Against Violent Extremism Network
Launched in New York in April 2012, Against Violent Extremism (AVE) is a global network of former violent extremists, survivors, activists, policy makers and business people united by a common mission: to counter violent extremism.
The AVE network was seeded in the summer of 2011 at the Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) in Dublin, hosted by Google Ideas. ISD has assumed the management of the AVE network and will be responsible for its growth, development and delivery; its partners in this unique private-sector partnership are the Gen Next Foundation and Google Ideas. The objectives for the next two years are to build the network; connect AVE members with the people and resources they need to help optimise their front-line work; develop the existing AVE website and YouTube channel to deliver maximum benefit for AVE members, and the wider counter-extremism community; amplify and disseminate the narratives of formers and survivors; and incubate and launch a series of targeted, strategic initiatives with AVE members that will have a practical impact on reducing violent extremism.
In delivering the AVE initiative, ISD will draw on a previous research project it conducted, which sought to identify practical ways to support de-radicalisation processes, engaging former radicals themselves who had rejected extremist ideologies and organisations. The report – Stepping Out: Exit strategies from extremism – examined reasons for joining, triggers for leaving and the barriers individuals faced in trying to disengage with extremist organisations. It also considered the role and contribution that former extremists themselves might play in a network that could support the process of leaving these organisations. It concluded with a series of recommendations to assist extremists in returning to the mainstream. The research was supported by the US State Department.