Bjørn Ihler is an internationally renowned expert in countering and preventing radicalization into violent extremism through the design of healthier communities on and off-line. In 2016 Ihler co-founded the Khalifa-Ihler Institute which works to promote peace, human rights, and thriving communities. Ihler is also a member of the group Extremely Together working under the Kofi Annan Foundation to empower youth internationally to challenge violent extremism in their local communities and work against radicalization across the globe.
Through his international work, Ihler has among others worked with and advised both local organizations, national governments, and international institutions such as the EU, OSCE and the UN to develop strategies to more effectively prevent radicalization into violent extremism that may lead to terrorism, and build more peaceful communities. Ihler’s work is based on a holistic understanding of the social, economic, cultural, and political roots of radicalization and builds on an understanding of violent extremism as the violent denial of diversity.
Much of Ihler’s work builds on his experiences working with former violent extremists from various radical backgrounds, his own experiences as a survivor of the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway, his academic work in Peace and Conflict Studies as well as contributions in collaboration with activists, policymakers, technologists, and researchers from across the world. Ihler’s work has been featured in articles and op-eds in outlets including Time Magazine and the Guardian, two TEDx talks, and numerous other appearances in international media, conferences, and fora.