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Search For Common Ground Partnership Recognized at Clinton Global Initiative

Last month in New York City, 40 heads of state and almost 1,000 religious, business and nonprofit leaders came together at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for three days of in-depth discussions in an effort to address and seek solutions for the world’s critical issues: extreme poverty, climate change, problems in governance, and religion as a source of conflict. The talks concluded with the announcement of “commitments” totaling $1.25 billion in pledges for specific initiatives that address these global problems. Clinton singled out the commitment from Nestle to fund Search for Common Ground’s TV drama series in Nigeria, and invited Search For Common Ground (SFCG) President John Marks and Klaus Wachsmuth, Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria PLC, to the stage to recognize this model of corporate and NGO partnership for effecting positive social change. SFCG is currently producing two TV series in Nigeria. Their aim is to promote inter-ethnic tolerance and respect, and to encourage non-violent resolution of conflict. The Station is a 26-part drama about the adventures of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of Nigerian TV reporters – Yorubas, Hausas, Ibos, and others – working together as a news team to cover Nigeria’s most pressing problems, such as AIDS and corruption, through the prism of finding common ground. The series focuses on socially relevant themes through entertaining soap opera drama that will appeal to large audiences. The initial production is a 20-part reality series called The Academy, which is intended to build an audience for The Station. The Academy is centered on a nationwide talent search leading to the final selection of the cast for The Station. Over 50,000 applicants answered the open casting call. Both series will be aired on Nigerian national TV, with the direct support of President Obasanjo. To read more about SFCG and the Clinton Global Initiative, visit www.sfcg.org.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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