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

Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns

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Kelsey Bjornsgaard
Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns

Kelsey Bjornsgaard is the Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns at ISD, leading the development of capacity building models to enhance locally led approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism. She works closely with youth, civil society, and local government actors to build critical capacities and drive cross-sectoral coordination to promote community-based solutions on a global scale. Kelsey led the development and delivery of ISD’s flagship youth programmes, YouthCAN and Young Cities, training more than 750 young activists and facilitating 75 youth-led initiatives to counter hate, polarisation and extremism across Europe, Africa, Australia, South Asia, and the MENA Region. She frequently advocates for the role of young people in P/CVE in international forums and has given voice to the needs of activists as a 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. Kelsey holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London and a Bachelors in European Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
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.
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.
Charlotte Moeyens
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Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

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Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

Charlotte Moeyens is a Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action, at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources for practitioners and civil society. 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 forms part of the Strong Cities Network's (SCN) Central Management Unit, and is co-author of the SCN's Multi-Agency Models for Preventing Violent Extremism: A Guidebook for Bangladesh, as well as ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Jasmeet Sahotay
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Jasmeet Sahotay

Manager

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Jasmeet Sahotay
Jasmeet Sahotay

Manager

Jasmeet is a Manager at ISD, coordinating communications for the Young Cities programme and leading capacity-building work with young activists in South Asia. Jasmeet further supports the ongoing development of youth-related programming, activities and strategy. 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.