Youth Dialogues and the Causes of Extremism

Steven Smith and Jen Heeg recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of US efforts to reduce the number of young people joining terrorist organizations for Dexis Consulting Group.  We conducted Focus Group discussions and one-on-one invterviews to determine why youth are attracted to extremist ideology and what is working to prevent it.  We were successful because we listened without preconceptions - a critical element in understanding the other party in any dialogue or negotiation.  We did not assume what the causes were, but rather let dialogue participants explain it to us in their own words.  We were able to provide an in-depth report that reflected the different realities across countries and cultures.

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High Rise Management Teams

High rise buildings require good communications and trust among owners, tenants, operations staff, and contractors.  Steven Smith led a natural work team at Chevron's former corporate headquarters in San Francisco that resulted in significant improvements in tenant comfort significantly savings in energy and maintenance, and created strong working relationships among team members.  The project repaid itself in six months.

United Nations - Support for Regional Peace in Congo

One of the greatest challenges within organizations is working across business units.  In 2013 the United Nations committed to support peace in the heart of Africa.  That commitment encompassed six countries - DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya - and fourteen UN agencies.  Steven Smith was the regional advisor on peace building responsible for helping create constructive dialogue.  That dialogue resulted in a regional peace initiative that provided assistance for youth and women, demobilization of armed groups, and increased trade across the region.

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