> posted by   on November 15th 2015

Towards Scandinavisation

Just like the past Industrial Era has changed our daily life into WORK life, the Knowledge Era told us to search the balance between our LIFE and our WORK. We are now about to enter the next era, which is the Network Era that will bring us back to our DAILY LIFE. New times will bring us a new definition of life as well as a new meaning of family, community, network and co-operation. All these three eras went through different social transformations, technological novelties and human science opportunities. This was all accompanied by very intensive industrial developments. Our Western society consequently eliminated small-scale production and local family companies and thus a large part of the manual work. The era of knowledge brought us big brands’ empires (multinationals) that were marked by golden years of marketing and new communication possibilities. We could name this process of the last fifty years Americanisation. This system brought us at least 20% of completely new sets of professions for which no education could prepare us in time. Today, youngsters from Generation Millennials (born 1980 – 2000) have a real problem determining their own future occupation as well as the ones of their parents. The majority of parents are “working behind a laptop” without any tangible effects. Parents – they all look the same – of Generation X people (born 1965 – 1980) are constantly looking for “work-life balance”, recovering from a burnout and climbing their “corpo”-career ladder from 9 to 5.

The future will bring some new changes. Due to the new industry of upcoming 3D printing, we will get a completely new set of professions, skills and competences. Slowly, the transformation from present GLOBAL “capitalism” into a new LOCAL “co-capitalism”- a new form of economic system like Sharing Economy (according to Jeremy Rifkin and Thomas Piketty) – is becoming a fact. Of course, these are only speculative thoughts but already we can say that along with the development of a new system, many occupations will return. In the European countries, middle and high schools for craft education are coming back. One of these new movements will reintroduce the old craftsmanship and artisanry. This new system requires changing our awareness from “me, my-self and I” to “us”. Already the new generation (born after 1980 and later) thinks in terms of concepts such as “we’ and “our local community”. This kind of social integration and awareness can already be noticed in Scandinavian countries. According to the rankings of “The happiest countries in the world” by Legatum Prosperity Index, Scandinavian countries are in the Top 10. Maybe the secret to the future lies in HAPPINESS?

Last year, researchers from the University of Bolton in the UK recreated an experiment that originally was carried out in 1938. Back then, people were asked to respond to the question: “What is happiness?” A total of 226 people responded, stating the top three happiness factors as: security, knowledge and religion. Last year, the top three of happiness factors were: humour, leisure and security. The new generation defines happiness as “engaging in (…) hobbies, spending time that is free of worries … Simple things like enjoying a nice meal or receiving care and affection”.

Maybe our Western civilisation is going towards Scandinavian happiness – a new place for tomorrow’s collective life – which makes work meaningful, creates a sense of belonging and everyday satisfaction and expands our passion.

Below a couple of my lovely Scandinavian experiences:

Copenhagen, Denmark

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Malmo/Ystad, Sweden

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