Initiatives

We design and test initiatives with a wide range of partners to influence the stories that people hear, the conversations that people have and the things that people do together. We focus on engaging the population segments that have the greatest potential to change the dynamics of increasingly fractured societies.

Informed by our research, we seek to identify the projects, stories and partnerships that can effectively counter ‘us-versus-them’ narratives of division. We focus on reaching majorities, partnering with large scale institutions, uniting people across the lines of division and strengthening people’s sense of shared belonging and identity.

Working with Churches and Faith-Based NGOS

France

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In 2018 we published a report, Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Migrants Among French Catholics in partnership with Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in France and with NGOs Caritas France, La Pastorale des Migrants, CCFD - Terre Solidaire and the Jesuit Refugee Service. Since then, we have worked in partnership with these groups at the national and local levels to develop communication strategies around issues of difference, diversity and division relevant to French Catholics. We have conducted training programs, co-created a messaging guidebook and helped with their volunteer engagement strategies.

Living Room Conversations

United States

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In 2018, More in Common partnered with the National Immigration Forum, a leading immigration policy and advocacy organization, on a 27-city learning tour of “Living Room Conversations” in suburban and rural communities across America. The purpose of the Living Room Conversation campaign was to deepen an understanding of the cultural, security and economic concerns that drive the immigration debate and examine competing frames around immigration and integration. This is an ongoing partnership where we work collaboratively on developing messaging and communication initiatives to build more inclusive communities across America.

The Hidden Tribes in Action

United States

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The Hidden Tribes Project is a multi-year initiative to understand the forces driving Americans apart and how we can bring Americans back together. It involves ongoing workstreams of research, developing issue-specific communications strategies, training programs for civil society leaders and testing insights emerging from the research. For example, a front page article in the New York Times in April 2019  focused on a detailed analysis of the Hidden Tribes data relating to the differences between Democrats who are active on Twitter and the larger number of Democrats who are not, and how social media can distort our perceptions and contribute to polarization.

The Roots Programme

United Kingdom

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We are partnering with The Roots, a British social start-up organization that is building bridges through a series of cultural exchanges between people of differing political and economic backgrounds across the United Kingdom. We are working with The Roots to conduct research around the community exchanges, while also engaging with their local networks as part of a series of Community Conversations that we are conducting ahead of a major national study in the UK in 2020.

The Diversity Shapers

Germany

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Within the "Diversity Shapers" Programme by Robert Bosch Foundation, six local alliances from different regions of Germany have been set up to strengthen diversity in their respective municipalities. In a subproject on successful diversity communication funded by OSIFE, we help those local alliances explore how best to address and engage with people from different societal groups.

Media Partnerships

Global

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We work with print, digital and TV journalists, producers and media organizations in all of our countries to inspire new storytelling approaches and audience engagement initiatives that bring to life the ‘more in common’ message. The goal of this work is reflected in the concept of “complicating the narrative”, captured by the Washington DC-based journalist Amanda Ripley (who has no formal connection to More in Common but is a valued friend). Given the central role that media can play in reinforcing or countering polarization, we are expanding this work in 2020.

The Great Get Together

United Kingdom

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More in Common worked closely with the Jo Cox Foundation to create the Great Get Together in the United Kingdom in 2017, and then make it an annual national moment under the Foundation’s auspices. The Great Get Together brings together thousands of communities across the UK in self-organized community events. These unifying moments provide a powerful counter to stories of how the UK has become an increasingly divided and disconnected society.

Fête des Voisins

France

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We are working in partnership with France’s large annual La Fête des Voisins (the Neighbours’ Party), an event which brings together around nine million people in France each year. Immeuble en Fête is the grassroots organization behind this annual event, and it works to promote social cohesion. This partnership has involved testing different ways to connect strangers together on the ground. We discovered that the Bingo des Voisins was the most effective tool to connect strangers at neighborhood events, and as a result in May 2019 some 300,000 community facilitators were given Bingo kits in their community organizing package.

Strategic Communications Pilot

United States

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This is a research-to-action project that tests the practical application of insights from the Hidden Tribes project. It deploys the Core Beliefs methodology to develop alternative framing of highly contested issues, with an initial focus on the issue of immigration. The project involves measuring audience responses to existing values-based messages on the opposing sides of the immigration debate, and to new messages shaped by the most strongly held values of the ‘Exhausted Majority’ of Americans. This work provides a foundation for communications strategies based on both-and rather than either-or solutions, which achieve much stronger resonance than communications strategies that appeal only to one dimension of people’s values. The project includes ongoing engagement with civil society groups to develop, test and share results.

Finding Common Ground on Climate between Cosmopolitans and the Left Behind

France

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An important dimension of More in Common’s work is testing strategies to prevent and reduce social fractures. Far-right groups are seeking to drive deep wedges between different parts of society, such as between cosmopolitans and people in ‘left-behind’ communities. We identified the risk of divisions widening in France after the emergence of the Yellow Vest movement with this project that seeks to find where common ground exists between the movement and cosmopolitans. The project looks especially at issues of the environment, climate and social justice. It is being undertaken with several partners including environmental groups, with outputs that can strengthen the sense of shared identity and values between those concerned with ‘the end of the month’ and those concerned with ‘the end of the world.’ The project involves research, civil society convenings, narrative development, training and testing of communications strategies.

Germany speaks

Germany

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The German news outlet ZEIT Online has initiated the project “Germany speaks” together with many media partners that matches pairs of Germans who disagree on political issues to meet in person. Every year thousand of Germans participate. We are accompanying the project with our learnings from connections done right and on current societal conflict lines in Germany.

Across all these initiatives we are just beginning to learn how we can turn the insights from our research into impact and change.

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