Empowering Civil Society

ISD is proud to work with partners in government, business and charities to deliver funding to community organisations at the front line of combating extremism, hate, polarisation and disinformation.

We believe that only through creating partnerships between the private sector and civil society organisations can we effectively challenge rising hate, extremism, polarisation and disinformation in society.

After a decade of engaging with grassroots initiatives, we know that civil society organisations have the power to build hyper-local solutions. Our collaboration with Google.org has allowed us to strengthen civil society across the UK and now in Europe.

Shared Endeavour Fund: The Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Network connects businesses, the public sector and civil society actors with cultural, sport and grassroots organisations in order to jointly stand up to hate, intolerance and extremism across the capital.

Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety: In 2019-2020, we launched a €10million European fund to support NGOs and expert groups across Europe working on internet safety topics. The NGOs that applied came from a range of backgrounds and either focused on tackling hate and extremism in their communities or helping young people stay safe online.

Google Innovation Fund: From 2017-2019, ISD ran the Google Innovation Fund, a £1m fund open to UK organisations tackling hate and extremism in their local communities. Read the impact report to find out more and read the inspiring stories from our grantees!

Google Africa Online Safety Fund: Since May 2020, ISD has been supporting Google.org and Impact Amplifier to deliver $700,000 of funding to projects that seek to address online safety issues across Africa, focusing especially on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Cote D’Ivoire.

Campaign Toolkit: Since early 2019, ISD has worked with Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook, the founding members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter-Terrorism (GIFCT), to coordinate the redesign and relaunch of the ‘Counter-Narratives Toolkit’, which is a collection of free resources intended to support non-profit organisations in the development, launch and delivery of counter-hate and extremism campaigns.

Education programmes

Our online campaign toolkit helps civil society organisations create and implement impactful campaigns

  • Participants at a Google Innovation Fund event,
    London, UK, 2019

  • ISD CEO Sasha Havlicek with attendees at
    the Shared Endeavour Fund launch, London, UK, 2020

  • Education programmes

    Google Impact Challenge on Safety workshop
    Berlin, Germany, 2019

ISD’s Civil Society team

Zahed Amanullah
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Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

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Zahed Amanullah
Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

Zahed Amanullah is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD, leading on ISD’s civil society engagement, communications, and partnerships, coordinating the public and private sectors with activists, frontline workers, and relevant civil society networks. He has worked closely with Google.org to support British and European civil society organisations through the Innovation Fund, the Shared Endeavour Fund, and the Google Impact Challenge on Safety. He has given testimony to the UK and European parliaments and has been featured at the BBC, NPR, Channel 4, Sky News, the Guardian, CNN International, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Newsweek, among others. He has co-authored the ISD reports The Impact of Counternarratives, Between Two Extremes: Responding to Islamist and tribalist messaging online in Kenya during the 2017 elections, and The Innovation Fund to Counter Hate and Extremism in the UK. He holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley and a Diploma in Management from the University of Bath.
Kelsey Bjornsgaard
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Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Senior Manager, Campaigns & Capacity Building

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Kelsey Bjornsgaard
Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Senior Manager, Campaigns & Capacity Building

Kelsey Bjornsgaard is a Senior Manager at ISD, where she leads on counter-narrative development and delivery as well as youth engagement and education through the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN) and Young Cities programmes. Kelsey has developed strategies for enhancing peer-to-peer messaging, working closely with young activists internationally to develop innovative youth-led initiatives to prevent and counter violent extremism. Kelsey also has worked, through Young Cities, to amplify youth voices amongst government and policy-makers at a city level. She is the co-author of the ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and No Platform for Old Men, Barriers to Online Youth Civic Engagement and P-CVE in Europe. She holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London and a Bachelors in European Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
Cooper Gatewood
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Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

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Cooper Gatewood
Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

Cooper Gatewood is a Senior Digital Research Manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt election processes. He also manages on the Online Civil Courage Initiative in France, coordinating activities to support civil society’s response to hate and extremism online. In addition, Cooper conducts ongoing evaluation of a number of ISD’s programmes, including Be Internet Citizens and Young Digital Leaders. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks for a number of ISD’s education projects. Previously, Cooper worked at Portland, where he advised clients from the non-profit and government sectors on their media engagement and social media strategies. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook, La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms, Promouvoir le civisme en ligne face aux malveillances à l’ère du numérique, Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse, and Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po and is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as speaking proficient Japanese.
Anisa Harrasy
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Anisa Harrasy

Manager, Young Cities and Sub Saharan Africa

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Anisa Harrasy
Anisa Harrasy

Manager, Young Cities and Sub Saharan Africa

Anisa Harrasy is a Young Cities and Sub Saharan Africa Manager at ISD, where she works across the Strong Cities Network and Young Cities Sub Saharan Africa programming. This work entails designing and delivering project activities with both youth and local government stakeholders. The activities range from capacity building workshops, grant management and supporting locally-led PVE initiatives. Anisa also helps lead ISD’s strategic development and networking in Sub Saharan Africa and specialises in promoting peace in East Africa. She is the co-author of the ISD reports Between Two Extremes: Responding to Islamist and tribalist messaging online in Kenya during the 2017 elections and No Platform for Old Men, Barriers to Online Youth Civic Engagement and P-CVE in Europe. Anisa holds an MA in International Security from the University of Sussex and a BA in International relations with Arabic. She is bilingual Swahili and English, with basic Arabic proficiency.
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.
Charlotte Moeyens
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Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

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Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

Charlotte Moeyens is a Networks and Civic Action Manager at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, leading much of ISD’s practitioner and civil society capacity-building work, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources. She has supported the delivery of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety in Europe, Africa Online Safety Fund and Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund. Most recently, she is working with the McCain Institute to develop and build the capacity of a US Prevention and Intervention Practitioners Network. Charlotte also assists with ISD’s and the Strong Cities Network’s research efforts to better understand the scale and scope of extremist content online. She is co-author of the ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Josh Phillips
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Josh Phillips

Project Manager

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Josh Phillips
Josh Phillips

Project Manager

Josh Philips is a Project Manager at ISD, where he supports the development, delivery and evaluation of ISD's digital citizenship projects. Through these projects, he has written unique, accredited curricula, which have been used to teach thousands of students across the UK and Europe, as well as to train hundreds of teachers. Josh has also supported the Education team’s policy engagement, including having briefed the UK Home Secretary on ISD’s digital citizenship programming. Previously, Josh worked on the US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House and completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. He has co-authored and published impact reports, as well as a toolkit for NGOs to design their own digital citizenship projects. He is the co-author of the ISD reports Digital Citizenship Education: Programming Toolkit, Young Digital Leaders 2019: From Safety to Citizenship Online, and the Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens: Impact Report. Josh holds an MSc in International Politics from SOAS University of London as well as a BA in English Literature from Leeds University.
Jasmeet Sahotay
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Jasmeet Sahotay

Project Coordinator

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Jasmeet Sahotay
Jasmeet Sahotay

Project Coordinator

Jasmeet is a Project Coordinator at ISD, working on the YouthCAN and Young Cities projects. Jasmeet supports the delivery of the Youth Innovation Labs, manages the Communications for youth-related programming, and supports the development of new project activities and strategies. He is the lead author of the ISD report Voices of Pakistani Youth: Lessons for Civil Society in the Development of Effective Counter-Narrative Campaigns. He holds a Masters in International Law, Security and Terrorism from the University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Politics from the University of Leeds.