Two Months. Two thousand dollars. Can you #ChallengeExtremism?

Cyberterrorism Project member and Swansea University PhD student David Mair reports on an exciting new student-led competition aimed at Countering Violent Extremism.

The Peer to Peer (P2P) Global University Challenging Extremism Project is coming to Swansea! This will be the first year that Swansea participates in this prestigious competition and we are the first Welsh University to ever take part!! …. So, what is it? The P2P project is a worldwide competition between teams of university students interested in countering violent extremism. Over the course of one academic term, students will identify and investigate local or global extremism issues and create a product, tool or service that aids in countering and/or preventing it, and will create a digital marketing campaign to implement change in society.

Here comes the (really) exciting bit: this project is entirely student led. Teams of students (from undergraduate to PhD level) will have complete control over the direction of their project, from deciding what constitutes extremism; deciding who their digital marketing campaign will target (extremists, the local or global population/specific communities) and how to do so; all the way through to deciding on what kind of product or tool they are going to create (a video campaign, a magazine, targeted adverts); the choices and possibilities are endless! Of course, students won’t be left entirely to their own devices. Support can (and will) be found from academic terrorism experts within the University and from the competition organisers. However, the decisions remain with the students and the end-product is entirely a creation of their own making.

Helping students to create their product and see some real-world impact is a real-life $2000 USD budget to be used in any way which the team sees fit (subject to financial approval) AND $400 USD in Facebook advertising credits.

Starting to get excited yet? There’s more.

The best teams from the UK and Europe will go head to head in a competition hosted in a major European city. Funded, by the way. The best teams from that competition will spend 10 days in the USA, touring the States and presenting their product to the US State Department in Washington DC. Also funded, by the way. Last years winners were also invited to present at the United Nations General Assembly Fringe Events on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in New York City.

Just as excitingly, students who participate in this scheme will qualify for a Swansea University Employability Award which is recognized on your Higher Education Achievement Report! This is something that employers recognise as a stamp of excellence when hiring Swansea graduates, so by participating you will be increasing your opportunities for future employment!

So, to sum up, if you are interested in Countering Violent Extremism, want to get hands-on work experience in the field, like the idea of having real impact on your community (and perhaps the world), want control of a budget, want control of building a product from the ground up, and like the idea of some international travel, maybe this project is right for you.

To apply, send your CV and a cover letter (no more than one page) to David Mair: by Monday 17th October.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 19th October.

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