Our Mission

More in Common is a new initiative that aims to protect democratic societies from the threats of authoritarian populism, polarisation and social division. We believe that the drivers of these threats are intensifying and that we need to work urgently at many levels to counter them.

More in Common’s mission is to counter these threats by:

pexels-photo-109919.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Building powerful narratives of 'us'.

pexels-photo-88680.jpeg

 

 

 

Forging transformational experiences of 'us'.

 

Our Vision

Our vision is to build more united, inclusive and resilient societies in which all people have a strong sense that what they have in common is stronger than what divides them. We strive to build societies where support for the values of liberal democracy, and its institutions, is reinforced.

By the end of 2018 we will have national hubs in the US, UK, France and Germany, with early findings from our first stages of work. Click below to find out more about us.

 

More in Common

people-woman-coffee-meeting.jpg
pexels-photo-745045.jpeg

More in Common was founded by four experienced leaders of civil society organisations - Brendan Cox, Gemma Mortensen, Tim Dixon and Mathieu Lefèvre.

More in Common is an ambitious attempt to build close and inclusive communities and to fight back against the populist surge currently affecting many western countries. It is a multi-country initiative that will create ‘hubs’ of expertise on messaging and public attitudes towards issues of community and identity. This expertise will run communications-focused campaigns that seek to displace hate-based narratives pushed by the far right, and instead focus attention on what we have in common. We are in the process of establishing hubs in the UK, US, France and Germany.

 

We believe that the drivers underlying the rise in authoritarian populism are likely to intensify in the coming years and that without a concerted attempt to build closer, more resilient communities the threat of populism and the hatred it spreads will cause further damage. We are optimistic that with the right approach we can defeat these challenges and build closer more inclusive communities that are more enjoyable places to live and work.

More in Common’s work includes publishing reports, commissioning research, leading campaigns, and finding new ways to unite divided communities at a local level. We are working with a wide range of national and international organisations including multilateral organisations, NGOs, governments, media, political parties and faith groups.



Our Team

About the Founders

Brendan started his work in the aftermath of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia working with children affected by the conflict. This formative work gave him a long-standing interest in building cohesive communities and combating hatred. He was Chief Executive of Crisis Action from 2006 and then left to serve as Special Advisor to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown between 2008 and 2010 where he advised on international development and foreign policy. He has also worked for and advised a number of organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children, the UN and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Tim is a social movement builder who was born in Australia, worked for several years in New York and is now based in London, where he co-founded Purpose Europe. He trained as an economist and tech sector lawyer, built a leading Australian educational publishing business that was bought by Pearson in 2004 and worked as chief speechwriter and economic adviser for two Prime Ministers. He has helped start and grow social movement organisations around the world to protect civilians in Syria, engage citizens in the peace process in Colombia, address modern day slavery, promote gun control in the US, reduce inequality, and engage faith communities in social justice. He is on the boards of the International Budget Partnership, the Jo Cox Foundation, Purpose Europe, the Syria Campaign, the Chifley Research Centre and faith-based justice organisation Sojourners.

Gemma has worked in the media, for government, international organisations, non-profits and within the tech sector. She abandoned sunny California, where she served as Change.org’s first Chief Global Officer overseeing teams in 17 countries, to return home to create More in Common. She is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Platforms and Systems, a board member of Intelligence Squared and co-founder of The Syria Campaign (with Tim Dixon). She was previously Executive Director of Crisis Action. She believes we are experiencing an unprecedented rate of change that will only intensify.

Mathieu is a co-founder of More in Common and the director of More In Common France. Mathieu is an activist and an entrepreneur. Before co-founding More in Common, Mathieu was a co-founder of Make.org, a European civic tech company. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the New Cities Foundation, a think tank he founded on the future of cities. He served as a Political Officer in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations for five years, in Afghanistan, Lebanon and New York. Mathieu is a Senior Advisor to Purpose, a board member of Open France (part of the Open Network), of the Accélérateur de la Mobilisation and of Impulsion 75, a non-profit that helps school dropouts from the Paris banlieues. Mathieu is a dual US-French citizen.


BrendanCox001_3 (1).jpg

Brendan Cox
UK Narrative & Global Campaigns Director

Gemma resized.jpg

Gemma Mortensen
UK, Movement & Connection Director

Mathieu-Lefevre photo high res.jpg

Mathieu Lefèvre
Europe Director

Tim photo.jpg

Tim Dixon
Narrative Research and USA Director


Laura Harrington
Head of Operations

Heather Vernon
Great Get Together Campaign Director

Seyi Akiwowo
Partnerships/Campaigns Manager

Jon Yates
Research and Development

Helen Butterworth
EA and Project Management

Kim Leadbeater
Batley and Spen Founder

Ian Hepplewhite
Batley and Spen Manager

Anaïz Parfait
Campaign Director

François Xavier Demoures
Research and Strategy Director

Marc Chebsun
Program Director

Stephen Hawkins
Research Director

Míriam Juan-Torres González
Senior Researcher

Laurence Heijbroek
Research Intern

Rukmini Giridharadas
Civil Society Senior Strategist

Mohammed Naeem
Civil Society Strategist


About the Crisis

watch-tv-camera-interview-tv-57715.jpeg

We are confronting systemic threats to liberal democratic societies and to their foundational values and institutions. Our societies’ capacity to navigate a period of rapid economic, social and technological change is being undermined by profound social fractures that have weakened our resilience.

There are remarkable similarities in the crises facing Western societies. People are experiencing a heightened sense of threat to their economic, cultural and even physical security. In the past they may have turned to the institutions of their society to address those threats – such as the institutions of democratic government, the courts, the media and civil society.

But people are no longer convinced that the ‘system’ in their country is able or willing to address those threats or protect their interests. As a result, many people are more willing to embrace extreme options – even though those alternatives may pose a threat to the norms, values and institutions of their society.

For many, at a time when the future of work is being disrupted, the most profound threat is to their economic livelihood and their children’s future, with diminishing prospects and stagnating real wages.

Many also perceive profound threats to their country and feel its sense of identity and culture is disappearing, largely due to high immigration. Distrust of others is intensified by the filter bubbles and echo chambers of social media. And barbaric acts of terrorism have added a visceral physical dimension to many people’s perception of threats and their willingness to support extreme responses to protect their community.

People feel more exposed to these threats because of a loss of trust in institutions and weakening social solidarity. When the sense of ‘us’ is low and trust in others is weak, citizens start to prioritise their own group above society as a whole. Leaders who wish to govern for and invest in the greater good find themselves outflanked by tribal demagogues.

 These are the ideal conditions for the rise of authoritarian populism. Social division, distrust and rising anxiety have made citizens desperate for action and protection, and more willing to embrace ‘othering’ narratives that attribute those threats to one or more ‘other’ groups such as migrants, refugees, Muslims or liberal cosmopolitans. Increasing numbers of people believe that their country needs a strong leader who is willing to break the rules. Increasingly sophisticated, resourced and networked populists are exploiting and enhancing people’s perception of threats.


Global Research

More in Common’s studies of public attitudes in four European countries around issues of identity and belonging are already regarded as among the most insightful and actionable analyses of public opinion available

In 2016 and 2017, More in Common undertook attitudinal segmentation research in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The research was conducted in two phases, a quantitative phase based on online surveys with representative samples of 2,000 adults and a qualitative phase consisting of focus group discussions with the conflicted middle segments.  Hope not Hate has conducted similar research in the UK. In 2018, More in Common will publish research carried out in Italy, Greece, the United States, and Sweden.

Click on the pictures below to download the respective reports in full.

Attitudes Towards National Identity, Immigration, and Refugees in Germany (July 2017)

This report demonstrates that despite an increasingly polarised debate around Germany's response to the refugee crisis, and a growing debate about German national identity, a large number of Germans still hold mixed views about the reception and integration of refugees into German society. Germans remain among the most supportive populations of immigration in Europe. Their sense of responsibility to people seeking protection from war, conflict and persecution remains strong, and for many this sense of responsibility is tied to their identity as Germans. Nevertheless, there is apprehension about the prospects for successful integration of Germany's newcomers, especially in connection with those from Muslim backgrounds, and notably among many Germans who believe that Germany did the right thing by taking in those refugees. To download the Executive Summary, click here.

 

'Einstellungen Gegenüber Nationaler Identität, Einwanderung und Flüchtlingen in Deutschland' 

Download the Full Report in German here.

For the Executive Summary in German click here.

Attitudes Towards Refugees, Immigrants, and Identity in France (July 2017)

Beyond the specific issues of refugee and immigration policies, the study points to a wider French anxiety about the notion of ‘otherness’. This is related to the perceived threats of terrorism, crime and economic and cultural decline. It is also a result of a widely shared perception that France has not integrated immigrants successfully. This has made people reluctant to accept further new arrivals such as refugees. In other words, the refugee crisis is perceived through the prism of immigration policy and perceptions of the failure of this policy.

To download the Executive Summary, click here.

 

Les Français et Leurs Perceptions de l'Immigration, des Réfugiés et de l'Identité

Download the Full Report in French here.

For the Executive Summary in French click here.


Academic Papers

The Psychology of Authoritarian Populism and 'Othering' - A Bird's Eye View.

Principal Author: Daniel Yudkin (version of January 11, 2018)

The purpose of this paper is to provide a bird’s-eye view of the most important contributions of each of these fields for More in Common’s strategy and approach—highlighting the most important discoveries in each field, pointing out opportunities for further research, and outlining how past work can shape and inform More in Common’s work going forward. For those familiar with these fields of research, this paper may help clarify some of the insights guiding More in Common’s work. For those whose expertise lies outside of the academic social sciences, the paper is intended as a roadmap for how different areas of academic specialisation can help us to understand—and thereby undermine—the appeal of authoritarian populism.

Download here.

Dixon, Juan-Torres 2018.JPG

Is the Internet Eroding Europe's Middle Ground? Public Opinion, Polarisation and New Technologies

Principal Authors: Tim Dixon, Miriam Juan-Torres (version of February, 2018)

In many European countries, vigorous debates about national identity issues—including those concerning immigrants, refugees, cultural values, national traditions, and the control of borders—are increasingly prominent. Social media has played an important role in the elevation of these debates, and extreme right groups have become adept at using social media to elevate them, insert their narratives into the mainstream and reach target audiences who
are most susceptible to their narratives. The extent to which democracies endure and societies remain cohesive will depend on European countries’ capacity to navigate widening social fractures, growing threats from extremist groups and deepening polarisation of attitudes around profound issues of identity and belonging.

Download here.

 

 

 

 


Upcoming Research Publications

pexels-photo-462264.jpeg

Netherlands Report (2018)

 

firenze-florence-italy-europe-161376.jpeg

Italy Report (2018)

pexels-photo-208755.jpeg

Sweden Report (2018)

 

pexels-photo-164336.jpeg

Greece Report (2018)

 


Articles

Here you can find a selection of published articles capturing the essence of our work at More in Common, featuring some of our team.

For media enquiries please contact us at: contact@moreincommon.com


Open Positions

We are currently looking for suitable candidates in the following positions listed below:


Executive Assistant (x2)

LONDON OFFICE

More in Common is looking for two Executive Assistants who are passionate about our mission, and are excited about the opportunity to make a key difference in the administrative life of an ambitious, start-up non-profit.

For more information about the role, click here.

Application Deadline: 18.02.18


Apply

For every position listed there is a rolling deadline and we will accept applications until the post is filled.

Applications should be submitted in English and include a cover letter (max 1 page), CV and contact details for three refereesClearly state in the email subject line which position you are applying for.

Send applications by email in PDF format to contact@moreincommon.com. 

Speculative applications - we always welcome open applications to work for More in Common. Follow the submission guidelines on this page to submit your application.

More in Common is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK without work permit sponsorship from More in Common.

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch please fill out the form on this page.

Alternatively you can reach us on: 02039407093