In online debates, extreme opinions for or against are often the loudest. Think about discussions about refugees and integration. But between these small groups of black-and-white thinkers there is a large group with a variety of opinions. Project Grey wants to reinforce these societal voices and, thereby, tackle polarization as well as the processes of radicalization that arise from it.
Project Grey aims to oppose online and offline polarization by amplifying the opinions of the “grey middle”. Campaigners, data analysts, and social workers join forces to combat polarization and the processes of radicalization that stem from it.
Although the group of people with extreme opinions is often relatively small, it makes the most noise on social media. This strongly reduces the space for a wide palette of more nuanced opinions, also described as the “grey middle”. Project Grey emphasizes these opinions of the silent majority that risk getting lost in the ruckus. The campaign is launched from an innovative online tool and dashboard that help us to gain insight regarding the subjects people have heated discussions on, and where the first signs of polarization can be discerned.
Social workers and youth workers are also involved in Project Grey. They are trained to recognize (online) polarization and to handle it proactively and reactively, both within their neighborhoods and online, for example, by organizing dialogue meetings. Become a part of Project Grey.
Project Grey uses technology that is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The algorithms used within this project search autonomously for patterns in the data. More information can be found here. They help us to gain insight regarding which subjects people discuss on social media and where signs of polarization can be discerned.
Videos aimed at raising awareness of the Power of the Middle, meaning people who are not radically determined, who often do not find their voice and their representation in public discourse, who sometimes feel that they do not belong to either side of cultural wars, or vice versa.
45 social and youth workers trained in Slovakia (3 trainings), 6 trainings in the Netherlands, and 1 training in Belgium
He has worked at PDCS since 2016 as a program coordinator and project manager with focus on depolarisation and radicalisation prevention. Apart from that he is also training online security and is interested in any online trends.
Lukas has a passion for education as he studied teaching of ecology and geography and is an author of methodological materials for various educators.
In the past he also worked as development worker for People in Peril, mostly in Kenya but also in South Sudan and Tanzania. Poverty alleviation through increasing food security and practical nature protection were among the issues he worked on.
He likes African literature, is member of the Cloud Appreciation Society and co-owner of local Football Community Kozmos, the first community owned football club in Slovakia.
She has worked in PDCS (with short interruptions) since 1996, starting as a volunteer, then a project manager, trainer and facilitator and today as executive director.
She studied urban planning at the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and took a one-year study program at the Institute for Public Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A. She completed PhD. studies at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Comenius University in Bratislava.
In 2011/2012 she worked as the head of the Office of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Development of Civil Society.
As an expert she deals mostly with public conflict resolution and prevention, citizen participation in public issues decision-making, the development of civil society, deliberative democracy, community development and cross-sector cooperation.
She has trained and consulted internationally in over 35 countries.
Senior trainer and consultant who founded PDCS in 1991 and led the organisation for over 20 years. Originally working as a psychologist, he devoted himself to counselling and therapy for people who needed life-support. He taught, worked on altruism research and on the effectiveness of various types of training.
Since 1990, he has been focusing on training and consulting mainly in the field of community conflict reconciliation, non-violent communication, organizational development, participatory education and decision-making issues. He has a wealth of international experience in the implementation of conflict prevention and resolution programs and as a trainer and facilitator he has conducted over 2000 trainings in forty countries.
In recent years, in addition to special trainings, he has devoted himself to foreign programs as well as consulting, analytical and publishing activities. As an external lecturer he lectures at several universities - in recent years mainly at Charles University and the University of Economics in Bratislava, in the past also at the European Peace University in Schleining and Donau University in Kremse.
He is the author and co-author of 16 books and many professional articles, eg. publications “Reader for Non-profits”, “Training? Training "," Conflict, Reconciliation, Reconciliation Councils ". He regularly publishes "rumours" from his trips about how conflicts are transformed in different countries and what happens in clashes of different cultures, such as "With a pumpkin tied to a leg", "Sop-sum-sum" and "Yahoo Boys".
Adela Tihláriková studied Journalism at Comenius University in Bratislava. She has been working for PDCS since 2014 as a project manager for the Western Balkans region and as a coach for creative writing and storytelling. She was also part of Matúš Vallo’s campaign team in his successful candidacy for the post of Mayor of Bratislava. She is also a musician in the band Bad Karma Boy.
Conference "Civic Actors in War and Peace" coming in fall
SAVE THE DATE for an international conference "Civic Actors in War and Peace" which will take place on November 9 –10, 2022 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
In this conference we aim to explore what strategies we as civic actors can utilize to address hate, polarisation and extremism in our online and offline communities both in times of war and peace.
Annual Report 2021
The year 2021 was a significant milestone for PDCS and was a year-round celebration of our "30 years of PDCS". You can read the summary of what we achieved and which programs and topics were in our focus in our annual report.
Listen to our podcast Why Minorities Behave Differently?
Daryl Davis and Stano Daniel. Two men, activists, who do belong to minorities in their countries. Do they, despite their social status, middle-class income, education and relative comfort they live in, feel like they belong to minorities? Zuza Fialová asked them during the conference The Power of Cities, why oppressed people behave differently and why it is sometimes so difficult to understand each other.
The podcast has been recorded during the live conference in October 2022. Discussion was a part of the conference within the program The Power of Cities in Bratislava.
Podcast How Germany Deals with Hooligans
Within series of 30th anniversary of PDCS we talk with Stefan Schützler (Germany), good friend of ours with experience in social work with hooligans and homeless people. You will hear why the pandemic affected so badly the homeless and the other weakest people in Germany, what has changed in the attitude towards the homeless. We also discuss hooligans and what it takes to tackle the problem of radicalization of football fans. And in the end is the most beautiful compliment PDCS has received as a congrats to its 30th anniversary.
Podcast Bridgebuilders in a Polarized World
In the series of podcasts for the 30th anniversary of PDCS, we continue with an interview with our colleague and friend Julia Roig on peace, conflict resolution and democracy in America and elsewhere in the world.
Bringing People Together (podcast with Daryl Davis)
In the Bringing People Together podcast, our friend, musician and activist Daryl Davis talks about the fact that music is not a luxury, it is a necessity in our lives. It does not need an interpreter, it helps us, rejuvenates and regenerates. The aggressors who shot in the schools never went to music classes.