Book Presentation in London coming up

If you are in London on March 5th, please join us when we present The Nordic Secret:

7 pm to 9 pm at

42 ACRES Shoreditch

66 Leonard Street

London EC2A 4LW


You may buy your ticket here:



Jonathan Rowson from Perspectiva will be the moderator of the event.

- If you can't wait, you can watch Jonathan interview Jordan Peterson here:

Welcome to Erika Tanos

Erika has been part of our network since 2014 and has followed our work on The Nordic Secret from the sidelines.

She will be helping us with communication, planning events and keeping you updated about The Nordic Secret via our newsletter; if you wish to contact us via info @ nordicsecret . org, she will be the first person to see your email, you may also write her directly at erika @ nordicsecret . org.

Erika is an independent researcher herself and does a number of very cool things:

As one of the first Innovation Anthropologists, Erika operates in the intersection of diverse fields from business, science to art. She founded the consultancy Curiosity Shop AB in 2011 to function as an interdisciplinary network for social innovation. Primarily a human insight specialist anchored in social sciences, her competency is to integrate a human-to-human centered approach and sociocultural understandings in complex challenges and to facilitate positive change.

Erika’s favorite hobby is photography and we are looking very much forward to having some of her pictures here on our site and hopefully some videos too.

Meeting with the graphic designer

I just came home from a great meeting with Ulla Holger, our graphic designer. She brought the first print of the layouted text and it is a beauty! I’m so happy!

Now I have 474 aesthetically awesome pages of proofreading ahead of me, and Ulla has a number of illustrations that need polishing.

Political festival at Bornholm

Every year in June, tens of thousands of Danes meet at a political festival on the island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea: Folkemødet – The People’s meeting. Among those many Danes are almost all members of the Danish Parliament, some Danish members of the European Parliament, mayors, and other local politicians, NGO’s, many civil servants from the ministries, and international speakers and guests of many kinds. It has been called the Roskilde Festival of political nerds. That is not entirely wrong.

I have participated every year since the Folkemøde started in 2011 and this year I had written six ideological speeches that were performed by Danish actor Lars Bom: a Socialist, a Social Democratic, a Social Liberal, a Liberal/Libertarian, a Conservative, and a fascist speech. Before the political content, we opened with a song.

The speeches were performed, commented by Danish politicians and myself and discussed two at the time over the course of three evenings. – The happy man in the blue shirt is Hans Grishauge, the organizer.


The first Danish Folkemøde was in 2011; it is based on the Swedish political festival Almedalsveckan, which has been around since 1968. The concept has also been copied in Finland (2006), Norway, (2012), Germany (2013), and Estonia (2014).

Bornholm is always worth a visit, by the way. Check out what the New York Times writes:

– I brought our flyer for The Nordic Secret to the Folkemøde but I forgot getting a picture of me at the Folkemøde with the flyer. You’ll just have to enjoy two pictures: one from the Folkemøde and the flyer:

Our flyer–which is more like a postcard:


Scientific roundtable in Stockholm

The third and (so far) last roundtable about human and societal development was in Stockholm on Tuesday, March 14th.

After the meeting, we enjoyed an exquisit dinner. As the above Rembrantian photo shows, the intellectual gluttony lasted well beyond coffee and dessert.

Earlier, we had gathered at Ekskäret Klustret in their new facilities at Epicenter in Stockholm.

Participating in the exploration of personal and societal development were (from the left): Jos van den Broek (Leiden University), Dick Holmgren (Filosofiska), Myrte Rischen (De Bildung Academie), Jonas Fischerström, Christian Welzel (World Values Survey), Lene Rachel Andersen (organizer, Next Scandinavia), Jan Visser (Learning Development Institute), Kim Törnqvist (Bättre Skolor), Matilda Westerman, Merel van Geel (De Bildung Academie), Thomas Jordan (University of Gothenburg), and Kristina Elfhag–plus Tomas Björkman (organizer, Ekskäret Foundation) who took the picture.

Christian Welzel shared some very interesting facts about human development around the globe and explained how the data of the World Values Survey is collected and studied:

Thomas Jordan explained how ego-development is defined and how it is broken down into some aspects that can be measured and analyzed:


Merel from De Bildung Academie shared how a handful of university students decided to change the Dutch universities – and of that we forgot to take a picture, so here is De Bildung Academie’s Manifesto instead.

Lene Rachel Andersen made a short presentation about how personal development as an individual is connected to the cultural development  of a society. No picture here either, but this topic will be thoroughly explored in The Nordic Secret.

Finally, Matilda Westerman who used to work at the Swedish Ministry of Education told us about education in Sweden:

The Market Myth – Tomas’ first book is out

Tomas just published his first book: The Market Myth.

He used to be an investment banker and finds it important to share his knowledge about how our democracies could design much smarter free markets if we wanted to.

If you are curious, you should get your own copy of the book:

Here are some pictures from the book release in Stockholm on January 30th:

Scientific roundtable in Leiden

Our network of Bildung people is constantly expanding, and this time we met 16 people in Leiden, the Netherlands – and we were so busy we forgot to get a good picture of everybody.

Participating were: Professor of science communication Jos van den Broek, Professor of philosophy  Paul Cobben, Ph.D. of philosophy Arthur Kok, Dr. didactics and the arts Jeroen Lutters, Professor of sociology Jo Moran-Ellis, Lecturer adult education Ginie Servant, Ph.D. philosophy Ad Verbrugge, and Merel van Geel, Kyra Mensink, Marijn Moerman, Eugene Sutorius, Michiel Tolman, and Koen Wessels, all from De Bildung Academie.

Three major themes were discussed:

  • De Bildung Academie in Amsterdam; six participants were from the Bildung Academy, and we learned a lot about
    • why and how they started,
    • how it works together with the established university system,
    • what the purpose is,
    • how they plan to spread their concept to other universities
  • Can we move on with Bildung in academic circles?
    • We need more multidisciplinary research about “what is Bildung?”
    • We also need more Bildung for the students in the academic system – which is why De Bildung Academy is such an interesting initiative
  • Can we make a Bildung movement?
    • De Bildung Academy is already a movement and they want to spread their concept to universities all over Europe
    • We would like to build a more “political” movement raising awareness about Bildung in society at large
    • Ginie Servant shared her experiences from working with Paulo Freire‘s methods in Zimbabwe; we found that this was a path worth exploring in order to give a voice to all parts of our own societies.

We did not discuss The Nordic Secret as such but will be following up on people’s comments before we host the next roundtable in Stockholm in March.

After the roundtable, we had an exquisite dinner at Het Prentenkabinet (six of us stayed for cognacs and embarked on some very, very deep philosophical discussions about the future of Europe and Bildung).

/ Lene & Tomas

PS: We don’t know who the men in the painting are or were or what they are talking about, but there is something moving about continuing a conversation that has been going on and branched out in a multitude of directions in the same place since 1575.