Extremist actors are consistently in the lead over researchers and practitioners of deradicalisation and extremism prevention, often as a result of better targeted communication campaigns, quicker adoption of new technologies, and more competent use of social media.
For many industries, investment in research & development has proven to be the only way to catalyze innovation and maintain a competitive edge in fast-changing market environments. In medicine and technology, we now rely on the close connection of research and development to bring new, life-saving products to market at scale as quickly as possible. Given how rapidly extremist groups and recruitment strategies evolve, why not also apply a R&D model to develop and test new solutions for the field of deradicalisation and extremism prevention?
The goal of modus|zad is to improve our societal reaction (speed and impact) to emerging developments of extremist groups and actors. We seek to prevent new extremist strategies and ideologies that promote violence from gaining a stronghold, and therefore ultimately hope to decrease the number of ideologically motivated violent crimes (including acts of terror).
modus|zad identifies and brings together relevant experts from academia, business, tech, politics, and non-profits to identify new trends and close acute research gaps, and then rapidly develop, test, and widely disseminate new approaches to counter emerging trends across a broad-range of extremist groups and ideologies. The impetus for our applied research projects results from the acute needs and challenges of practitioners in deradicalisation and extremism prevention. modus|zad focuses on innovative formats for trend and needs identification and analysis, the development and iteration of new approaches, and the dissemination of new insights into professional practice that go far beyond the abstract policy recommendations typically produced by think tanks. As a result, we ultimately hope to keep better pace with the accelerating change of extremist groups, their ideological argumentations and their recruitment strategies.