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The Shared Societies Project
The Shared Societies Project is a partnership project hosted by the Club de Madrid
The economic argument for building a shared society seems obvious. If sections of society are marginalised they will contribute less to the economy. They will have poorer education and limited skills to contribute. They have less capital to invest. They may also be less willing to contribute to a society which they feel does not respect them and treat them as full citizens. They may go farther and resist the status quo and it may cost the state a good deal of its surplus wealth to maintain the status quo. The state may resort to increased security measures, such as enlarged security forces, enhanced equipment for the security services, larger and stronger prisons. External capital is unlikely to invest in a society if it seems unstable and tension is high. While this type of analysis seems self-evident, it does not seem to have much impact on many current leaders.
The Shared Societies Project of the Club de Madrid believes that leaders make greater efforts to achieve a shared society once they and their communities understand and communicate the economic benefits of building a shared society. We need to know if the argument actually holds up in practice. Can we show that shared societies are more economically successful? That evidence does exist but how can it be made more accessible?
Social cohesion and economic growth – The Report
The Project commenced a new strategy to highlight and disseminate the solid evidence-based arguments that support the relationship between social cohesion and economic growth and well-being and to ensure that the arguments are formulated and presented in such a way that they are internalised and acted upon by leaders. The strategy is based on the idea (confirmed by the leadership experience of Club de Madrid Members) that leaders are reluctant to acknowledge the arguments or to communicate the economic benefits of building a shared society to their communities and to introduce more equitable economic policies. However if the case is properly made it can be a powerful impetus for effective policies.
Download the Report
Reference Group of Experts
For this purpose, the Shared Societies Project convened a Reference Group of experts in which IEP took an active role, that over eight months constituted a multidisciplinary committee with the expertise to examine the link between economic development and shared societies and to consider how best to present the economic argument for inclusion and shared societies and appropriate policy options that should be considered.