Democracy That Delivers

The Shared Societies Project

Building a World Safe for Difference


We define a Shared Society as one in which all individuals and constituent groups hold status as equally contributing participants, free to express their differences while integrating their voices within the broader population. It respects everyone’s dignity and human rights while providing every individual with equal opportunity. 



SSP, Shared Societies

What we do



Making the case, clearly and unambiguously: drawing on the unequalled experience, resources and convening power of Club de Madrid Members, the Project asserts that overcoming identity-based divisions and building shared societies is urgent and critical; there are moral, social, political and economic arguments for inclusion.

  1. Outreach and Dissemination of Shared Societies Project principles, methods and ideas for action, through publications, material on the internet and direct communication at all levels. 
  2. International Advocacy on Norms, Practice and Policy, through participation in selected international fora and building on established partnerships and relationships with multilateral organizations and civil society organizations.
  3. Engagement with Leaders. Club de Madrid, led by its Members and with the support of other leaders and experts will respond to requests for leader-to-leader support in implementing the project approaches to face current challenges of exclusion and identity-based conflict.  Club of Madrid Members have held elected office, understand what leaders face, and can support their peers with experience, trust and discretion.




SSP, Shared Societies

 Shared Societies at the Global Level



SSP. POst2015, Amina MohamedThe Project has worked from global to local, focusing most of its recent efforts on targeting the Post 2015 Development Agenda process by seeking to mainstream Shared Societies within the Sustainable Development Goals. This is reflected in various places in the Goals and in particular in Goal 16 on “inclusive and peaceful societies”. Attention is now turning to the challenges facing Member States in developing policies and programmes to meet the SDGs, and the support they will need from 2016 onwards. 

The Shared Societies Project supports a holistic approach to sustainable development, integrating social, economic and environmental dimensions, with social inclusion at its core, as it understands that all aspects of development are inter-related and inter-dependent: progress on one aspect of development is dependent on progress on the others. In this regard, the Project is establishing a Working Group to examine the link between Shared Societies and environmental sustainability. 



SSP, Shared Societies

 Shared Societies at the National Level



SSP, MyanmarOver the years the Project has been involved in many countries and at present several initiatives at the country level are being developed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Nepal, Myanmar and Tunisia, among others.

The project on “High Level Support for Effective Dialogue in Myanmar: Towards Democratic Transition and Shared Societies” funded by The Charitable Foundation focuses on providing leadership experiences to Myanmar’s leaders in their efforts to build peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and democratic transition. 




SSP, Shared Societies

 Shared Societies at the Local Level



SSP, Tunisia, Local GovernmentThe Project is committed to overcome social exclusion and build Shared Societies at the local level. Local governments are key actors in supporting local communities to achieve Shared Societies. 

The Project has therefore completed a new publication “Local Government for Shared Societies”.  It contains dedicated materials based on Shared Societies Project documents to be specifically relevant to local situations. 



SSP, Shared Societies

 Commitments for Shared Societies



SSP Good Practices GuideThe 10 Commitments for Shared Societies have been identified as key policy areas which are essential features of a Shared Society and thus, leaders are asked to make a commitment to these if they have not already done so. They also can be used as a check list to review those areas in which a state has made progress and those areas in which more work needs to be done. 

The Online Good Practice Guide ( shows how the Project goals are already being applied in countries around the world with more than 75 examples of best practices. 



SSP, Shared Societies

 About the Shared Societies Project



Co-Chairs: Valdis Birkavs, Prime Minister, Latvia (1993-1994), Chandrika Kumaratunga, President, Sri Lanka (1994-2005), Cassam Uteem, President, Mauritius (1992-2002). Click here for more information and Bios.

SSP, BirkavsSSP, KumaratungaUteem



NetPLUSS ; Network of Political Leaders United in Support of Shared SocietiesThe Right Reverend John Bryson Chane D.D. • Teresita Deles • Kinga Göncz • H. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla • Sir John Kaputin • Juan Fernando López Aguilar • Beatriz Merino • Roelf Meyer • David Miller • Baroness Nuala O´Loan • Ebrahim Rasool • Montek Singh Ahluwalia • Yaga Venugopal Reddy. Click here for more information and Bios of NetPLUSS Members.


Expert Advisory Panel: Genaro Arriagada • Jóhanna Kristín Birnir • Sean C. Carroll • William Easterly • Mounira Fakhro • Mari Fitzduff •  Yash Pal Ghai  • Ashraf Ghani  • Ted Robert Gurr • Fikria Harrouch • Steen L. Jorgensen • Will Kymlicka  • Amin Maalouf  • Clem McCartney • Sarifa Moola • Ernesto Ottone • John Packer • Bhikhu Parekh  • David L. Philips • Timothy Phillips • Ibrahim Rasool • Necla Tschirgi  • Ashutosh Varshney  • Sergei Zelenev  • Daniel de Torres. Click here for more information and Bios of members of the expert Advisory Panel


Funding PartnersAlan B. Slifka Foundation • The Charitable Foundation • City of Rotterdam • Comunidad de Madrid • European Commission • Gobierno de Cantabria • Government of Norway • Friedrich-Ebert-StiftungMore information here


Project Team:  María Elena Agüero, Secretary General Club de Madrid, Rubén Campos, Programs Coordinator, rcampos@clubmadrid.orgClem McCartney, Policy and Content Coordinator,; Project Officer, Rafael Morenormoreno@clubmadrid.orgMore information here




This initiative has benefited greatly from the vision, commitment and support of: 

The Alan B. Slifka Foundation

Club de Madrid
Palacio del Marqués de Cañete. Calle Mayor, 69, Planta 1, 28013 Madrid - Spain
Tel +34 911 548 230 Fax +34 911 548 240