The Reframing Peace project seeks to uncover a uniting “core story of peace” of peace and peacebuilding through rigorous social science research that will allow for the many disparate media, brands, NGOs and social justice activists to align around an effective narrative framework for peace. We recognize the imperative of engaging in this new “long-game,” to better align the vast content and communications efforts of our many well-meaning allies to more intentionally ground our collective efforts on tested and effective narrative frames. This is the new frontier of social change advocacy in the 21st Century: to reach a wider public audience in a meaningful way that will affect long-term societal attitudes – that ultimately leads to better policy decisions.
In short, we know we need “a more potent peace brand.” And this is what the Reframing Peace project is working to uncover.
Together with the Alliance for Peacebuilding and Frameworks Institute, a social science research organization, PartnersGlobal is uncovering the mental models, or narratives that the American public calls upon when thinking about peace, as well as the narratives peacebuilding organizations use to communicate to the public around peace and peacebuilding. Our research then studies the gaps between the two so we can ultimately develop and test more salient narratives to communicate about peacebuilding.
We can—and must—help members of the public move beyond fear, distrust, and intolerance and embrace peace. Changing how a society thinks about any issue, let alone one so deeply entangled with fear, distrust, and intolerance, is neither easy nor quick. Shifting cultural beliefs, and the attitudes and opinions they inform, requires more than the standard communications strategy. It requires a fundamental change in the way people think about, understand, and respond to peace. It requires a new narrative. Without one, the solutions that experts and advocates are seeking will continue to lack the public support they need to become reality. A comprehensive reframing initiative will help the public understand, and support, solutions that will ensure that all people can live in a world without limits.