Bridging the Divides: Fostering Pluralism, Inclusion, and Solidarity in a Fragmented World

Meeting Report

The Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies and the Global Center for Pluralism co-hosted a high-level roundtable on bridging societal divides and promoting inclusion and respect for diversity both within and between countries. Diversity in society is a universal fact; how societies respond to diversity is a choice. In today’s political landscape, pluralism is increasingly contentious, and diversity is seen as a threat to be managed. Polarizing narratives and disinformation campaigns that pit groups against each other have become the “new normal.” In this era of discord, we must work to understand best how we can foster solidarity across our differences and leverage pluralism to build just, equal, and peaceful societies.

The meeting aimed to delve into the global contemporary challenges facing societies, acknowledging the profound impacts of division, tech-amplified disinformation and polarizing rhetorical and political strategies that undermine trust in democratic institutions and multilateralism and threaten social cohesion and pluralism. The dialogue emphasized the interconnectedness of domestic and international politics, stressing the urgency of addressing societal fractures at both levels. The roundtable underscored that countering polarization requires not just a whole-of-society approach but international cooperation. Bringing together policymakers and practitioners from diverse countries such as Canada, Kenya, Indonesia, and Spain, participants explored practical solutions to bridge divides.  

Learn more about the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion’s work on Bridging Divides and Countering Polarization here.

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