Julia Ebner – Keynote Speaker

Award-winning and internationally bestselling author, Academic Researcher and Expert in online radicalisation, Conspiracy Myths and Threats to Democracy

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Specialist Subjects

  • The Trust Gap: Restoring Trust in an Age of Misinformation
  • Going Dark: Understanding Extremists
  • Going Mainstream: Managing Societal Polarization
  • Making Sense of the Insentient: Artificial Intelligence, Targeted Disinformation Campaigns and Conspiracy Myths in the Modern Age



  • English
  • French
  • German


Dr. Julia Ebner is an expert on online radicalisation, conspiracy myths and threats to democracy and minority rights, and terrorism prevention.

Julia has led a wide range of research and advisory projects, as well as being involved in several undercover investigations, including infiltrating the online chatrooms and in-person meeting spaces of extremist groups across the ideological spectrum to expose their methods of radicalisation.

Based on her experience she regularly advises governments, intelligence agencies, tech firms and transnational organisations, including NATO, Europol, the World Bank, Google, and Meta. She has also worked for the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism as a Special Advisor on Terrorism Prevention.

Julia Ebner is the author of several award-winning and internationally bestselling books including Going Mainstream (2023), Going Dark (2019) and The Rage (2017). She is also a regular contributor to news outlets such as the Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Washington Post and Süddeutsche Zeitung, and has featured in flagship broadcast programmes and documentaries in the UK, US, Germany and beyond.

Currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) in London and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University’s Calleva Centre of Evolution and Human Sciences, Julia Ebner holds a DPhil in Anthropology from Oxford University, and a dual Msc from Peking University and the London School of Economics. She speaks fluent English, German and French and intermediate Spanish, and Mandarin.

An authority on extremist groups across the political spectrum – informed by her own undercover investigations – Dr Julia Ebner is well placed to discuss the rise of the political fringe and their infiltration of the mainstream.

Mediated by the latest technology such as generative AI, the growing influence of radicalised individuals coincides with dwindling trust in the cornerstones of civil society – science, the media and even democracy. What does it mean to live in these febrile times? How can organisations and individuals alike become attuned to and guard against the tide of systemic disinformation?

Popular Talks by Julia Ebner

The Trust Gap: Restoring Trust in an Age of Misinformation

Trust in science, the media and democracy have been dwindling in recent years. But in this new era of misinformation and distrust, the private sector has been a rare source of hope: according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, private sector firms and employers enjoy the highest trust levels in society. Julia addresses questions such as: What drives the enemies of science and democracy? Why are we more susceptible to conspiracy myths and disinformation in a world of growing uncertainty? And what can companies and institutions do to reverse this trend and restore trust?

Going Dark: Understanding Extremists

By day, Julia Ebner worked at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. However, in her spare hours – late nights, holidays, weekends – she adopted five different identities, and joined a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Based on her undercover investigations, Julia gives insights into how extremists across the world have skillfully expanded their reach by using cutting-edge technologies, attracted the youngest generations by gamifying their communication, and impacted politics by entering surprising coalitions.

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