The Story So Far

In Common was launched in March 1998 by the Canadian Centre for International Cooperation with the following challenge, communication materials, and ideas.

The Challenge

The In Common campaign will officially be launched in March 1998. It will have as its starting point the public mobilization and campaigning initiatives of The Canadian Council for International Cooperation’s members and kindred organizations. With this campaign we are re-igniting our commitment to poverty eradication, justice, and equity.

Two years ago at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation’s annual meeting, Juan Somavia, the Chilean permanent representative to the UN and chair of the preparatory committee for the World Summit on Social Development asked “How can we emulate the 19th century movement for the abolition of slavery in order to create the 21st century movement to eradicate poverty?”

In Common seeks to find the answer. Becoming empowered. Contributing to positive social change. Eradicating world poverty. These are achievable. But they won’t happen until people believe they are possible, – and then work together to make them a reality.

The Ten Point Agenda

Communication Materials

Getting Started on In Common

The goal of the In Common Campaign is straight-forward: To place our agenda to end poverty front and centre on the political and public agenda. Specifically:

  • To present a common platform to decision-makers, opinion shapers, and Canadians predisposed to activism based on a comprehensive international policy agenda linking many NGO efforts
  • To create opportunities for Canadian Centre for International Cooperation members to increase the visibility and impact of there own awareness and mobilization work
  • To make progress over time on specific points of our agenda to end poverty

Getting Started on In Common
A Member’s Guide – PDF

The In Common Deliberation Guide

In Common
Global Action Against Poverty
In Common Deliberation Guide

The World In Common Speaker Series

Prominent world leaders have identified the elimination of global poverty as the greatest challenge of our times. Canadians remain concerned by growing poverty at home and abroad. The Canadian Council for International Cooperation, a coalition of 100 leading development organizations such as OXFAM, AMREF, Gems of Hope and Foster Parents Plan, has developed a speaker series to showcase novel ideas and renew debate about the possibilities that exist to end poverty.

World in Common
A Speaker Series – PDF

The In Common Community Development Program

I was excited by the initiative and interested in contributing to creating the possibilities imagined by the campaign. I offered my ideas for a community development program which I thought Go Direct Marketing could facilitate in creating.

In Common Community Development Program

A few years later I registered incommon.ca thinking about reviving and re-energizing the idea  of gathering enterprises around our creative interests started by the Canadian Centre for International Cooperation as a community driven initiative. I let the registration lapse some time after I registered communitieswithoutborders.com as a call for a more global initiative.

Communities Without Borders went online in 2010 shortly after I became involved with Themba Tana in creating an event in Vancouver to draw attention to the plight and opportunities to contribute to the people and country of Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. It excited the idea of creating Drummers without Borders, a universal language calling people together and creating community around the rhythms that flow from the beat of our lives, and a community who could begin to excite conversations about how we create communities without borders around the world.

Making it Happen

Each initiative outlined in the In Common 10 Point Agenda for Global Action Against Poverty was followed by a number of actions that governments, non-government organizations, businesses, and individuals could take to contribute to making things happen.

Creating New Opportunities for Citizen Participation
Making It Happen – PDF

What We Can Do

Poverty is not inevitable. The rise in poverty in recent years can be reversed if all governments take more seriously the commitments they have already made to reduce poverty at home and in the rest of the world. Policies and actions on issues such as fair trade, human rights, gender equity, and the participation of people in the decisions that affect their lives, can give individuals and communities expanded access to economic and social assets.

Canadian citizens and organizations can make a significant difference. For example, it was the coming together of anti-poverty, labour, and other progressive groups that made possible the development of the welfare state in the decades after World War II. Today we must build a similar coalition, not only within Canada but with anti-poverty groups in other countries.

Gisele Guay
National Anti-Poverty Coalition
In Common, 1998

Our resources for Creating Communities Without Borders lie in our communities. Our common interests define and contribute to creating our communities without borders. Our opportunities lie in our creative interests and our ideas about what we can do as communities of common enterprise, what roles we can play, and what contributions we can make to creating the possibilities we imagine for our future and for the future of our world.

What Can We Do?

What can we do as contributors to creating our communities to create a new world to create a better future for our world as a community?

What can our governments – the custodians of the common interests of our communities – do?

What can our community enterprises – the not-for-profit organizations contributing to creating communities in our common interests – do?

What can our public corporations – our community owned enterprises contributing to our economic and community development – do?

What can our businesses – the for-profit enterprises benefiting from and contributing to creating our communities – do?

What can our citizens – the people benefiting from and contributing to creating our communities – do?

A citizen is defined as

A legally recognized subject of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized
An inhabitant of a particular country, city, or place as home
One entitled to the rights and privileges of a community of place

A citizen of the world is defined as

A person who is at home in any country

What I am doing

I am creating a community media system to connect communities without borders around our common human interests, excite creative conversation around opportunities and ideas about what we can do, and improve our ability to make creative community enterprise around our creative interests and creative possibilities for our future.

I am connecting communities of common interest without borders and exploring creative interests we could have in common. I see the Ten Point In Common Agenda as the creative interests of a community of common interest. I see creating communities without borders around our common human interests as our overarching creative interest as a global community

Exploring Our Creative Interests

Imagining the Possibilities
Creative Canada
Drummers Without Borders