About Shared Humanity

Shared Humanity is an initiative to create a shared narrative that counteracts divisive, ‘Us vs. Them’ rhetoric in political discourse and build public support for more open, cooperative, humane and democratic policies.

WHY: Western democracies have been grappling with the impact of populist, ethno-nationalist and authoritarian leaders who are effectively using dangerous language and activating ‘othering,’ fear, and identity politics. Common threads are woven across continents, with xenophobia, racism, closed borders, and assaults on human rights and democracy at the core of these extreme movements. Those who support global engagement, liberal democracy, equality, and human rights have failed to find effective, shared narratives that offer an alternative to this ‘Us vs. Them’ messaging, and are left on the back foot.

WHAT: Common sense ideas (frames, narratives, values, messages) and recommendations for effective communications on a range of affected issues. The advice builds on the evolving understanding of how to counteract ‘othering’ and ‘Us vs. Them’ from conflict resolution, strategic communications, political science, psychology, and neuroscience. Recommendations aim to resonate with the ‘persuadable middle’ to build long-term support for this alternative approach and shift public discourse on the issues.