‘Community of Strangers’ seeks to explore the underpinnings of both bias and belonging within our species by providing an understanding of our evolutionary pre-disposition to favour those most similar to us.

We seek to provide a deeper understanding as well as possible solutions which might help mitigate the causes of radicalisation and hate. By using the latest neuroscience and psychology, delving into the needs of human behaviour, we will explain the foundations of our shared humanity and the common search for belonging including in-group bias and the precursors to prejudice and hate.

At the heart of the project lies our intention and desire to enrich our communities by examining how individuals can function as valued and informed members of the communities – hence, the title ‘Community of Strangers’. A title taken from the works of American author and political scientist Iris Marion Young, who has described community as a collective “being together of strangers”.

Phase One
Sara Templeton

Phase One: Holding Back Hate

Only a tiny proportion of New Zealand internet users are classified as online extremists, but the harm caused by hate speech and disinformation is now so widespread it’s a clear and present danger to anyone online.

Phase one of ‘Community of Strangers’ explores the corrosive impact of cyber hate and its destabilising impact on freedom of expression and trust in New Zealand.

Watch Phase One

Phase Two: Edging Towards Hope

Community of Strangers is a project that keeps on growing - in phase two we’re focusing on the community’s search for hope and meaning following the March 15th terror attacks.

In phase one we discussed hate speech and radicalization, now in phase two we’re looking at how the message of unity in diversity, is changing people’s perceptions and combating prejudice.

Watch Phase Two
Phase Three


Rev. Philomeno Kinera

Phase Three: Peaceful Conversations

In Phase 3, we offer you peace conversations held at Together in Humanity 2024, where the community came together to embrace each other’s spiritual beliefs and practices and build stronger communities by understanding each other with insights from our esteemed speakers.

Watch Phase Three