For the past four years, I have spent much of my time supporting an extraordinary alliance called Possible Mexicos. This platform supports more than 100 leaders from all sectors of Mexican society in working together to address their country’s daunting and interwoven issues of insecurity, illegality, and inequity.
This team has made good progress in incubating a set of high-leverage initiatives, including ones to ensure that the country’s attorney general is appointed democratically, create equitable contracting between household workers and their employers, and coordinate responses to earthquakes. In doing so, team members have created a living example of an unconventional way for diverse actors—including those who don’t agree with or like or trust each other—to collaborate on complex issues of common concern.
This approach is receiving lots of attention as the new Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, prepares to enter office on promises of transforming the country systemically. It is also the subject of “Colaborar con el enemigo,” the Spanish-language edition of my book (published by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission and the National Autonomous University of Mexico), which includes several essays about the project and a personal reflection on peacemaking by former Colombian president and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Juan Manuel Santos.
These two sides of working across difference—profound challenge and transformative potential—are visible in daily headlines around the world. We can all learn from the commitment and courage of leaders like those involved in Possible Mexicos.