Lene Rachel Andersen, The Nordic Secret

Systems Thinking Symposium in Leiden

The day after the scientific roundtable, on October 27th, both Lene Rachel Andersen and Tomas Björkman were invited to give individual speeches at the farewell symposium of Professor Jos van den Broek in Leiden. To the audience’s delight, both Lene and Tomas had some sensorial surprises to illustrate their topics regarding Nationalism and The Finance System; Lene brought licorice for everybody, Tomas brought money (he did not hand it out, though).

The overarching theme of the symposium was Systems Thinking: Breaching the Boundaries, which is highly related to the theories presented in The Nordic Secret.

The diversity of excellent speaches ranging from astronomy, systems biology to health communication together with the lovely Yellow Submarine choir, contributed to a wonderful day highlighting the best science can offer to benefit our societies and a brighter future.

Roundtable The Nordic Secret Haarlem

Scientific roundtable in Haarlem

We travelled to the Netherlands, starting with picturesque Haarlem, on October 26th, to hold our fourth scientific roundtable. This time to present the now finalized content of The Nordic Secret for researchers, representatives from the De Bildung Academie, adult educators and philosophers.

Our unique venue, the former panopticon style prison De Koepel, offered a stimulating environment for the discussions of topics such as rethinking nationalism and the practical implementation of the Bildung models.

Lene compressing two years of research into 30 minutes:

  • Bildung vs. developmental psychology / ego-development
  • 5 layers of personality development + 3 stages of Bildung
  • Kohlberg’s moral stages
  • 10 circles of belonging – including a new take on the nation state as an important level of system complexity
  • Cultural codes
  • Bringing the elements together; ”the model”
  • The Nordic Secret

Tomas Björkman further developing and explaining some of the ideas presented.


Ad Verbrugge, Michiel Tolman, Jan Visser, Mark Helfrich (in the background), Henk Wesseling, Henk Hijink, Durk Gardenier, and Jumbo Klercq (with his back to the camera).

Michiel Tolman, Mark Helfrich and Durk Gardenier are from De Bildung Academie, Henk Hijink and Jumbo Klercq are experienced adult educators and involved in Learn for Life, Henk Wesseling is chairman of the Andragology network in Amsterdam, Ad Verbrugge is a professor of philosophy and the host of Human (which is a really fantastic TV programme if you understand Dutch), and Jan Visser has worked in the development of education for years, including for the UNESCO.

After the presentation, the participants were divided into three groups to reflect deeper on selected topics and their possible implementations:

  • Vocabulary & applying the findings
  • Implementing the findings
  • What to do about nationalism

After lively and engaged discussions, each group summarized their conclusions.

Jan Visser, Henk Hijink, Paul Oomen, Truus Ophuysen, and Ad Verbrugge. Both Paul Oomen and Truus Ophuysen are active in the Amsterdam andragology network.


Ad Verbrugge and Truus Ophuysen.

Ynte Bakhuizen and Henk Wesseling. Ynte Bakhuizen is one of the co-founders of De Bildung Academie and now works to develop De Koepel and turn in into a palace of Bildung.


Our host Michiel Tolman from De Bildung Academie summarizing the day.