Stopping an Un-Islamic State – an alternative approach to our security revisited in 2017

unbent and unbroken Great Britain Our security and emergency response services are amazing with their response times at and followup after the fact, our intelligence services on top of their game on pre-emptive measures. However what are our politicians doing to address the current and ineffective approach to counter the spread of extremism? both at home and abroad?

Theresa May wants to censure the world wide web! that is not the answer, it goes against our values and plays right into the hands of the extremists – we are an open society and we must look to our leaders to protect our values and culture whilst combating extremism.
Increased censorship, mass surveillance, internment camps cannot and are not the answer.  Theresa May wants to hold the British Muslim community accountable, and I am all up for that, we are doing much of our own backs as individuals and as a community and sure there is more that we can do but is my government doing enough? or are they making excuses to  avoid having to address the elephant in the room?!
I will not go into the details of irrefutable proof as to which States support and sponsor extremism or how long this has been going on for (Adam Curtis in Bitter Lake has done an amazing job of bringing that out in the open). I will share my two pence worth though:
At a foreign policy level we need leadership with the will and courage to take on Saudi Arabia and it’s cronies in the Middle East to put an end to their sponsorship of extremism. Through sanctions, freezing their assets, failing that direct military action should remain on the table – their proxies are killing our people, threatening our way of life, it’s about time their rulers tasted their own medicine.
President Obama displayed that will and courage, by softly isolating Saudi Arabia but progress made to that end is being reversed under Trump and is being supported by Theresa May. If you disagree then question why is Theresa May suppressing a report into funding of jihadi groups?
Our lives, values and society are more valuable than the market price of oil or arms contracts or loans to finance them.
Beyond that we need to direct our development aid towards projects and programs that deliver immediate and lasting impact. DFiD is a great and effective arm of our foreign policy, however our development programs must engage with and empower the local indigenous population be it uneducated marginalised micro-entrepreneurs  that may provide an extensive support infrastructure or disenfranchised graduates who are willing and able fodder for attacks on home soil and abroad. We can not and must not rely on corrupt foreign governments to use our taxes to further their own domestic goals and agendas as they are not congruent with our own.
We did not get peace in Northern Ireland because the terrorists wanted peace! we got peace because the indigenous population got sick of the cycle of violence which had no gain for either side in sight, the populous was convinced of the loose-loose outcome of the status quo.
People the world over want a life of prosperity, progress and peace not jihad and conflict.
Providing marginalised individuals and communities with tools and skills to take charge of their future, become financially independent has a direct relationship with their view of the world as their enemy, their view of licit and illicit vehicles for social transformation.
The results of a pilot project with 500+ marginalised individuals from eleven radicalised neighbourhoods in Karachi, Pakistan proves that the alternative approach works. You can read all about it here and if you agree with this alternative approach perhaps you can poke your MP or Congressman/woman to wake up to the fact that security of our towns and cities begins abroad.
By tackling foreign governments and their sponsorship of terrorism and by enabling and empowering their populations to build a better future for themselves – if we empowered the people of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain we may not need sanctions or boots on the ground! their own people may well bring about the change we all desire.

General Election 2017 #VOTE

We go to the polls in less than 3 days time, my fellow countrymen and women please go out on Thursday and  vote –  we need a turnout larger than ever! so that ISIS/IS and their pay masters know that we are not deterred and never will be.
Please vote with your conscience – we need a party and a leader who is going to address the elephant in the room, going to tackle foreign governments who sponsor extremism that lands on our door steps, address domestic disenfranchisement and marginalisaton of our youth regardless of religion or ethnicity.
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The program referred to in the post above is run by Peace Through Prosperity a charity co-founded by the author to address violent extremism. You can learn more about the charity and its work here;
Peace Through Prosperity is a community funded organisation, do your part in helping them do theirs; you can donate here or directly to their bank account;
Account name: Peace Through Prosperity
Bank: HSBC Plc
Sort-code: 40-15-05
Account #: 223-410-93
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This article is a revision of an earlier post by the dame title written following the Paris, Tunisia and Kuwait attacks in 2015.

Agile for Entrepreneurs – as delivered at Google Campus London

A short talk delivered at Google Campus London on the 3rd of April. It probably does not make much sense without the commentary but since attendees wanted access to it, here it is!

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Lastly, If you got value from what I have shared please consider giving back by contributing to @BringPTP, you can follow, broadcast or donate:http://gofundme.com/bringptp.

Peace Through Prosperity (PTP) improves the local/domestic environment for peace by nurturing prosperity in conflict affected geographies. PTP alleviates poverty, prevents radicalisation through empowering micro-entrepreneurs with knowledge, skills, ability and increasing their access to income and opportunities. PTP supports small businesses, owned/managed by vulnerable and marginalised individuals/groups in society.

PTP is innovating social transformation program design and delivery by using Agile frameworks to create and deliver low cost, immediate and lasting impact social development programs in ‘at risk’ communities.

Agile in non-tech environments – Empathy mapping with Joe public in Ibrahim Hyderi, Karachi

Combining Agility and Empathy to better understand people and change Building on from my previous post on empathy maps it seems apt to share a real world example of how a non-technical team utilises empathy maps. To build deep understanding of the target audience’s issues and to address their pains. 

For those not familiar with Peace Through Prosperity, the organisation works with people engaged in micro-enterprises; such as street-cart or pavement based green grocers, barbers, cobblers and food vendors. Peace Through Prosperity enables them to build a better future for themselves, their family and community through vocational education and coaching. Continue reading

Empathy Driven Content Strategy – Drupal Camp London 2017

First and foremost thank you to all who made the time to attend my session on Empathy Driven Content Strategy at Drupal Camp London 2017. Thank you for sharing your time and perspectives.

This session was an evolution of two previous sessions:

There is a difference between walking in someone else’s footsteps and walking in their shoes!

Continue reading