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Education for Shared Societies Education for Shared Societies


Education for Shared Societies

Education for Shared Societies

The WLA-CdM and the Varkey Foundation are launching the new initiative 'Education for Shared Societies' aimed at producing a global agenda on education that takes from former projects of the WLA-CdM

Education for Shared Societies is a new initiative by the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) and the Varkey Foundation. It aims to mobilize political will around a global agenda that channels the key messages of Shared Societies and Preventing Violent Extremism into the education field. Acknowledging the defining role of education in shaping a society, the WLA-CdM will convene its members, senior representatives and experts from the Varkey Foundation and other partnering organizations to outline global policy recommendations stressing that formal and non-formal education can lead to inclusive, and more peaceful societies.   

A shared society, as defined by the WLA-CdM Shared Societies Project, is that in which everyone has a sense of belonging and shared responsibility, shielded from dynamics of social exclusion, inter-group tensions and violence. Education is already one of the "Ten Commitments for a Shared Society" and this new initiative by the WLA-CdM and the Varkey Foundation seeks to develop it further into a global agenda that promotes difference, diversity and mutual understanding in education centres and their curricula.

Similarly, Education for Shared Societies draws from the lessons of another WLA-CdM project, Preventing Violent Extremism, which identified education as a key prevention strategy to nurture shared values between communities. We have also identified technology as a crucial component of education nowadays. Consequently, Education for Shared Societies will have the following three pillars:

  • Inclusive education for migrants and refugees.
  • Education for preventing and countering violent extremism.
  • Digital resilience for shared societies. 


The WLA-CdM and the Varkey Foundation are developing a year-long process, setting up three working groups with the mandate to formulate policy recommendations that will be brought together into the global Agenda on Education for Shared Societies. The Agenda will be launched at the 2019 Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. 

Content Coordinator: Lynn Davies

Lynn Davies is Emeritus Professor of International Education at the University of Birmingham, UK and Co-Director of the social enterprise ConnectFutures. Her interests are in education and conflict, education and extremism and education in fragile contexts, and she has done research and consultancy in a number of conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Angola, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Work in UK includes evaluating programmes to counter extremism and radicalisation, a project interviewing former extremists about their backgrounds, and training of young people and teachers in preventing violent extremism. In 2016 she completed a major review for UNICEF Sri Lanka on the Sri Lankan National Policy for Social Cohesion and Peace, and also supports UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting Schools. Her books include Education and Conflict: Complexity and Chaos (2004), Educating Against Extremism (2008) and Unsafe Gods: Security, Secularism and Schooling (2014). With UNESCO, she has jointly delivered a Guidance document for policy makers on Preventing Violent Extremism, which was launched in 2017. She was on the Board of UNICEF UK for 6 years, and is currently on the Boards of the Africa Educational Trust and the Georg-Ekert Institute for international textbook research. In October 2014 she was awarded the Sir Brian Urquhart award for Distinguished Service to the United Nations and its goals by a UK citizen.




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