8th IARS Annual International Conference

Date: 29th January 2020

Location: University of East London, Stratford Campus, School of Psychology, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ



THEME: “Addressing Violent Youth Radicalisation in Europe”

At a critical time when European solidarity is questioned, the 8th IARS International Annual Conference, in partnership with School of Psychology, University of East London, will launch the findings of the Erasmus+ “Youth Empowerment and Innovation Project (YEIP)”. Led by young people and coordinated by Professor Theo Gavrielides, YEIP was delivered in partnership with 18 partners from seven EU countries (Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Romania and the UK). YEIP constructed and tested an innovative policy intervention model that is founded on the principles of youth-led research, positive psychology and the Good Lives Model.

The conference will bring together all of our partners including the public authorities that took part in YEIP, as well as young people, decision makers and scholars from across Europe. Through keynotes and workshops, we will debate solutions, identify best practices and create much needed space for discussion and networking opportunities. This conference will focus on young people, aiming to push barriers for European and national policy making and practice through the presentation of evidence-based solutions, giving a platform to voices that are rarely heard to lead on the debates that affect them. The conference will also launch the e-book which will publish the results and evidence from the project including the views of over 3000 young people and professionals on the issue of youth violent radicalisation and what works for policy and practice.



This accredited International conference will focus on violent youth radicalisation in Europe. It is broken up into two sessions: the morning session will feature presentations from leading international experts in the field in the form of keynotes speeches and panels. The afternoon session will host various  workshops with presentations from various related European projects and experts.

The conference is based on the 3-year Erasmus+ funded Youth Empowerment and Innovation Project (YEIP). The IARS International Institute coordinated the project, which was delivered with 18 partners and  public authorities from seven European countries, namely KMOP (Greece), Anziani e non solo (Italy), CARDET (Cyprus), INOVA+ (Portugal), Linne Universitetet (Sweden) and The Schottener Foundation Social Services (Romania).

YEIP sought to lay the foundations for a systematic change in youth-led policies and encourage a shift towards social inclusion and youth de-radicalisation in Europe. The partnership will present the results of the programme and the evidence it collected on developing innovative policy intervention models founded on the principles of positive psychology and the Good Lives Model (GLM).


We currently have an open call for abstracts to present workshops at our International Annual Conference. We are interested in s covering European voices on youth matters with a focus on violent youth radicalisation, empowerment and social inclusion. The deadline is the 16th of January 2020 and should be sent to yeip@iars.org.uk Include in the email subject “Abstract submission” and address it to Dr. Theo Gavrielides

Abstracts should include:

  1. The proposed title, name of presenter and affiliations
  2. 200 words description of the paper/ workshop.

The charity is kindly requesting a donation from:

  • Corporates/For-profits: £60
  • Non-profits/ individuals: £30
  • Refugees, asylum seekers and young people in education or unemployed do not need to donate.

The conference has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines (30 CPD learning points). CPD Certificates will be awarded on the day to all delegates who have registered, donated and attended the entire day. It has also been certified with a YouthPass. Young people attending or being involved in the conference will receive a YouthPass Certificate.


Executive summary and national reports available for free download. To access please click YEIP E-BOOKS


This programme is subject to change

09.30 – 10:20

Professor Verity Brown, (Pro-Vice Chancellor for Impact & Innovation, University of East London)

 "The Youth Empowerment & Innovation Project"  
Professor Theo Gavrielides (IARS Founder & YEIP Coordinator)


10.20 – 10.40

"The Good Lives Model for Violent Youth Radicalisation Prevention"
Professor Aneta Tunariu (University of East London.)

10:40 – 10.50

Q&A session 

10:50 -11:50

International Panel :

  • Dr. Shamila Ahmed  "Confronting geopolitical injustice:  inequality and radicalisation in the ‘war on terror’ (University of Westminster, UK)

  • David Ruah  '"Strategic Communications Against Hate-Based Propaganda: the Case of Civil Society." ( Radicalisation Awareness Network, European Commission) 

  • Anna Alcock '' ''Political disengagement and violent radicalisation.' Engagement & Advocacy Manager -  UK Youth (UK) 

  • Q & A session 

11:50 – 12.10

Coffee break & networking

12.10 – 13.30

We will be launching the fifth edition of our 99 % Campaign Magazine on Youth Radicalisation and debate on issues raised by their articles. We will also announce the winner of our writing competition. 


'Media and terrorism' Allessia Palermo
'The Role of YouTube Algorithms in Online Radicalisation'  Amanda Blackhurst (USA) 
´Support for deprived communities strategy' ´Shanea Oldham (UK)
'Radicalisation and  criminal justice'
Joshua Eden(UK)
'Radicalisation and religion' 
Heidi Maiberg (Estonia) 
'Radicalisation and mental health'
Arthur Peirce (UK) 
'Youth radicalisation from a psychological perspective'
Allison Vitalis (UK) 

99 % Campaign Mangazine 

'Christian white supremacist and youth radicalisation'  Ama Yarboi (USA/Ghana) 
'Islamic radicalisation in british youth' William Burge and Ali Ahmed (UK)  
'Youth radicalisation in british schools'  Kristian Mower (UK)  
Positive case studies of de-radicalisation'  James Myers-Antiaye (UK)
'Youth radicalisation and social media' Yewande Ogunjimi (UK/Nigeria) 
''Violent radicalisation;  north and south' Ekerette Ewang (Nigeria) 
'Radicalised de-radicalisation: How prevention becomes policed multiculturalism'  Alessandro Zaboli (Italy) 

13.30 – 14:15

Lunch break
Refreshments will be provided.
Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements. A vegetarian option will be available. 

14:15 - 15:15




"Terrorism and radicalisation in Greece: Nihilism and the extreme left"
Eleni Fotou, Forensic Psychologist, PhD Candidate Democritus University of Thrace from VIA-STOP, Institute for the Prevention & Treatment of Violence and the Promotion of Gender Equality
Nikos Petropoulos, Hellenic Police - expert on radicalisation

''EU solidarity projects and its impact on NEETs'' 
Mercedes Green   European Solidarity Corps, (EU) 

"The empowering role of ethnic-cultural communities by International Committee"

Musti Önlen Educatief medewerker - Internationaal Comité vzw



"Addressing Religious Literacy through Teaching and Research"
Dr Paul-François Tremlett  Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies & Head of Discipline. School of Social Sciences and Global Studies. The Open University (UK)

"De-radicalisation efforts from a practitioner's perspective " 
Emad Al-Ebadi Director of Iraqui Welfare Association ( IRAK/UK)

''Preliminary signs of radicalisation amongst school pupils''
Jonathan Taylor  Middle East Education (UK) 

15:15 - 16:15




YEIP in Italy
Ms.Maria Cantiello  (Anziani, Italy)
YEIP in Cryprus Mr. Antonis Foukaras and Ms Afroditi Hadjianastasi   (CARDET, Cyprus)
Ms. Afroditi Hadjianastasi (Municipality of Egkomi, Cyprus)
YEIP in Portugal Pedro Costa ( Inova+, Protugal) 
YEIP in Greece Antonis Klapsis   (KMOP, Greece)
YEIP in Romania TBC (Fundatia Schottener Servicii Sociale, Rumania)
YEIP in UK  Maija Linnala (IARS UK) Daisy D'Silva Toscano (Buckinghamshire New University) 




"Violent Youth Radicalisation: a Restorative Approach."
Stefano Cesana - Cooperativa Dike per la Mediazione dei Conflitti - ONLUS  (Italy) 

"Restorative procedures in complex cases and violent crimes."  
Paulo Moratelli (Coonozco, Brazil)

'The Risks of a Shoot to Kill Policy' 
Dr Shahrar Ali, London School of Philosophy and Birkbeck, University of London (UK) 




''Theatre as a channel to engage with minor offenders''
Prof. Maria Cristina Cavecchi , Maggie Rose, Università degli Studi di Milano and Giuseppe Scutellà Director of Puntozero Theatre Company, (Italy) 

''We Need To Act On : Theatre & Social Inclusion ''
Marie Vickers, Project lead at London Bubble Theatre Company  (UK)

'Tackling discrimination in educational settings' 
Sarah Soyei  Head of Strategy and Development
EqualiTeach CIC (UK) 

16:15 - 16:30

"Preventing Violent Youth Radicalisation & Erasmus."
Simon Chambers (British Council, UK National Youth Agency, Erasmus Head UK )

16:30 - 17:15

"Radicalisation, the threat, drivers and programe''
Abu Ahmed 
Head of Prevent Local Delivery and Communications at the Home Office 

"Safeguarding children and young people from radicalisation”"
Mark Chalmers (Operational lead for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning at Westminster City Council, UK) 

17:15 - 17:45

Q&A chaired by Professor Theo Gavrielides

17:45 - 18:00

Conclusions from the workshops and the conference. 
Professor Theo Gavrielides (IARS Founder & YEIP Director)

18:00 - 19:00

Networking international social event

Music Performance by ΔΠTİQŬĖ 
Drinks and nibbles will be served. 
Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements. A vegetarian option will be available. 


Attendance is by registration only. This is a CPD-accredited event that involves substantial costs to the charity. Registration is by donation only.

The venue is accessible for disabled visitors.

Larger donations are encouraged, as all proceedings will be invested into our projects and ensure the continuation of our charitable work with marginalised groups.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with more information on instructions on how to proceed.

Please read our Conference pack here,  pack_conference UEL IARS YEIP

For further information and technical assistance, please contact yeip@iars.org.uk 



We are Sculpt

IARS International Institute to operate as Sculpt

*Charity CEO available for interview – details in notes 

A UK-based youth charity today changes its operating name from the IARS International Institute to Sculpt. 

IARS is an international NGO that’s been working to empower young people to forge a fairer society for over 20 years. Their work is guided and evaluated by young people themselves.  

Over the last 20 years, IARS has delivered more than 70 successful projects that have addressed real problems that young people face, in areas such as: 

  • Gender discrimination 
  • Violence against women and girls 
  • Supporting young people to find work 
  • Creating green and sustainable business 
  • Promoting collaboration among young people across the world and much more. 

In 2021, with the world changing rapidly and opportunities for their work shifting, they decided to refresh their purpose and identity, and made the decision to rebrand as Sculpt. 

Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of Sculpt, said: 

‘We are delighted to launch our new brand that speaks to our aim to empower young people to shape their future.

‘We believe that many of today’s young people are facing unjust challenges – economically, environmentally and socially. A fair, sustainable society can only evolve if all young people have the opportunities, the confidence, the ambition and the skills to make their voices heard and propel change in their communities, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.  

‘Our rebrand, like our work, has been guided by research and by young people themselves. As an organisation we base our work on rigorously researched evidence and are led in our approach by our youth advisory board. Their voices and insight are critical to solving the right problems in meaningful ways.’  


Notes to editors:  

Dr. Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of The IARS International Institute is available for interview. Contact Claire directly on: director@iars.org.uk +44(0) 7833 224442  



Sculpt is a UK-based charity providing research, training and work-experience opportunities that empower young people to shape their own futures and those of their communities. 

We work directly with young people, employers and professionals who support young people. All our work is guided by young people themselves and based on carefully researched evidence. We: 

  • Facilitate forums for young people to make their needs and their voices heard. 
  • Publish a magazine by young people to express their perspectives and encourage debate around public policy issues. 
  • Conduct research to uncover young people’s real needs and what works to empower and support them. 
  • Deliver training to build young people’s confidence, skills, ambition, resilience and sense of responsibility, so they can shape their futures and change their communities for the better, as leaders, social entrepreneurs and active participants in civic life. 
  • Deliver training for professionals who work with young people, drawing on our research and expertise. 
  • Engage with employers to facilitate work experience and employment opportunities for young people to develop skills and access diverse jobs. 
  • Facilitate international exchange opportunities to encourage and enable young people to experience and appreciate other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. 

We tackle disempowerment from three angles: working directly with young people to build confidence and skills and their voice, working with professionals who support young people, and working with employers to break down barriers to opportunity.