We had two very interesting workshops in 2018. The first, in Oxford, was on the topic of New Directions in Ethnographic Data Collection, Mining, Analysis and Application and the second was in London on the theme, Can Identities Positively Transform Societies?

Building on the talking points arising from the second workshop, together with OICD members Ruth Mandel and Steve Lyon, we are currently planning our next workshop in London in 2019. I will make an announcement to this email list when we have those dates.

In other workshop news, I would like to thank OICD member John McCoy (also Director of the Canadian-based Organization for the Prevention of Violence-OPV) for inviting both myself and OICD Special Advisor Pierre Sane to respectively present and chair on sessions within the excellent and well attended Partnering in Practice: Preventing Social Polarizations conference in Edmonton. The response to the OICD presentation was very positive and I expect to be able to report on at least two partnerships with other attending organizations as a result.

Identity-Based Solutions Methodology (EMIC) Update

We have updated the number of applications within the OICD’s Engagement Methodology for Identities in Conflict (EMIC). As well as the prevention and countering of cultural divisions, we have added, and are currently applying, a cultural monitoring and cultural damage mitigation application that is useful for contexts where physical environments are being transformed (more details).

New Members

We were honored to welcome two new OICD Research Affiliates in 2018–Neriko Doerr and Patrick McCartney. Find them and other OICD titled members on the OICD Global Network Map. The OICD recently offered assistance to Patrick’s successful Yogascapes November 2018 conference in Kyoto.

It is also a pleasure to have recently accepted Pooja George and Ayaka Naota onto the OICD internship program–congratulations to them both!

I would also like to give a warm welcome to new members: Samuel Tefera, Margie Cheesman, Zoe Johnson, Valerie Herring, Srdja Pavlovic, Nida Kamal, Santhi Satish, Theodore Distsa, Andrea Jacquleen Baedak, Steve Uduehi Obada, Jason Everaert, Saja Badwan, Takako Nomura, Shefali Kulkarni, Chimwemwe Phiri, Abdul Razaque Channa, Najma Abdi, Ian Hepburn and Zhang Meng.

Book Recommendations

It is often difficult to find books on the subject of Identity that strike the right balance between science, scope and accessibility. “The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity” by Kwame Anthony Appiah (Washington Post Review) is one that I have been reading that does a great job of bringing together many of the most critical insights in a very readable way.

A great recommendation from OICD member John McCoy: J.M. Berger’s Extremism is a concise new release from MIT Press that has incredibly useful sections on how identity and culture are used to promote violent extremism.