Understanding the Motivation Behind Extremism

Even before COVID-19 struck, extremism was on the rise globally. From Christchurch to El Paso, white supremacists were targeting minority communities in an effort to start a race war. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS volunteers from 100+ countries enslaved, tortured and murdered those who disagreed with their extremist worldview. While our first inclination could be to call these people “monsters” or “brainwashed,” the reality is much more complex. This expert panel will bring a psychiatrist, a child psychologist and a former neo-Nazi together to discuss the personal, societal and environmental factors that lead people to join extremist groups and how the tech industry can work with intervention providers to steer people away from such violent movements.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Michael Duffin
Michael Duffin

U.S. Department of State

photo of Heidi Ellis
Heidi Ellis

Harvard Medical School

photo of Christian Picciolini
Christian Picciolini

Free Radicals Project

photo of Stevan Weine
Stevan Weine

University of Illinois at Chicago

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