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The Nordic Secret: It's not about fjords, saunas or Ikea catalogues.

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42 ACRES Shoreditch

66 Leonard Street

London

EC2A 4LW

United Kingdom

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The Nordic countries are not merely cute. There are things going on there beyond the open sandwiches and the charming crime dramas. And their secret is not merely folksy notions about cosiness or enoughness like 'Hygge' in Denmark or 'Lagom' in Sweden.

No. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and all their associated territories are (mostly) exemplars of successful societies - consistently ranked among the happiest, most prosperous, and most peaceful countries in the world. They generally have low levels of inequality, healthy economies, relatively good protection of nature and high levels of social trust. Some argue that the way the Nordic countries run their societies is the best we can ever do. Political Scientist Francis Fukuyama described the world’s governance challenge as ‘getting to Denmark’ - just one example of the pedestal on which the Nordics are placed. If they have a fault it's that they are sometimes a bit smug about it.

But it was not always like this. The story of the modern Nordics is the story of how some small, very religious, dirt-poor, and, in reality, totalitarian countries developed into affluent democracies with huge freedoms and stable economies. What happened? Danish Philosopher and comedy writer Lene Andersen and Swedish Social Theorist and Entrepreneur Tomas Björkman join us in London to share a compelling new theory. It is a story with a range of European and American influences but at its heart is a form of education - Bildung - that proactively developed everybody’s potential, and changed their fate.

Bildung is the way that the individual matures and takes upon him- or herself ever bigger personal responsibility towards family, friends, fellow citizens, society, humanity, our globe, and the global heritage of our species, while enjoying ever bigger personal, moral and existential freedoms. It is the enculturation and life-long learning that forces us to grow and change, it is existential and emotional depth, it is life-long interaction and struggles with new knowledge, culture, art, science, new perspectives, new people, and new truths, and it is being an active citizen in adulthood. Bildung is a constant process that never ends.

Join Perspectiva on March 5th when we will consider how we might re-establish a similar kind of emphasis on human development to adapt to modern democratic challenges. As with all previous Perspectiva events, some light audience participation will be encouraged throughout the event. If there really is a secret, we will try to create a direct experience of it.


*Unfortunately there is currently no disabled access to the venue*

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Location

42 ACRES Shoreditch

66 Leonard Street

London

EC2A 4LW

United Kingdom

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Refunds up to 1 day before event

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