Our Shared Future: Carnegie Corporation

The partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York is the result of a meeting of minds and a matching of concrete capabilities. In 2008, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the British Council joined forces to create Our Shared Future (OSF), a transatlantic network of scholars whose ideas, research and writings would help improve intercultural understanding and build trust among diverse communities. Out of this co-creation grew a strong and successful partnership.

Around the world, public discourse on multiculturalism, integration and diversity reveals that there is still widespread misunderstanding of Muslims and Islam. Balanced and informed voices must join the conversation to correct the stereotypes that still lead people to view the world in terms of the “Muslim world” and the “Western world” or “us vs. them.”

Our Shared Future aims to improve the public conversation about Muslims and intercultural relations in the US, Europe and beyond by providing hard facts, evidence-based arguments, and research findings by reputable academics and experts.

Our Shared Future sets out to:

  • Shift the terms of the debate on relations between Muslims and non-Muslims by providing access to a diverse group of informed commentators and experts whose views are based on credible research and rational arguments 
  • Address some of the enduring myths and misconceptions that continue to polarize relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe and the US. These issues include the concept of “Sharia law”, “Jihad”, freedom of expression and the relation between religion and politics 
  • Disseminate constructive research and ideas at all levels of society through the Our Shared Future Network – a group of distinguished scholars, writers, policy-makers and journalists who are committed to improving trust and mutual understanding among diverse communities in the US and Europe. 

The success of this partnership is measured by impact generated. Through successful newspaper articles, online interviews, E-books and a transatlantic lecture series, OSF reached audiences of over 3 million. In cooperation with the SSRC, the British Council launched “Our Shared Past”, an ambitious grant programme promoting the teaching of world history. New initiatives similar in nature are being developed with the objective of creating opportunities worldwide.