Book presentation in Copenhagen

Our launch party was quite the blast! Wonderful people participated, excellent food and drinks, and a really great location: the old COOP warehouse in Copenhagen. The event was kindly sponsored by COOP; thank you so much for making this launch extra special!

You can watch our presentation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nordicsecret/videos/1260897714016317/ and soon we’ll have an edited version here on the site as well.

Lene and Tomas forgot to take pictures, and the guests just took pictures of them, not of each other, so we have no pictures of the people participating–shame on us! Many thanks to Jens Østergaard and Teddy Hebo Larsen for the photos on this page.

 

Flemming Jørgensen from COOP who sponsored the event–and Lene.

Lene and Tomas

Lene, Schiller, Frederik IV, a progressive duke and the king’s progressive sister.

 

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Market-Myth-Tomas-Bj%C3%B6rkman/dp/9187935635/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489336435&sr=8-1&keywords=tomas+bj%C3%B6rkman

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

Visiting Weimar and Jena

If there is any one place that plays a crucial role in the development of freedom, emancipation and Bildung in Europe in the decades around 1800, it is the small Duchy of Weimar and Jena under the young Duke Karl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach and his mother Duchess Anna Amalia von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

Tomas, our friend Karin and I went to Jena and Weimar for a couple of days in order to walk in the footsteps of Wieland, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Humboldt, Hegel, Fichte, and so many other great minds.

Jena from above, a map of the old center of town and yours truly.

The tourist book told us that in Jena, Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt lived just ten steps from one another. We simply had to check; the houses are not the original but the distance is right:

Ten Steps

In 1806, Napoleon conquered Weimar and Jena; the battle field was between the two cities and Tomas mansplained Napoleon’s winning tactics so well to Karin and me:

What’s left of Napoleon between Weimar and Jena:

 

In Weimar we went to the Schiller House and Goethe’s mansion.

Schiller’s bedroom in Weimar.

 

 

Goethe’s study in Weimar.

And two tourists posing at the feet of Goethe and Schiller (people were better dressed 200 years ago):

 

 

Ekskäret – the Amazing Island

Tomas owns an island. Which is pretty cool. It is in the Stockholm archipelago, it is called Ekskäret, and the REALLY cool thing about it is that he has built a small conference center on it where he invites all kinds of interesting and knowledgable people.

My first visit to Ekskäret was the summer of 2012 when there were no activities out there for a couple of days and we could just hang out in the awesome nature and talk about grand issues:

This video is in Swedish but enjoy the view:

When we first met

Tomas and I met in Stockholm in November 2011 at a meeting at the Fri Tanke Tankesmedja / Freethinking Think Tank, which is a part of Fri Tanke Förlag / Freethinking Publishing, a publishing company Tomas co-owns with two others.

Our first real meeting was in Spring 2012 in London, when we went out to dinner and ended up talking until 4 o’clock in the morning – the picture above was taken minutes before we went out.

Tomas lives in London and I was there for a Jewish youth conference (not that I am that young, but I was responsible for the youth activities in the Jewish community in Copenhagen at the time).  Later the same summer, I borrowed Tomas’ apartment when I went to London in order to interview Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks. (Article in Danish.)

One of the people and whose work Tomas and I talked about much of that first eventing together, was just Jonathan Sacks, not least his encounters with Richard Dawkins. We are both great Sacks fans and if you don’t know him or his work, his books can be highly recommended! We suggest these two to begin with:

jonathan sacks The-Home-We-Build-Together  jonathan sacks - great partnership