“In the most simplistic of ways, Canada just started the West’s most effective countering violent extremism (CVE) narrative – with a warm winter jacket and a soft teddy bear.”

~Nicole Matejic, 2015

On 19 April 2016 I spoke at the ‘Building Social Cohesion and Tackling Extremism’ conference in Sydney on using social media for social cohesion.

Key points from my presentation include:

Lessons from Canada:

    • Canada is leading the world in taking  social cohesion policy to action, by leading communities through collaborative action and authentic multicultural engagement.
    • Canada’s social cohesion story is so globally pervasive because they aren’t the ones telling it – their communities and media are.
    • Canada communicates information visually, with easy to find facts and real life stories of the people policies impact – no hiding statistics in long sentences spun to fit a political mould.
  • Stories don’t occur by magic: you need to plan for their success and social amplification.

Lessons for Australia:

    • The day of the pro-forma [insert relevant religious holiday here] letter are over. It’s 2016 – you can’t communicate influence or authentic interest in a letter- not even from a Prime Ministerial Office. And why would you when you have Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as your personal brand newsroom?
    • Prime Minister’s who are socially savvy but don’t have an appropriate editorial content calendar miss social cohesion opportunities and that tells a story – that they lack an attention to detail for the very communities they need engage with.
    • No-one is interested in self-promoting stories: what are you doing for your country? Your people? And what are their stories? How are you embracing those in your Prime Ministership?
  • Social cohesion needs to be less talk more action – our leaders must demonstrate a clear intent to authentically embrace the multicultural fabric of Australia. That isn’t something you can talk about – it’s something that must be done.

You may also like to read my blog on Why This War is About Actions; Not Words.