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.

Business Council for Democracy (BC4D): With our partner employers, we offer adults an 8-part training programme on digital citizenship during working hours. The aim of these cross-age trainings is to strengthen internet users’ media literacy and to provide concrete options on how to better protect themselves and others against digital dangers.

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

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ISD’s Education team

Jennie King
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Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

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Jennie King
Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

Jennie King is Head of Civic Action and Education, leading efforts to translate ISD's digital research into frontline programming and response. She co-authored the current 'Be Internet Citizens' curriculum, formally accredited for UK schools, and provides regular briefings for UK government departments and regulators, UNESCO and parallel European/US bodies on systemic approaches to media literacy. Jennie also oversees ISD's growing portfolio on Climate Mis- and Disinformation, supporting a coalition of 30+ organisations worldwide to identify, analyse and counter related harms. Her writing and commentary has been featured by the BBC, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, Tortoise Media and NPR, amongst others. Jennie previously served as MENA Regional Director Arts, Assistant Country Director Egypt and Country Director Hungary for the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. She 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

Senior Project Operations Manager

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Lucie Parker
Lucie Parker

Senior Project Operations Manager

Lucie Parker is a Senior Project 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.
Sara Bundtzen
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Sara Bundtzen

Research and Policy Analyst, ISD Germany

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Sara Bundtzen
Sara Bundtzen

Research and Policy Analyst, ISD Germany

Sara Bundtzen is a Research and Policy Analyst at ISD Germany. She is involved in the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter online disinformation, hate speech and extremism. She also supports ISD’s wider research and advisory on election-related disinformation and influence campaigns, as well as extremism and terrorism-related content. Sara holds an MA in International Security from Sciences Po Paris and a BSc in European Studies from the University of Southern Denmark.
Nathalie Rücker
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Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Nathalie Rücker
Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Nathalie Rücker is a Team Lead & Manager at ISD Germany, working for the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D). She delivers and further develops the BC4D training programme for adults that teaches strategies of digital civil courage and equips participants with the knowledge and skills to stand up against hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. Previously, Nathalie worked at the intersection of peacebuilding research, conflict prevention and human rights empowerment in Germany and abroad, implementing projects, focusing on the capacity building of civil society actors-- particularly women's rights and youth organizations. She is a trained conflict mediator, holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public International Law and International Relations.
Iris Boyer
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Iris Boyer

Senior Advisor, ISD France

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Iris Boyer
Iris Boyer

Senior Advisor, ISD France

Iris Boyer is a Senior Advisor at ISD and spearheads ISD’s development in France. She also works as a Senior Policy Consultant for Reset and is an honorary member of different expert groups on information manipulations and online threats set up by the French regulatory body. She has recently set up the first coalition of academics observing cyberthreats to electoral integrity in France. Previously she spent five years overseeing ISD’s flagship communications, education and technology programming, as well as mobilising and training international networks of civil society organizations against online hate and radicalisation, and designing digital citizenship modules against disinformation.  Iris has also worked as a Senior Policy Manager for the Web Foundation where she led the global roll out strategy of the Contract for the Web, focusing on Platforms and Government accountability. Before that, Iris spent time working at Facebook and Google on European and Global programming supporting the mobilisation of civil society against online harms. She started her career working for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held several positions covering Russian speaking countries. Her background is in political science and public policy.