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Fractured Societies: How can we put them back together? Leveraging the power of the Connectors to combat Polarization

--- Humanity Rising Day 284 - Monday July 5, 2021     (GoTo Bottom)
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Today, societies throughout the world are plagued by polarization and are increasingly fractured. People are clashing over values, beliefs, identity. The issues at stake give place to extreme views, as we witness major divides between globalists and localists, the "anywhere" and the "somewhere"; religion vs. secularism; facts vs. fake news; culture and tradition vs. modernity. According to UNESCO, 75% of the world's conflicts today are rooted in cultural divides.The voices we hear most are precisely those of the extremes who monopolize public discourse, often fired by social media. But the reality of our societies is that a silent majority of the moderates is out there who doesn't recognize itself in a discourse of extremism; but rather balanced views. To prevent our societies from fracture, the silent majority of the moderates’ voice must be strengthened. The role of Governments is important but insufficient. Intolerance, hate, and divisions cannot be combated solely through legislative norms.

We, at Connecters for Peace, have the conviction that you don't combat Hate with a law against Hate, but by touching people's mind and heart. This is where the Connecters come into play. The Connecters are a wide and diverse range of sectors of activity that reach massive audiences and bring people and communities together, regardless of their values, beliefs and identity to share a common purpose. A few are already engaged in breaking down barriers by using their unique convening power. American Express, in partnership with the French Paris Saint Germain football club, launched a massive campaign embracing diversity and inclusion. Netflix supported "Black Life Matters" by creating a collection featuring over 45 titles about racial injustice. Also Uber initiated a campaign and code of conduct against discriminations. Connecters for Peace act in support of the United Nations‘ SDG 16 which calls to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. We leverage the power of the Connecters to combat polarization and unite people and societies in two ways: 1) By identifying, replicating and scaling up existing Connecters’ concrete initiatives 2) By proposing specific and tailored initiatives to becoming Connecters.

  • Jean-Christophe Bas is the founder of Connecters for Peace, an international NGO that will be launched in September 2021. He has been holding senior policy positions with Inter Governmental Organizations during the past twenty years. From 2008 till 2014, he was the Head of Strategic Development and Partnerships at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in New York, an initiative of the UN Secretary General aimed at improving understanding and cooperation among cultures and peoples and building inclusive societies. Jean-Christophe has forged innovative initiatives with major world corporate brands (BMW Group; Vivendi ; Silicon Valley firms; Education First…) to enhance intercultural understanding and cooperation ; he has been designing and heading the world campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion” aimed at building a world movement in support of Diversity with partners such as UNESCO, the Red Cross, American Airlines; Civicus; Intel; Deloitte. From 2018 to 2020, he was the CEO and chairman of the executive Board of the Dialogue of Civilizations ( DOC ) Institute in Berlin. DOC is a prominent international think tank, its goal is to provide a platform bringing leaders and influencers from all cultures and civilizations to forge shared worldviews through dialogue. In 2014 and 15, Jean-Christophe served as Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation at the Council of Europe, running a team of approximately 160 staff dedicated to foster democratic competences , participation and responsible citizenship and fighting radicalization and extremism. From 1999 to 2008, he was the Head of Policy Dialogue at the World Bank and set up innovative mechanisms of strategic engagement with key decision and opinion makers around the World on Development and Poverty eradication. Prior to this, Jean-Christophe was the first Executive Director of the Aspen Institute in France (1994-1999), chaired by the former French Prime Minister Raymond Barre. Jean-Christophe is the author of EUROPE A LA CARTE (Editions du Cherche-Midi), a book of reflections on European identity published in English and in French in November 2009 at the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall

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