders: A Europe-wide project designed to empower young people through digital citizenship education. The programme equips participants with the tools to critically evaluate information online and create their own impactful and inclusive digital content.

Extreme Dialogue: Developed in collaboration with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation and duckrabbit, with support from Public Safety Canada and the European Union, this programme confronts violent extremism head-on. Compelling films document the first-hand testimony of former extremists and survivors of violence in contexts around the world, across the ideological spectrum. The films are accompanied by a series of interactive resources for use in schools and youth centres, exploring issues such as belonging, identity, isolation and ‘othering’.

Extreme Dialogue launch, Canada, 2015

Be Internet Citizens training, 2018

Latest Education publications


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ISD’s Education team

Jennie King
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Jennie King

Senior Policy Manager

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Jennie King
Jennie King

Senior Policy Manager

Jennie King is a Senior Policy Manager at ISD. She supports programme design, policy outreach and strategy across the organisation. Jennie previously served as MENA Regional Director Arts, Assistant Country Director Egypt and Co-Director Hungary for the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. She also served as an Attaché for the Guatemalan Diplomatic Mission. She is the co-author of the ISD report Hoodwinked: Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour on Facebook. Jennie read Arabic and Spanish at Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a Foundation Scholarship and the Marie Shamma’a Frost Prize for Oriental Studies.
Lucie Parker
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Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

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Lucie Parker
Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

Lucie Parker is a Programme Operations Manager at ISD, responsible for the project and grant management, operational delivery and fundraising activities for ISD’s portfolio of programmes across Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She also works on developing policies and practices that implement ISD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and organisational wellbeing. Lucie has spent her career managing programmes across a range of social justice issues in the UK and international charity and non-profit sectors, with previous roles including Gender Analyst at International Crisis Group and Senior Policy and Research Officer at the Fawcett Society. She is a Founding Trustee of Bread & Roses, a charity that provides holistic support to refugee and asylum seeking women as they rebuild their lives in the UK. She is the co-author of the Young Digital Leaders Impact Report and Digital Resilience: Stronger Citizens Online. Lucie holds an MA with distinction in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Politics from the University of York.
Simone Orgel
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Simone Orgel

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Simone Orgel
Simone Orgel

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Simone is a Berlin based Digital Strategist and artist focusing on participation processes and community building in the digital space and political landscape. She gave classes at the European-University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and does research at the Universität der Künste. Simone studied Communication in Social and Economic Contexts at the Berlin University of the Arts, as well as the University of Toronto, and has worked as a communications expert and leader for several public and private institutions such as GIZ, Deutsche Bundesbank, Wikimedia and re:publica. At ISD, she is working as an educator for the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D).
Sina Laubenstein
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Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Sina Laubenstein
Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Sina Laubenstein is an Educator at the Business Council for Democracy (#BC4D) at ISD Germany. She is involved with developing and implementing a training program for adult audiences, empowering them against a wide array of online harms (hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy myths). She previously worked for the Berlin-based association Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen e.V., being the project lead of the No Hate Speech Movement in Germany. She has further worked with the Council of Europe and consulted various Federal ministries and foundations on topics such as digital citizenship, hate speech and radicalisation online. Sina holds an MA in Global Studies and Societal Change from Malmö University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. She has co-authored the ISD report Hate Speech and Radicalisation Online: The OCCI Research Report.
Iris Boyer
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Iris Boyer

Advisor to ISD France

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Iris Boyer
Iris Boyer

Advisor to ISD France

Iris Boyer is an Advisor to ISD France. She was previously Deputy Head of the Communications, Education and Networks team at ISD, overseeing a number of programmes supporting and amplifying civil society’s efforts against extremism through scaled partnerships with tech companies and grassroots organisations. Previously, Iris worked at YouTube on the development and coordination of the global campaign Creators for Change, after having managed counter speech and social good programmes at Facebook for their EMEA policy team. Prior to that, she spent some time working for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a junior policy analyst in Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as for the French Ministry of Finance, as an economic attaché covering the South Caucasus region. She is the co-author of ISD reports Information Manipulations Around COVID-19: France Under Attack, Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse, Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project, and the Young Digital Leaders Impact Report. Iris holds a French 5-year diploma in social sciences and humanities from Sciences Po, as well as an international Master in Public Affairs from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the London Metropolitan University.