Megan Phelps-Roper I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left
What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.
Deeyah Khan What we don't know about Europe's Muslim kids
As the child of an Afghan mother and Pakistani father raised in Norway, Deeyah Khan knows what it's like to be a young person stuck between your community and your country. In this powerful, emotional talk, the filmmaker unearths the rejection and isolation felt by many Muslim kids growing up in the West — and the deadly consequences of not embracing our youth before extremist groups do.
Theo E.J. Wilson A black man goes undercover in the alt-right
In an unmissable talk about race and politics in America, Theo E.J. Wilson tells the story of becoming Lucius25, white supremacist lurker, and the unexpected compassion and surprising perspective he found from engaging with people he disagrees with. He encourages us to let go of fear, embrace curiosity and have courageous conversations with people who think differently from us. "Conversations stop violence, conversations start countries and build bridges," he says.
Erin Marie Saltman How young people join violent extremist groups — and how to stop them
Terrorists and extremists aren't all naturally violent sociopaths — they're deliberately recruited and radicalized in a process that doesn't fit into a neat pattern. Erin Marie Saltman discusses the push and pull factors that cause people to join extremist groups and explains innovative ways of preventing and countering radicalization.
Diane Benscoter How cults rewire the brain
Diane Benscoter spent five years as a "Moonie." She shares an insider's perspective on the mind of a cult member, and proposes a new way to think about today's most troubling conflicts and extremist movements.
Maajid Nawaz A global culture to fight extremism
Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold? Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist extremist, asks for new grassroots stories and global social activism to spread democracy in the face of nationalism and xenophobia.