Visiting Herder’s Riga

Friday April 13th, I (Lene) spoke about the future at an event organized by the Latvian Ministry of Transportation.

Arriving Thursday, I used the opportunity to explore Herder’s Riga; this is where he wrote his early books, among them the one about Thomas Abbt, and where he became a Freemason.

I found one bust, the cathedral where Herder used to work and an insignificant square named Herder Square.

I forgot to take a selfie, sorry about that, but I can tell you this much: it was one of the very earliest days of spring, Riga has some really good restaurants, and their traditional dessert made from boiled rye bread and topped with whipped cream was a culinary experience I had not seen coming.

The Cathedral in Riga where Herder used to work

The organ is from the 1880s but the pulpit may actually have been there in the late 1760s when Herder was a young pastor at the cathedral and worked as a teacher at its high-school.

Rye Bread Dessert

There is a Danish porridge also made from boiled rye bread “øllebrød,” which means “beer bread” since the bread is boiled in sweet beer; I don’t know if this Latvian dessert was also made with beer, it definitely had fruit in it for sweetness. It was a taste of childhood, since I have not had øllebrød since I was around 8 years old.

Maybe øllebrød is the common Baltic denominator?

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

Tickets

You may buy your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-nordic-secret-a-european-story-of-beauty-and-freedom-tickets-42977922122

 

Moderator

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: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/t-magazine/travel/bornholm-island-denmark-travel.html

– 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: