Over the course of the last year, the Common Cause Working Group has been overseeing the production of a major new contribution to debate within the third sector. Common Cause: The Case for Working with our Cultural Values is published today, coinciding with the launch of this website.
The report, published in partnership between Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN), Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Oxfam and WWF-UK, seeks to put cultural values, and the ‘frames’ that help to convey these, at the heart of debate about the role of the third sector in society.
Common Cause builds the case that a wide range of civil society organisations share a common interest: to work collectively to activate and strengthen those cultural values which have been shown empirically to underpin people’s concern about a range of problems – from climate change to the despoilment of the countryside; from global poverty to species extinction.
The ambitious political interventions that are necessary to address these problems will require far greater public appetite – and pressure – for political change. Such appetite and pressure is dependent upon people coming to place greater emphasis upon ‘intrinsic values’ – including the value they place upon their relationships with other people and with the natural world.
This interest in working to strengthen intrinsic values is common to the five organisations that have collaborated in the first phase of this project. But the evidence from social psychology demonstrates that these values are equally important to many other organisations, including those striving to build public concern about a range of other issues – from discrimination on the basis of race or gender, sexual orientation or age, through to abuses of human rights or animal welfare.