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Session A: Friday June 28th, 5:00pm - 7:00 pm
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We are proposing a model for effective dialogue and engagement with wider America. This includes a "Counter-extremism Playbook" for taking on the far Right. This will be a panel for open discussion - and real-world examples, explained - for how we can better combat for Right extremism and hate (including the alt right and white nationalism), by creating real, effective discussion and engagement across campuses and beyond. By showing a practical roadmap for bridging some of our most common and seemingly impassible divides in discussing justice, racism and oppression. We hope to make this panel a living laboratory for showing how this can work - and how it can apply across our universities, and even our cities and communities. Currently, the ideological battleground for campuses seems to be caught in an unending, loud crossfire between free-speech narratives and efforts to shout down various platforms. It has become a zero-sum battle, yet this has not stopped the alt right and others from recruiting and spreading their ideas. What if there was a better way to fight back and spread real compassion and understanding of justice, using lessons that war veterans have taken back with them from the warzone? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the non-violent application of something called counterinsurgency. Very few civilians understand how counterinsurgency works. It is not merely about kicking in doors or engaging insurgents with rifles, tanks, bombs or Striker vehicles. A crucial yet underrepresented part of counterinsurgency involves engaging with various groups and people within a local population. We do this in order to help turn more of the people against the insurgents, terrorists or criminals, while building support for a more stable society. Applying this here at home, across our campuses and discussion communities, might be a powerful way to educate more people. It might be a way to create real bridges of support, to expand empathy and compassion, and - most importantly - to combat hate, extremism, racism, bigotry, and far Right political insurgency. A growing number of people, myself included, are deeply concerned that much of academia is failing the fight against extremism. We are failing to have conversations and failing to reach people, and the far Right is taking advantage of this. In environments where good and decent people are afraid to have the important conversations, the fringes of discourse tend to thrive. Online recruiting and the power of social platforms can feed off this like never before. We want to discuss a new model for engaging campuses and communities across America and Europe - using something called an 'exchange space' model. Or, we can simply call it ‘the way of the Social Science Warrior’. Please engage with us as we navigate this somewhat radical idea, and discuss a roadmap forward.


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My name is John Kirbow. I am a speaker and lover of languages (including German, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish,...

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Mike comes from an Indonesian heritage, and has written about his life journey and background. he is a writer, podcaster, blogger, science and reason advocate, and debate expert. He has helped facilitate debate forums in NYC, working with established spaces within the City. His blog, "...

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