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.

Feedback coming in

We’ve got around 90 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States reading the first draft now and the comments are coming in.

Main trends: we have hit a nerve, we need to expand on the current development in the Nordics and what the Bildung situation is today, and we need to check up on some historical facts; two historians have found mistakes (but have not noted where(!)) so we’ll have to improve on that.

First Draft is Ready

The printer just sent us 100 copies of our first draft and we are now sending them to the experts in our network.

We are very satisfied with the book (and ourselves) but we also know that we bring together knowledge from a number of fields where we do not have our academic expertise. We are thus looking very much forward to feedback from those who do and hope that they will enjoy reading the book over the holidays.