Just as global warming is threatening the environmental ecology of the planet, various forms of extremism—from religious radicalism to populist nationalism—today threaten the peace and cultural ecology of the global village. In spite of the increasing instability around the globe, all is far from doom and gloom. Just as the environmental crisis led to the emergence of novel ideas, approaches and alliances across the globe, the rise of various forms of extremism is yielding similar effect. New perspectives and innovative strategies are emerging to address the various deficits, gaps, and inequalities—in economics, in knowledge, in access to rights and governance—that drive extremism so as to build greater resilience. The most effective of these developments transcend the well-known, and by now well-worn out, religion-secular, academic activist and government-society divides.
Radicalization, especially in its violent and hate-inspired forms, disrupts social progress and development. Neutralizing radicalism and addressing systemic socioeconomic inequality go hand in hand and should form the basis of a new public narrative and long-term objective for building a peaceful and prosperous world.
The Forum will highlight the rare developments that are proving to be effective in reducing deficits, inequalities and tensions that fuel extremism. The discourse will pay special focus on the catalytic role of philanthropy in generating frameworks that build trust and confidence among different often clashing world views and perspectives.