Archive for SSP related News and Videos

Maastrich Papers


On March 2012 the Maastrich School of Management and the Club de Madrid hosted an International Workshop within the framework of the Shared Societies Project to discuss with scholars and practitioners the following topic: “Can the Economics of Shared Societies Support more Resilient Economies and Global Sustainability?

The workshop papers deal with different topics such as: Violence, Conflict and Shared Societies; Regional and National Experiences; Civil Societies and Social Change towards a Shared Society; and Making the Case for Shared Societies.


We are pleased to announce that the papers have been collected under the title “Shared Societies: The Case for Inclusive Development” and you can find them by clicking here.

The issues discussed in the workshop are of outmost importance, highlighting the profound impact of economic policy on Shared Societies and the contribution of Shared Societies to economic wellbeing. Prosperous development of heterogeneous societies depends on accepting and embracing differences and, as Wim Kok (Prime Minister of The Netherlands, 1994-2002 and President of the Club de Madrid at the time of the Workshop) said, it is key to bridge the difference, as this is the actual meaning of “The Economics of Shared Societies”. The goal of the workshop and this collection of papers is to make understandable and to raise awareness of the link between social and economic wellbeing and Shared Societies.



In the papers, you will be able to read the solid arguments and valuable contributions of the experts that attended the workshop.  They show the importance of including every member of a society in its economic model, without discrimination so that every individual can achieve his or her life goals and in doing so contribute to the wellbeing of the whole society.

We encourage you to learn more from these must-read papers in order to get to know the importance of economic policies to Shared Societies.

Shared Societies in Guatemala – Overcoming social exclusion

Mejoremos Guate

The CEO of the Guatemalan Development Foundation (FUNDESA), Juan Carlos Zapata, recently published an article ¨How Guatemala Is Tackling Its Social Issues¨ in the Americas Quarterly‘s latest edition. Fundesa is a private non-profit think tank formed by Guatemalan entrepreneurs in their personal capacity, who have been working on improving social inclusion on the back of last year’s poor evaluation of Guatemalan in the Americas Quarterly´s 2013 Social Inclusion Index.

This work, through an initiative called Mejoremos Guate (Let’s Make Guatemala Better), emphasized that promoting active and direct dialogue has resulted in increasing of public expenditure on human development, in particular, through the support of the Intercultural Commission, a group of Indigenous people and private sector actors; who are actively engaged in promoting actions on social development issues.  A direct result is the deepening participation of indigenous peoples in international discussion forums such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Ensuring the sustainability of these actions represents a major challenge that lies ahead. At this point the Shared Societies Project is playing a significant role in advocating and supporting initiatives aimed at overcoming social exclusion. On 2013, the Club of Madrid organised a mission to Guatemala City in which the project exchanged ideas about the importance of building partnership at the local level between the state and political leaders, civil society, religious institutions and the private sector, as an effective way to address the challenges of achieving an inclusive society.

In Guatemala, while some progress has being made in terms of social inclusiveness thanks to the joint actions between all stakeholders, issues still remain unresolved; the Shared Societies Project is committed to supporting national efforts in making progress towards building the consensus needed to develop effective public policies in order to achieve sustainable Shared Societies.

Mejoremos Guate is a good example of the mechanism of Consulta Previa (prior consultation in policy and planning with affected groups) in practice.  On July 16 the Club of Madrid had the opportunity to share its work-in-progress initiative on Consulta Previa in Peru at the launching of the Americas Quarterly issue on “The Perils and Promises of Consulta Previa” in New York. According to Christopher Sabatini the editor-in-chief of AQ, the adoption and implementation of the Consulta Previa processes in Latin America ¨represents one of the defining issues in politics, economics, and investment in the region¨, and a critical step in promoting a society based on respect for diversity and minority rights.

Myanmar Portraits of Diversity, a new project by Kannan Arunasalam


Filmaker and journalist Kannan Arunasalam has launched last 15 July his new film Myanmar Portraits of Diversity, which brings the religious diversity in Myanmar into focus.

This project seeks to stimulate discussion and move audiences towards recognising, accepting and celebrating diversity in this country, featuring individuals that represent Myanmar’s different religious communities and making visible the kinds of inter-faith connections and engagement that take place naturally around this country.

Kannan Arunasalam uses documentary, photography and multimedia forms of storytelling. He was born in Jaffna (Sri Lnaka), grew up in London and returned to Sri Lanka in 2004. Kannan now splits his time between Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the United Kingdom. His work have been awarded and screened at international film festivals, winning awards and has been broadcasted on Al-Jazeera English language channel. His first film Kerosene won best documentary short at the South Asian International Documentary Festival 2013, Seattle; and his subsequent documentary short The Story of One won the inaugural Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation grant prize in 2013.

Myanmar Portraits of Diversity  trailer is already available and the complete film will be on line for free in the coming days at Facebook.

Facebook Page of the film

Youtube channel of the film



Peace, Democracy, Shared Societies and The Global Peace Index 2014



Measurement is a crucial factor to foster the efforts towards building an effective Shared Societies. The project has been working during the last years on developing tools to measure different peace and democracy items, all of them relevant for a Shared Society. The latest is the 2014 Global Peace Index Report ‘Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk

The increasing interconnectedness of the global economy means that local actions and shocks can impact individuals, communities and businesses on an international scale. Just consider the widespread and lasting impacts of high youth unemployment in Europe, the Arab Springpolitical turmoil in Thailand, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continuing violence in Syria. Although these tend to confirm the old adage of change being the only certainty, there are clear benefits to being able to better anticipate such events with greater understanding providing us with a means to protect against, and alleviate the impact of economic and social shocks.

Although there are many methods of measuring sovereign risk there are few standard means of assessing risks as it pertains to violence, conflict and instability. We know many societal factors are adversely affected through higher interpersonal violence, terrorism, rising political instability, crackdowns on social, political and religious freedoms as well as increasing inter-state conflict. Similarly, improvements in social conditions and the economy can have a positive effect on peacefulness. Consequently, by analysing the interconnectivity between violence and societal dynamics, it is possible to develop risk estimates that improve on the accuracy of the existing techniques currently used and deepen our understanding of those factors which underlie peaceful and prosperous societies.

Recognizing this, the Institute for Economics and Peace has developed a new approach to assessing country risk as part of the 2014 Global Peace Index Report ‘Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk.’ By combining risk theory and quantitative analysis IEP has implemented frameworks to operationalise a series of risk models. The approach places a significant focus on understanding the trajectory and development of the long term institutions which support peace and observing how particular combinations of societal strength or ‘Positive Peace’ interact with violence and conflict.

The current approach, and resulting ‘Risk Scores’ have proven to be reliable in identifying the countries that were at risk and subsequently fell in peace. IEP Risk Scores can therefore be interpreted as the likelihood of a country deteriorating in peace in the presence of a trigger factor.

Broadly, IEP’s research found that the countries that will be at the most risk of economic loss, violence and societal breakdown tend to have lower levels of ‘Positive Peace’, the term used to describe the structures, attitudes and institutions that move society towards resolving conflict in a non-violent way. Nations with low levels of Positive Peace are less likely to remain flexible, ‘pull together’ and rebound in the face of crisis.

In fact, many of the societal factors defined by IEP that support peace also support the Shared Societies agenda of creating a society in which “people hold an equal capacity to participate in, and benefit from, economic, political and social opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, language and other attributes, and where, as a consequence, relations between the groups are peaceful…”.

Furthermore, IEP’s research found that not only do countries with stronger institutions have lower risks of experiencing an increase in violence over the next two years, but that democracies face the lowest risks. Specifically, it was found that the risk tends to be higher in regimes where there tends to be a deficit in political and social freedoms. In addition, it was found that although full democracies experience small deteriorations in peace, the likelihood of full democracies experiencing larger deteriorations is much lower.

Although the human costs of higher levels of violence provides a striking illustration of the importance of strong and accountable institutions, so too does the economic implications of peace. For instance, using IEP’s Global Violence Containment model, estimates were made of the economic impact of the projected falls in peace. From this the overall financial impact of a small to medium rise in violence was found to be greatest in South Korea, Indonesia and Argentina. Such an increase in violence would be equivalent to US$3.8 billion, US$3.7 billion and US$2.0 billion respectively.

However, perhaps most alarmingly, IEP estimated that 16 countries, or over 500 million people, live in countries with an IEP Country Risk score of more than 50, indicating a higher chance of experiencing a small to medium deterioration in peace over the next two years. For instance, if Angola, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea were to experience a ‘small to medium’ deterioration in peace they would experience an increase in their violence containment costs equivalent to $31.0, $10.6 and $10.3 per person respectively.

Although the findings provide a powerful illustration of the potential financial impacts of violence, one of the most important insights is the benefits that could be obtained through governments targeting policies which build Positive Peace. This is because, not only is excess expenditure in areas such as the military fundamentally unproductive, but by freeing up these resources more can be invested in activities such as health, education and infrastructure which encourage economic growth and improve wellbeing. In addition, societies which are peaceful, socially cohesive, stable and safe are undeniably worthwhile in and of themselves; they also make economic sense, with research by IEP consistently finding that more peaceful societies are also more resilient and prosperous.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.

You can read more about the findings discussed in this blog by clicking here.


Global Peace Index interactive map:

Global Peace Index report:

Global Peace Index Video:


The Importance of giving the opportunity to Indigenous People to participate in Politics.


Since the appearance of democratic regimes in Latin-America, Indigenous Peoples have undertaking the tough work of fighting for their recognition and rights in all fields, especially the political and economic field. The policies that Latin-American countries have developed in terms of inclusion have been almost always without real consultation with the people themselves. These measures were more concerned to placate and include them in a culture of containment, not to preserve or restore their rights in relation to the land or the forest not to mention, their cultural heritage rights.

The declaration made by the Vice-President of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Álvaro Pop, highlights again the crucial need of continuing working to ameliorate the situation and the position of these Peoples in terms of inclusion by democratic and representative means. This Blog, created to emphasize and foster Ideas of Social Inclusion, continally argues that the only way to create a Shared Society is to accept ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity by requesting the necessary legal, constitutional and electoral framework changes required for granting inclusive policies, that will bring back benefits for us all.

In compliance with ILO’s Convention 169 of 1989 on the right to consultation by indigenous people, Peru passed the Ley del derecho a la consulta previa a los pueblos indígenas u originarios in 2011, becoming the first country in Latin America to guarantee by law that indigenous peoples would be consulted on decisions that could affect their rights, in the framework of inter-cultural dialogue. Taking into consideration Peru’s commitment, the Club de Madrid, Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Aplicación Práctica (CAAAP) and Comisión Andina de Juristas (CAJ) have proposed a multidimensional Project gathering all key stakeholders, to advance the use of the “Consulta Previa” Law, by promoting an enabling political and social environment.

Click here for more information



Boosting Solutions: Leadership in Africa


During the 2014 Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank that took place in Kigali, Rwanda in May 19-23, 2014, a High Level was organized to discussed “Leadership for the Africa we Want“. Many of our African Members participated at this debate. This is a video-summary of the debate.

During the discussion, important actors speak about the opportunities and challenges of Leadership for and within Africa; Club de Madrid Members Benjamin Mkapa, President of Tanzania (1995-2005) and Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria (1976-1979, 1999-2007), Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, William Ruto, Vice-President of Kenya, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission and Mo-Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Mo-Ibrahim Foundation. The ideas may be familiar but they give us a lot to think about in terms of how to move forward to a Shared Society through Leadership.

Take a look at it, it is worthy, straight forward. The ideas may be familiar but they give us a lot to think about in terms of how to move forward to a Shared Society through Leadership.

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