Today, on the Official Google Blog, the company unveiled its next step for the Google Ideas think tank run by former ‘Twitterer in Chief” of the State Department Jared Cohen. In the post, Google announced it would support the Against Violent Extremism, a new online network created by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. The project aims to bring awareness to the issue of counter-radicalization while forming a “global network of formers, survivors of violent extremism, NGOs, academics, think tanks and private sector execs.” Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen explained:
This is the first time that former extremists, survivors, nonprofits and private sector leaders from around the world are combining forces and using online tools to tackle the problem of violent extremism… Until now, there has never before been a one-stop shop for people who want to help fight these challenges—a place to connect with others across sectors and disciplines to get expertise and resources.
The AVE network will consist of various resources such as videos, literature, online tools and forums, and information about projects related to the network. The website also includes an interactive map highlighting people, events, and resources for specific locations. The network will “spotlight formers as positive role models for youth” and provide a tool for the public to tackle radicalization issues that many rely on government to fix.
Cohen elaborated by outlining the focus for Google Ideas going forward:
Working with the formers over the past several months has turned out to be an exploration of a kind of illicit network: violent extremism. But it’s touched on other types of illicit networks too—such as drug smuggling, human trafficking and the underground arms trade. With the launch of the AVE network, we plan to turn much of our attention over the next several months to these other areas
For more information, visit the Against Violent Extremism network.