There is a common theme in modern society’s inability to respond to such diverse challenges as climate change, global pandemics, rising inequality, and digital threats to democracy—a diminished sense of commitment worldwide to the norm of “the common good.” The Pursuit of the Common Good initiative is an international effort to find ways of resolving these complex problems by gaining an understanding of this underlying norm—its conceptual and historical roots and how it plays out in key crises of our time. The first stage of this initiative culminated in a consultation in Paris that explored key issues with the aim of creating an agenda for future research and action. Participants discussed the most urgent challenges facing this effort; who should participate; the roles that can be played by government, the private sector, civil society, the media, and information technology; and how to create realistic expectations. Themes included the concept of the common good over time, market mentalities and democratic inclusion, technology and the digital transition, climate change and sustainability, and mechanisms for governing and negotiating the common good. A second stage of the project will seek to establish a broad network of institutions and organizations to help shape the outcome of urgent global challenges through the perspective of the common good. The initiative’s ultimate aim is the generation of a fundamental shift in public consciousness and the development of public policies to meet that end.

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