Commonwealth Foundation staff blogs share knowledge, experiences and expertise.

  • The value of a thousand narratives: reflections on the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018

    There I was, pacing the streets of one of the most impressive cities in the world. I was running late for an 8am meeting with a half-filled stomach, and my only concern was making sure I was well prepared. For what? One of the most important political events on the Commonwealth calendar. More than 350 […]

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  • Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018: a case for renewal

    2012 brings the Foundation back to the beginnings of its call for the renewal of the Commonwealth. When the Foundation was re-launched in 2012 and given the mandate to support people’s participation in governance across the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF) was re-aligned to support this mandate. In 2013 the CPF in Colombo, Sri […]

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  • Ben Okri’s electrifying keynote on ending exclusion

    Inclusion is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 16, but exclusion has become accepted across the Commonwealth. How can institutions and civic voices ensure that inclusion, rather than exclusion, becomes the norm? Ben Okri, one of Africa’s foremost authors and poets, opened the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018 with an address on how civil society […]

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  • Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018 in pictures

    Award-winning photographer Vicki Couchman provided photo coverage throughout the three days of the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018. The pictures are now available for download in high resolution from the Foundation’s Flickr and Facebook pages. Continue to the full collection and free downloads 

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  • So Many Islands: an anthology of stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian and Pacific Oceans

    Marlon James, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, writes in his introduction to So Many Islands that the collection represents ‘real globalism’: ‘a glorious cacophony that seeks no common ground other than attitude. Stories and poems that exist in no other context than their own, characters who owe only to themselves, and writers who […]

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  • The spirit of solidarity at the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018

    Ben Okri, renowned writer and poet will kick off three days of the Commownealth People’s Forum 2018. Citizens are, he says, living units of democracy.

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  • The power of stories at the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018

    During the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2018, intimate readings will be conducted in promenade by Commonwealth Writers in which delegates will walk from author to author reciting from two anthologies, So many Islands and We Mark Your Memory. These readings will bring together filmmakers, musicians and writers to explore the Forum’s themes of Inclusion, Justice and Accountability. This […]

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  • The inaugural Festival of Commonwealth Film

    Something amazing happens when I watch a film. I sit down, it begins, and if it’s any good, I’m transported to another world. The screen is a window, and through it I can see into any situation, any character’s experience, any culture. That’s why I find myself so frustrated with the state of cinema most […]

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  • Message for Commonwealth Day 2018

    This year the Commonwealth’s theme is ‘Towards a Common Future.’ It’s an aspiration, which many would subscribe to but what distinguishes the Commonwealth’s commitment is a focus on making that future fairer for all. For the Commonwealth fairness is a powerful concept. We invoke it for example in relation to the conduct of elections and […]

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  • Citizen-generated data for a change

    ‘Citizen-generated and evidence-based data’ are terms we hear more and more about in the discourse around monitoring and accountability of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I joined Mansuriah alongside other colleagues from the Foundation and EASSI on the learning visit to Gender Links earlier this month and thought the Gender Barometer they have developed was […]

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