Global Summit 2018

The SCN Global Summit delivered:

  • 1. Knowledge sharing and learning

    40 mayors and elected officials
    gained access to world-leading
    experts in the application
    of prevention and resilience
    strategies in multiple local

  • 2. Strengthened international local capacity

    32 countries across five
    continents were represented,
    enabling improved coordination
    between national and local

  • 3. Innovative, relevant and
    practical training

    81 speakers presented
    pioneering research and
    practitioner expertise across
    multiple workshops.

Countries represented at the SCN Global Summit 2018


  • 91% said the Summit improved their understanding of violent extremism and P/CVE.
  • 92% reported that the Summit improved their ability to create P/CVE initiatives.
  • 86% said the knowledge and information gained would directly lead to improvements to their P/CVE programmes.
  • 95% reported that the Summit gave them better access to support networks and resources.
  • 93% found the Summit useful to very useful in terms of networking with global counterparts.
  • 92% felt that SCN membership is valuable to their city.




The 2018 SCN Global Summit in Melbourne encompassed plenary sessions and breakout workshops between 11 and 12 July 2018. Delegates from cities, municipalities and local communities around the world had the opportunity to focus on specific issues pertinent to their own context, ranging from local action planning, countering polarisation/populism, youth engagement, disengagement and recruitment trends. The event also incorporated the fourth annual meeting of the SCN International Steering Committee as well as the Mayoral Leadership Forum for mayors, governors and elected officials, which saw the official adoption of the SCN Melbourne Declaration.

All the biographies and presentations delivered during open sessions are available at this link.


Prior to the official conference opening, the SCN International Steering Committee met on Tuesday 10 July for their fourth annual session, to discuss the needs and priorities of member cities spanning multiple global regions.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for mayoral teams to engage with one another, as well as receive a  comprehensive update from SCN members, summarising achievements to date and priorities for future impact.



On Wednesday 11 July Victoria State Government and ISD formally opened the third SCN Global Summit with an address welcoming delegates to Melbourne and showcasing the State Government’s leadership on multiculturalism and resilience.

Prof. Kumar Ramakrishna from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore opened the keynotes with a focus on the evolving threat of ISIS and other terrorist and extremist groups in South East Asia and the Asia Pacific region, which continues to directly impact its cities, towns and local communities (presentation available here). He then proceeded to give an overview of CVE initiatives in the region. Prof. Ramakrishna’s presentation was of particular relevance to over half of the attending delegates who were from the region.

A panel discussion between mayoral and subnational leaders followed, where elected local officials gathered to discuss the ethical, conceptual and practical challenges they faced as leaders in the P/CVE space, and their role and responsibility to act.

Hon. Robin Scott MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Finance, Victoria State Government (Australia)

H.E. Governor Hassan Ali Joho, County of Mombasa (Kenya)
Mayor Ahmad Kamareddine, Tripoli (Lebanon)
Mayor Maria Climaco-Salazar, City of Zamboanga (Philippines)
Mayor Majul Gandamra, Marawi (Philippines)
Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga, TN (USA)

A presentation by Tim Holding of King’s College London then discussed public policy in the age of violent extremism and raised crucial questions for policymakers, drawing on his own background as a former elected official in Victoria.

Finally, Eric Rosand of PVE Solutions then facilitated a panel on global-local integration (GLI), where national and subnational government officials, as well as representatives from multilateral bodies and civil society organisations (CSOs), discussed the need for enhanced ‘vertical cooperation’ between local and national government actors, and the necessity of building capacity at the local level.

Mr Olivier Plasman
, Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium)
Yenny Wahid, Wahid Foundation (Indonesia)
Marryam Khan, Pakistani Ministry of Interior (Pakistan)
Alexander Macario, Philippine Ministry of Interior (Philippines)
Mayor Gopaul Boodhan, Chaguanas Borough Corporation (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)
Malek Kochlef, Tunisian Office of the Presidency (Tunisia)


This closed session was designed as a unique forum for mayors and elected officials to discuss building stronger and smarter cities, as well as the challenges of violent extremism and how they can be overcome.

Particular focus was paid to the role that the Strong Cities Network, the private sector, and civil society should play in this.

Speakers highlighted a number of pioneering P/CVE initiatives which blended high-tech developments with grassroots activism, with the aim of producing stronger cities that successfully prevent and withstand violent extremism, while building social cohesion and a strong civil society. The session also provided a space for mayors and elected officials to openly discuss the most effective ways to prevent violent extremism, with particular emphasis paid to the roles of youth and media. Recommendations included empowering and supporting youth by providing them with tools to innovate and amplify their voices; to engage with the media, particularly in times of crisis;  and finding common ground with political opponents to ensure that P/CVE policies transcend party politics and endure through political transitions.

Lastly, the forum saw the official adoption of the SCN Melbourne Declaration.



Focusing on interdisciplinary learning and a breadth of thematic issues, these workshops brought together delegates from policy, practice, academic and other backgrounds, drawing on positive case studies, first-hand experience and opportunities for innovation in P/CVE.

This session, facilitated by Rafia Bhulai, Senior Programs Officer of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, explored how gender plays a role in both violent extremism and P/CVE. In making the case for a gender-based approach to P/CVE, it was argued that empowered women create more peaceful communities because they are more aware of the problem, which gives them confidence to address it; for example, by joining community P/CVE initiatives and reporting concerns to community/religious leaders or legal authorities. On the other hand, this trend is shifting, wherein women are proactively engaging in violent extremism, for example as recruiters and fundraisers, or even as suicide bombers. These trends have implications for P/CVE policy, which tends to be gender-blind or perpetuate gender stereotypes. In the ‘gender in P/CVE’ debate, masculinity also plays a role in shaping recruitment narratives.

For instance, Daesh narratives have been skillfully tailored to exploit key fault lines in the formation of masculinity amongst Muslim men. The speakers argued that these challenges will continue unless action is taken to help young men better manage their emotions, including grief, despair, anger, humiliation, and powerlessness.

Rafia Bhulai, Senior Programs Officer, Global Center (USA)
Professor Jacqui True, Director, Monash GPS Centre, Monash University (Australia) – Preventing Violent Extremism: Women’s roles and gender perspectives
Dr. Joshua Roose, Director, Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, Australian Catholic University – Western Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: The Role of Masculinities in Recruitment
Ruby Kholifah, Asian Muslim Action Network (Indonesia) – Gender and PVE, What are missing? Learning women-led community resilience from Indonesia
Over the two breakout workshops chaired by Daniel Hooton, SCN Project Manager at ISD, speakers discussed action planning processes across multiple global geographies. Perspectives ranged from multilateral organisations and governmental efforts on national action planning; civil society leaders bringing together key local partners to devise prevention strategies; international efforts to develop risk assessment frameworks at local levels; and those who have produced local action plans for their own city.

The session discussed key challenges surrounding building cooperation between national and local action planning processes, as well as ensuring that any action plan’s recommendations are rooted in an evidence base, and how action plans or any prevention strategy can be progressed in challenging contexts, whether due to government approval, capacity, infrastructure or conflict. It emphasised the value and key processes of local action plans in specific areas, but challenged the suggestion that all cities need to adopt a P/CVE strategy plan unless a specific set of directly relevant risks are identified. To accurately determine key local dynamics and the degree to which a specific P/CVE plan is needed, speakers reinforced the importance of cities undertaking an effective risk assessment process, drawing on good practice and expertise globally.

Daniel Hooton, Project Manager, ISD (UK)
Faiz Sobhan, Director of Research, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (Bangladesh)
Munira Hamisi, Director for CVE and Community Engagement, Mombasa County Government (Kenya)
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad, Executive Director, Individualland (Pakistan)
Patricia Crosby, Project Officer, CVE Unit, Commonwealth (UK)
Paul Turner, Technical Director, CVE, Creative Associates International (USA)
The session, chaired by Jason Ipe, Deputy Director of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, discussed the development of ideological trends in different forms of violent extremism over recent years, and what this requires of local and community-focused responses.

In a session covering multiple geographies, panellists turned first to Indonesia, discussing the efforts led by the Institute for International Peace Building in Indonesia in documenting the return and reintegration of Indonesians from the conflict in Syria. The work of arts professionals and filmmakers in particular was highlighted as an important initiative alongside more traditional programming in drawing attention to powerful ideological currents in an immediate and accessible medium. Comparing these currents to the Australian context, this session looked at the prominence of social networks as a key factor in the radicalisation pathways of case studies undertaken.

Panellists discussed the need to scrutinise the relative importance of ideology in the context of other factors contributing to radicalisation processes, referencing current academic research that aims to enrich understandings. Contributions from Singapore’s Rajaratnam School of International Studies emphasised that ideology, while important, is just one of a number of push and pull factors involved in the radicalisation to violent extremism. Applying this across the South East Asian and Asia-Pacific region, participants discussed the relationship between global Islamist ideology and local conflicts in South East Asia, and how Al Qaeda and more recently Daesh have been successful in exploiting local grievances. Drawing on examples from Europe and North America by contrast, the session closed with a discussion on the relationship between religiously inspired extremist narratives such as Islamism and racist/anti-Muslim narratives. Panellists highlighted how extremism and radicalisation challenges have evolved with decreasing levels of trust in political institutions and rising levels of disinformation, and how new technologies and social media have affected the dynamics of polarisation and cumulative extremism.

Jason Ipe, Deputy Director, Global Center (USA)
Professor Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics, Deakin University (Australia)
Noor Huda Ismail, Founder, Institute for International Peace Building / Yayasan Prasasti Perdamaian (Indonesia)
Prof. Kumar Ramakrishna, Head of Policy Studies and Coordinator of National Security Studies Programme, RSIS (Singapore)
This session, facilitated by Sabine Barton, SCN Project Manager at ISD, discussed how cities can positively engage young people in prevention and resilience-building activities. It explored local level strategies that both safeguard youth, but also those that recognise and galvanise young people’s role as active and valued participants in building resilient communities, and included a diverse range of perspectives, from municipal stakeholders, civil society organisations and youth activists. Themes and recommendations highlighted in the session included a focus on the importance of youth engagement and participation as a process, showcasing best practice examples of meaningful and tangible engagement; the importance of dialogue; finding the right balance between youth-led, youth-supported and co-created approaches; insights into how municipal stakeholders have managed to build trust with youth in their localities and supported them in playing an active role in prevention activities; and the importance of locally-tailored approaches, research-based advocacy and the role that youth and youth-led organisations can play in this process.

In addition to offline initiatives, the session also explored the importance of digital literacy initiatives and provided insights into effectively developing youth-targeted P/CVE content online by non-governmental stakeholders. The session further provided a platform for youth activists from Cameroon and the UK, highlighting how young people are already engaged in building resilience in their local communities.

Sabine Barton, SCN Project Manager, ISD (UK)
Achaleke Christian, National Coordinator, Local Youth Corner Cameroon (Cameroon)
Amina Rasul-Bernardo, President, Philippines Centre for Islam and Democracy (Philippines)
Maye Seck Sy, Technical Adviser to the Mayor in charge of Urban Security, City of Dakar (Senegal)
Ruici Tio, Head of Innovation, Love Frankie (Thailand)
Hannah Rose Manaligod, Researcher, Philippines Centre for Islam and Democracy (Philippines)
William Baldet, Prevent Coordinator, St Philips Centre (UK)
Brahmpreet Gulati, Youth Activist, Leicester City Council (UK)
Chaired by Rebecca Skellett, SCN Senior Programme Manager at ISD, this session discussed the trends in recruitment for crime and terrorism, alongside the challenges involved in the disengagement and reintegration of individuals leaving crime. Analysing how this is reflected on the local level, practitioner insight exposed significant overlap between gang recruitment methods, grievances and hierarchies, and extremism in the Maldives. This was followed by a discussion on how prevention approaches can learn from, and build on, gang rehabilitation programmes, including: counselling, training and frontline capacity-building through engagement with prisons, parents and teachers, as exemplified by the work of the Maldives Institute of Psychological Service, Training and Research.

Highlighting research into the Crime-Terror Nexus, carried out by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London, panellists discussed the need for policymakers to pay more attention to how crime affects radicalisation. This included discussion on authorities’ failures to intervene with individuals who were deemed to be ‘un-Islamic’ in their behaviours, and therefore not expected to play a role in attacks. A presentation from ISD highlighted new trends in the online sphere, portraying the trends in violent extremist groups’ communication and propaganda strategies. This pointed to the increasing use of the digital sphere to mainstream fringe ideologies and radicalise young audiences using alternative platforms, echo chambers and the weaponisation of youth culture. Finally, the session looked at the personal story of an Australian teacher and activist directly affected by violent extremism. As the son of a NSW Police Force accountant shot and killed by a radicalised 15-year-old, he drew significant parallels between his 15-year-old students and the boy who killed his father, emphasising that any intervention process should follow individual choice theory.

Rebecca Skellett, SCN Senior Programme Manager, ISD (UK)
Noor Huda Ismail, Founder, Institute for International Peace Building / Yayasan Prasasti Perdamaian (Indonesia)
Dr. Aishath Ali Naaz, Head Consultant, Maldives Institute of Psychological Service, Training and Research (Maldives) – Recruitment Trends: Crime, Mental Health and Violent Extremism: The Maldives story
Rajan Basra, Research Fellow, ICSR, King’s College (UK)
Alpha Cheng, Activist (Australia)
Julia Ebner, Research Fellow, ISD (UK) – Recruitment Trends, Communication and Propaganda Strategies of Violent Extremist Groups
This session was chaired by Khadije Nasser, SCN Senior Regional Project Manager at ISD. It explored the challenges and opportunities offered by comparing local multiagency work in Leicester, UK, to ground-breaking multi-stakeholder PVE frameworks piloted by SCN members in the Middle East, with inspiration from elements of the European multiagency prevention model. Panellists reflected on how European experiences with effective multiagency cooperation could be applied to other geographical contexts, and should be monitored and evaluated to fine tune interventions, as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Panellists identified building trust with local communities as a key building block for effective, sustainable prevention work. In particular, panellists emphasised the importance of involving youth in early prevention work and building on best practices from other SCN members in this regard. As a main outcome of this discussion, Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city, will establish a Youth Office within the municipality. Pushing the PVE agenda forward locally by seeking political support and resources can make progress dependent on leadership and vulnerable to political changes. This can be avoided by institutionalising local PVE work within the municipality, or outsourcing it to a non-government actor, as is the case in Majdal Anjar in Lebanon, where the CSO set-up is not dependent on municipal elections. Finally, prevention coordinators or focal points also play an important role in linking local stakeholders with national policy decision-makers, to ensure that local views and needs are reflected in national prevention policy.

Khadije Nasser, Senior Project Manager, ISD (Lebanon) – Introduction presentation
Ismail Al Hawary, Prevention Network Focal Point, Irbid Municipality (Jordan)
Nidal Khaled, Prevention Network Focal Point, Youth Initiative Association/Majdal Anjar Municipality (Lebanon)
Najia Ichlan, Prevention Network Focal Point, Tripoli Municipality (Lebanon)
William Baldet, Prevent Coordinator, St Philips Centre (UK)
Mohammad Al Zawahreh, Prevention Network Focal Point, Zarqa Municipality (Jordan)
Saleh Obisat, Head of the Local Development Unit, Karak Municipality (Jordan)
Mirna El Sabbagh, Prevention Network Focal Point, Saida Municipality (Lebanon)
The two sessions chaired by Jonathan Birdwell, Head of Research and Policy at ISD, focused on a range of questions relating to the topic of polarisation and populism, including definitions of those terms, attempts to measure polarisation and whether the data suggests that polarisation is increasing, as well as a range of programmes and initiatives that aim to reduce division and polarisation. Presentations from the Institute for Peace and Economics and the Scanlon Foundation set out efforts to measure polarisation and social cohesion both in Australia and globally.

The feeling among the speakers and participants – and indeed borne out in the global data in particular – painted a worrying picture of increasing polarisation and division. Many participants felt that these issues were made worse by social media and media organisations in general, with their rhetoric around failed integration of migrants not matching the reality on the ground. Participants also felt that politicians and leaders were increasingly trying to use divisions in order to further their own political agendas, at the expense of divided societies.

In terms of responding to polarisation, speakers came from education programmes, such as the Tony Blair Institute’s Generation Global education programme, which aims to connect students via video conferencing, to learn and engage directly with those from different backgrounds who they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to meet. Experts and participants also spoke about the value of interfaith dialogue, and what conditions are required to help interfaith dialogue be more effective.

Ultimately, the sessions concluded on a positive note, with speakers and participants offering examples of programmes and citizens who have taken the initiative to help counter division and polarisation, such as a woman in California who set up a Facebook page to receive donations for refugee families, which has gone viral and received huge support from across the world.

Jonathan Birdwell, Head of Policy and Research, ISD (UK)
Thomas Morgan, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Peace and Economics (Australia) – Populism, Polarization, & Peace
Amina Rasul-Bernardo, President, Philippines Centre for Islam and Democracy (Philippines)
Dr. Paul Hedges, Associate Professor for Interreligious Studies, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) – Dialogue, Social Cohesion, and Governance
Matthew Lawrence, Executive Director, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (UK) – Counter Polarisation and Populism: how education can foster open-mindedness and support integration
Anthea Hancocks, CEO, Scanlon Foundation (Australia)
Sheikh Muhammed Abu Zaid, President of the Sunni Sharia Court in Saida (Lebanon)
Hamzah Ahmed Nordahl-Rajpoot, Senior Advisor, The Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (Norway)
Joumana Silyan-Saba, Director of Public Safety, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office (USA) – Introducing resilient Los Angeles
The session, chaired by Jason Ipe, Deputy Director of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, considered emerging models of practice for deradicalisation, disengagement, and exit programmes at a one-on-one level with radicalised individuals or those at risk, in a variety of contexts and geographic locations, including government-managed efforts, government/civil society partnerships, and independent nongovernmental efforts. The speakers discussed various methodologies for determining eligibility and challenges around measuring effectiveness. While the models discussed varied widely, a common feature was multiagency involvement at the local level, which highlights the centrality of local- and municipal-level authorities in effective disengagement efforts.

Panellists came at the issue from different backgrounds and scopes of work. Firstly, governmental programmes were discussed, with insights from within the UK Prevent programme. Civil society work in this space was then evoked with a presentation by C-SAVE, which is working in Indonesia on the return and reintegration of returned foreign fighters, and partnering with authorities to develop a safety and security protocol and guidelines for multistakeholder reintegration and rehabilitation.

Finally, private sector initiatives were discussed, through the experience of STREAT, a Melbourne-based social enterprise that provides holistic, tailored, intensive support and vocational training to young people in need, including those
vulnerable to radicalisation, as a means to reintegration.

Jason Ipe, Deputy Director, Global Center on Cooperative Security (USA)
Dr. Kate Barrelle, Co-Founder, Radar Solutions/STREAT (Australia)
Mira Kusumarini, Director, Indonesia Civil Society Against Violent Extremism (Indonesia)
Suzanne Baker, Detective Chief Inspector and Deputy Head of Prevent, West Midlands CT Unit (UK)
Effective and sustained local implementation of global P/CVE good practices and local prevention coordination necessitates collaboration and cooperation among national, sub national, and community-level actors within a country. This can require, among other things, alignment of national and sub-national policy, plans, resources, and programmes and a clear recognition of the distinct roles of the different levels of actors. This session brought together national and sub-national government officials, as well as representatives from civil society and multilateral bodies to identify the challenges to and opportunities for strengthening cooperation around P/CVE among the different levels of actors, with the barriers to information-sharing and other forms of collaboration often standing in the way of effective implementation of global P/CVE good practices at the local level. Participants elaborated on practical recommendations for strengthening GLI in the context of P/CVE and draw attention to how the SCN and a variety of other international platforms, including the United Nations, the Global Counterterrorism Forum, regional bodies, and the Global Solutions Exchange, can support efforts to implement these recommendations.

Eric Rosand, Founder, PVE Solutions (USA)
Andhika Chrisnayudhanto, Director of Multilateral Cooperation, National Counter/Terrorism Agency (BNPT) (Indonesia) – Indonesia’s National Plan of Action on Countering Violent Extremism that leads to Terrorism
Philip Githiora, Head of Diplomatic Liaison Department, NCTC (Kenya)
Hussein Khalid, Executive Director, Haki Africa (Kenya) – Increasing Global-Local Integration
André Duvillard, Delegate, Swiss National Security Network (Switzerland) – “Global-local integration”, The Swiss P/CVE good practices
Torsten Akmann, State Secretary of Interior Affairs and Sport (Germany)
Archana Kapoor, Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART) (India)
Faton (Tony) Bislimi, Policy and Regional Cooperation Coordinator, Office of the Mayor, Municipality of Gjilan (Kosovo)
Ab Rashid Shahriman, Principal Assistant Secretary, Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs
Herizal Hazri, Malaysia Country Representative, the Asia Foundation
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano State Government (Nigeria)
Rakez Al-Khalyleh, Ministry of Municipal Affairs in Amman (Jordan)
Olivier Plasman, Assistant-Director-General in charge of Anti-Radicalization Network, Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium) – Violent Anti-radicalism and extremism prevention in the French speaking community in Belgium


This panel discussed innovations in communications, data and social enterprise to help tackle issues across the spectrum, from terrorism and violent extremism, through to social polarisation and hate crime.

Saad Mohseni, CEO, MOBY Group (Afghanistan)
Dr. Kate Barelle, Chief Impact Officer, STREAT (Australia)
Jonathan Birdwell, Head of Policy and Research, ISD (UK)

LA Mayor's officePrivate sector panellists and city leaders, were finally called on to explore fresh views on Public Private Partnerships and the potential offered by the inclusion of social enterprises, the tech industry and other private companies into social cohesion and anti-polarisation work. Finally, some inspiration was provided through the presentations of leading cities in the realm of P/CVE, through which best practices and valuable experiences were shared.

All workshops, plenary sessions and side events offered a unique opportunity to bring together diverse local stakeholders, challenge existing practice and strategy, and inspire new pioneering approaches.

Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga, TN (USA)
Marissa Aho, Chief Resilience Officer, Office of Mayor Garcetti, Los Angeles (USA)
Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer at Global Business Unit, NEC (Japan)
David Scharia, Chief of Branch, UNCTED (USA)
Phillip Ullmann, Chief Energizer, Cordant Group (UK)

Links to the presentations are available below.

Please click here for a copy of the SCN Global Summit 2018 Report.