Between Christmas reflection and the Future expectation

Days go and gets to year. The year running out and become points and stop in a period. Societies are built and old demolished. Today is yesterday already tomorrow. The wind of change is on-going and the past will never return.

The past sixty years have been good for humans in general, despite all the wars, crises, natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics and general misery. We live in individual decade and it’s good. For the first time in several thousand years, I get a chance to be seen and treated as the great I am, a human. The right to happiness and fulfilment is becoming increasingly obvious. Educational opportunities will help us to develop our personalities, but it’s primarily as a group – a community – we survive as a human being and not as an individual.

In recent decades, increased social imbalances, environmental disasters and abuse of power, combined with the digital revolution and globalization leads to thought and reflection. How sustainable is our current practice anyway? Resolutions, strategies and plans seems to no longer provide the return we expect it to give Although more and more nations become democratic succeed we do not reverse the growing imbalances. In the U S 1,6 million children is homeless. The ecological imbalance has reached a global, existential levels and social imbalances spreads with the storm’s speed to countries that previously appeared welfare model’s cradle. Politics and power are about to be separated. Our democratic government, according to traditional Western model, based essentially on the same old hierarchical power structures that the earlier religious and political elite system. Remain earth human plane, or are we already on the trail that continually leads to human species extinction?

Our survival will depend on whether we manage to save on the fly, to quickly return to a state where we are primarily human. What is human natural life? What do our ancestral genes of how we really should live? How would a human life in this case look like today?

The human, as a species, characterized by genetically inherited aptitude for monogamy, solidarity, equality, spiritual colored art, movement, dance, singing, laziness and conflict resolution through dialogue and not through violence. Group cohesion was the key to our survival. We are born on solidarity, we worked together and shared with us, we did not compete and we showed no aggression. Modern human became modern by converse and having fun, and because we were nice to each other and learned that, with a thousand different means resolving conflicts. They who dancing, stick together, they who stick together survival easier.

Humans are not made to live in hierarchies; we will work best if we get to decide for themselves in interaction and cooperation with others. Today’s problems and challenges are not the result of human nature. They are rooted in agriculture and civilization, the origin of religious and political power elites as a result. We need to have a lifestyle that allows us to bring our heritage to future generations and we know how such a life should look like. It’s about living as a human being. Our strongest drive is to belong, to get respect and credit for the unique creature right I am. Alienation kills human heart.

How can we encourage interaction between people, organization and locations from the small local ”village” to the big world?  An interaction based on the unique, subjective, and not the least common similarity. How can we strengthen group cohesion and build an increasingly dense network of community? Extending the current group to not only apply to our little “we”, our family, our friends, our closest with a common value and morality.

How do we go from listening to responding, to listen to understand? To drink in the words and let them embrace me, touch me. Participation and dialogue presupposes that we are ready for something to change. Our inherited genes have given us the tools, it is high time to start using them. It’s about interpersonal relationships in a community without masters or servants. It’s about a global “we” far beyond the last centuries, hierarchical models and political ideologies rooted in an inhuman time. It is about human survival and we are the ones who decide what the future will be designed. We must reclaim the community in the small and close and in the large and global. Only we can do it, none other than ourselves, the human on earth.

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Civility Lost and Found – Just Released!

Just released, worthy of a solid read

Every society faces the challenge of behaviour by its members that frustrates
its purpose and hinders it from flourishing“- Philip F Esler-Chief Executive, The Arts and Humanities Research Council

Has Britain become an uncivil society? Civility Lost and Found argues that incivility has become common, whether in the behaviour of tv and radio presenters, revellers out on a Saturday night or drunks on airplanes, and that few issues matter as much to the public.

Civility Lost and Found looks at the nature of civility in British society and, through a mix of research and contributions from a number of eminent people addresses what we mean by civility and looks at what can be done now to cultivate a more civil society. Published by the Young Foundation with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) it points to a wide range of actions that could help to make Britain a more civil society, all of which build on projects already underway

Full PDF :

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Declarations and Social Innovation

I always get nervous when declarations are made. Over two days in the middle of September, 2011 in Vienna a “Vienna Declaration” was made determining “the most needed social innovations and related research topics”

Maybe it is the way it has been written as a declaration but I’m left uncomfortable. When you read within the declaration document:

the ‘deliberations’ took place on what could be done to strengthen the social sciences capacity to play a prolific role in conceptualising and research of social innovation, and thus favour desirable development of the globalised knowledge society. This led to the idea of a Vienna Declaration that should identify critical areas of social and scientific development, and state a number of equally important corresponding research topics

The rationale behind the declaration states the Vienna Declaration is the first and immediate Core Deliverable of the Conference, created and established during the conference by joint efforts of all participants.

This makes me even more nervous, those that went decided to make a ‘universal’ declaration but OK, I can’t fully comment as it is difficult to see the whole context for this meeting. it remains unclear if it has a pivotal role or not within SIE in Europe, on behalf of the EU, on behalf of society within the EU? I’m left really not sure.

The declaration rationale then went onto stating:

The topics selected and prioritised do not represent the completion of the process of determining the most needed social innovations and the corresponding research issues. In fact the whole operation was built on being courageous enough to start the process of getting there, while at the same time remaining modest enough to know that this is just a beginning. It is perceived and shall be read, commented, and considered as the starting point in further clarification, specification, and operationalisation of important research topics social sciences shall deal with in an attempt to support processes of identification, development and implementation of the most needed social innovation of the 21st century. In addition, of course, social sciences also are requested to also study, analyse, and assess the societal impact of innovations in general, and of social innovations in particular

Finally the report suggests three main ways to build on the results achieved by the Challenge Social Innovation. (their wording)

  1. To collect questions, recommendations, comments of support and critical assessment alike, the first and unchanged result of the identification, wording and voting processes of the Vienna Declaration is published for discussion in an open forum at Any entry in this forum from 1st until 31st of Oct. 2011 will be recorded and analysed by the Steering Committee, (steering committee of the very people involved in the declaration?) feeding in to the revised and commented version of the Vienna Declaration in the first week of November.
  2. The revised version, taking into account suggestions and remarks to the initial version, will be broadly published and brought to personal attention of EC Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Ms. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, on Nov. 11th, 2011……..  At this stage of development it is neither possible to predict a certain impact in research and innovation support programmes, nor is there any guaranty that policy makers will really take into account proposed topics highlighted in the Vienna Declaration.
  3. The sensational high interest in Challenge Social Innovation – with 371 participants registered and many more who could not register any more because of extreme overbooking – together with high standards of presentations, discussions, and results delivered emphatically call for establishing further collaboration and community building. The European School of Social Innovation, formally based in Vienna, is conceived as an international Competence Network, reaching out to European and global scholars and institutions involved in social innovation research, academic education and vocational training. The proponents will organise a formal inaugural meeting later this year to establish the Board and other Organs of the Association, and to kick-off first concrete activities to become executed during  2012

This is a clear opening response to social need or is it?

It does sound like the conference was an overwhelming success for the participants. They are agenda setting, they are goal defining, they are research shaping. They are raising social innovation as a high sense of urgency to organize around. The question is for whom? For themselves to become an effective influencer independent of EU structure or an arm of the body set up to lead this?

They have adopted a set of research themes going forward made in response to major societal challenges  the Europe 2020 strategy sets measurable targets such as Employment of 75% of the workforce, investment of 3% of the EU GDP in Research, Development and Innovation (RDI), adapting to the challenges of Climate Change (20% less greenhouse gas emissions, 20% increase in energy efficiency, 20% of energy from renewable resources), reducing school drop-out rates below 10% and enabling 40% of age cohorts to complete third level Education, and reduce the number of people in or at risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion by 20 million.

I by the way have trouble with these strategies for Europe.

So far all I’ve seen does not tell me where we are coming from in regarding these measurable targets. Also I’m not clear how these strategies really does tackle real social problems of chronic health, promoting growth and well-being not only for, but also with the citizens, a stated objective of the initial social agenda documented by the European Commission. Where the citizens engaged in determining these? Does it offer effective ways or just more of the same ‘push’ of existing policies? These measurable results, have they been challenged, debated or discussed- I might have missed that.

This declaration leaves me concerned. Let me explain why

The explanation, I felt actually was very dismissive, as captured in the declaration:

“To aim at such specified targets involves the determination of a multiplicity of objectives and the need to co-ordinate scientific as well as practical activities in the wide domains of employment, RDI, climate change, education, and social inclusion. What is required here is only to a limited degree further development of business innovations and new technologies”. (my bold emphasis)

The declaration went on…..

The most urgent and important innovations in the 21st century will take place in the social field. This opens up the necessity as well as possibilities for social sciences to find new roles and relevance (my bold again)  by generating knowledge applicable to new dynamics and structures of contemporary and future societies”

In the present way this document is written it seems to have a narrow agenda where social science is seeking out its new role and relevance but what I found constantly missing was the social good that it will deliver?

For me social innovation needs scope, scale and impact in all we focus upon, otherwise it will not ‘shift the gauge‘ on social issues needing urgent action.

Is this socially reflective enough?

I’m just worried that the momentum behind this declaration is not as well thought through, balanced out, social inclusive, socially reflective enough.

If the wording is right “What is required here is only to a limited degree further development of business innovation and new technologies” then social innovation may never get off the ground. This cannot be right surely?

I still subscribe to the barriers that were identified in a document dated May 2010 entitled “Empowering people, driving change: social innovation in the European union”

It stated:

Social innovation is a risk-taking operation that requires imagination, perseverance and confidence to develop a creative idea of a product or service, and then implement a participative process and establish strong partnerships for its implementation and subsequent scaling-up. Social innovators are confronted with barriers that are often linked to an incompatible audit or regulatory culture.

Reviews and evaluations of EU programmes managed by the Commission have highlighted a number of obstacles to the development and mainstreaming of social innovations, including the traditional risk-averse and cautious organisational cultures of administrations, closed systems which favour single-issue solutions developed within clusters of organisations lacking mutual awareness, communication, networking and trust, fragmented capacities (resources, infrastructures and intermediaries) and skills (training, design tools, monitoring, validation and evaluation) preventing the development of a rich ‘eco-system’ for enabling social innovations, and insufficient stable, seamless and sustainable funding throughout all stages of the innovation cycle”

I must be missing something here– maybe social innovation inclusion

I seem to be reading another message with the Vienna Declaration from the above EU document. I’m certainly having a hard time to equate to this declaration. For me it needs an awful lot more contextual work and linking it back to all the social validation that has gone on before it needs to take place. Maybe I’m just reading this declaration wrong. Maybe I’ve missed some critical steps on how we got here.

I do get nervous on declarations, a lack of contextual background and timelines that allow for little constructive response. The implementation of any declaration is within the details and this misses much for me as it presently stands, not in their enthusiasm but in relationship to what has been developed before this declaration, in policy outlines and direction of social concepts.

Declarations can be noble but the wider community needs fully engaging for any implementation otherwise it becomes, in this case just a further body of academic suggestions that might miss the real mark.

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Social Innovation- which is closest to your definition?

In a recent paper by Andrea Bassi claims:

“the term, Social Innovation, is currently riding the waves of success in the social sciences, particularly in Economics, Sociology, and Political Science; so much so that in recent years research centers, think tanks, journals, and foundations have been created in order to support the phenomenon. This is much due to the fact that it has also become the rallying cry of many Western political administrations”.

The article goes on to comment:

“Due to its multi-disciplinary approach, it is not surprising that there is a vast array of
definitions tied to Social Innovation; some of which are complementary and others not”….

“We have deemed to be the most significative and pertinent in all of the respective fields. We have categorized them in three definitions: systematic, pragmatic, and managerial”.

Which do you think meets your thinking about Social Innovation?

  • Social innovation is a complex process of introducing new products, processes or programs that profoundly change the basic routines, resource and authority flows, or beliefs of the social system in which the innovation occurs. Such successful social innovations have durability and broad impact.
  • Social innovation refers to innovative activities and services that are motivated by the goal of meeting a social need and that are predominantly diffused through organizations whose primary purposes are social.
  • A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.

Do any of these work for you?

For me I tried to offer some thoughts recently and offer these as my contribution because I feel you have to define the different aspects first:

Society -the group, the organized community, the common point (hopefully) of our aims and interests or at least the defining one that seperates us.

Societal innovation is broad areas or themes that collectively we gather around. It is the point where we start asking and finding innovative ways forward to the bigger challenges within our society.

Social innovation– as a definition is really beginning to refer to innovations being sought and worked upon in the social sector — in other words, innovation applied to social, health and environmental problems, as opposed to business innovation.

Each has at its core the need of community and recognizing the challenges that make up our ‘need’ for society to function for the betterment of all and that requires innovation to draw out ideas and contributions to help many struggling on the margins with one or more issues that they need help with.

I’d like to hear your thoughts or suggestions?

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Just announced Social targets for the EU by 2020

See below for the EU social targets for 2020. Can social innovators make it happen? Can we do better?

Any thoughts or reactions to these- to0 little, to late? Do these really address the REAL societal problems we are facing? I feel they don’t, just poor compromise so all nations and fractions can sign on.

For me, really disappointing, it is a bit like stating we are aiming to go half way to the moon, where is the real commitment to make these central to what we need to do? A set of commitments that make you realize you just have to get involved?

1. Employment

  • 75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed

2. R&D / innovation

  • 3% of the EU’s GDP (public and private combined) to be invested in R&D/innovation

3. Climate change / energy

  • greenhouse gas emissions 20% (or even 30%, if the conditions are right) lower than 1990
  • 20% of energy from renewables
  • 20% increase in energy efficiency

4. Education

  • Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%
  • at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education

5. Poverty / social exclusion

  • at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion


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Eudaimonia -human flourishing.

I have been watching the BIF sessions live ( . This is a sensational place to listen to peoples stories and simply stand back and get inspired.

One word is coming up often- “Eudaimonia”. So I went over to Wikipedia to take a look after one person at BIF said it is “life well lived” and “we learnt through practicial wisdom”

It is looking to make us happy and I felt this was worth sharing here- societal innovation needs this human flourishing. Think about this, it sounds something right for the moment.

Wikipedia had these explainations:

Eudaimonia or eudaemonia (Ancient Greek: εὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯monía]), sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia (play /juːdɨˈmniə/), is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate translation

Eudaimonia depends on all the things that would make us happy if we knew of their existence, but quite independently of whether we do know about them.

Ascribing eudaimonia to a person, then, may include ascribing such things as being virtuous, being loved and having good friends. But these are all objective judgments about someone’s life: they concern a person’s really being virtuous, really being loved, and really having fine friends. This implies that a person who has evil sons and daughters will not be judged to be eudaimonic even if he or she does not know that they are evil and feels pleased and contented with the way they have turned out (happy).

Conversely, being loved by your children would not count towards your happiness if you did not know that they loved you (and perhaps thought that they did not), but it would count towards your eudaimonia.

So eudaimonia corresponds to the idea of having an objectively good or desirable life, to some extent independently of whether one knows that certain things exist or not. It includes conscious experiences of well being, success, and failure, but also a whole lot more. (See Aristotle’s discussion: Nicomachean Ethics, book 1.10–1.11.)

So for us in Society?

Where does this fit for us all? A life ‘well lived’ is what everyone should have, learnt not through suffering and pain, but in having the chance to contribute, to be valued, to make a contribution. To allow people to flourish, let them be aware of their value and worth


Umair Haque made reference to this and offered this as a thought- a life well lived, about people and not stuff and people living lives that matter -he suggests a time for a quantum leap

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The Age of Innonatives

In this blog post I want to share with you some interesting thoughts from the recently finished Aalto Camp for Societal Innovations. During the last days of August Dipoli congress center in Espoo was the place where magic happened, brilliant ideas were flying through the air like sparks, fruitful discussions were led and participants found out what they were capable of when they did only a single step outside of their comfort zones. The number of AHAs (the sounds of sudden clarity and realization) will never be known.

So you may ask yourselves who were the participants? Well, there were students and there were retired people, there were artist and university professors, Finns and international participants. Despite their differences they shared a desire to get together and contribute to the ever-growing need for societal change. One of the ways for stimulating creativity and innovation is to set up the right environment and atmosphere, in this case the formation of self-organizing teams which were allowed to challenge basically everything, from assigned case problems, existing solutions to suitable group dynamic and communication. A combination of the above mentioned, ability to think out of the box and hope that change is possible made way for new models for work-based learning to be created (P.A.W.) or the realization that the driving force in future development of Kotka should be its citizens.

I would like to think that the ability to innovate doesn’t lie solely within a limited number of gifted individuals, rather than with each person. For decades life experience had thought people that it is acceptable to choose secure and financially stable lives over challenging the status quo, taking risks and innovating. Recent years brought a shift in the paradigm as the previous “non-innovators” can no longer be the ones waiting for the change to happen, they have to start it and live it. Rapid population growth, fast technology progress and slow economic recovery only emphasize the need for a mindset change. During ACSI my team members, Niina Gromov and Heikki Hallantie, coined the term Innonatives, short for innovation natives. This I would use to describe the generation born in these turbulent times where questioning everything is more than welcome, new ideas are encouraged and innovating is a daily routine. The only thing that is stable is change.  Innonatives remember the past, live in the present and think of the future. Their increased ability for fast information processing, critical thinking and connecting seemingly conflicting things will make them leaders of tomorrow.

Thank you for reading, I would be glad to hear your comments. To see who the author of this post is visit

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MOOC: A Massive Open Online Course – Societal Innovation in Education?

On the 12th of September the MOOC  (a massive open on line open course) begins. Participation is free, there is no specific syllabus and participants in the course decide when, how, what, and why the want to learn.  This particular MOOC is about education, learning, and technology and asks (among many other questions) the question ‘how does learning change when formal boundaries are reduced?’

Last month in Espoo Finland the Aalto Camp for Societal Innovation was an example of how people co-operating and co-creating can encourage thinking around the challenges of the future and societal change, we believe that this blog offers these possibilities too, and activities like the give further examples of opportunity for Societal Innovation.

To draw on the ideas of  Fred Garnett  we really have moved into an era of post-institutional learning.

The MOOC course “Education, Learning, and Technology”  outline reads as follows (and is produced in full here).

“Being connected changes learning. When those connections are global, the experience of knowledge development is dramatically altered as well. Over the past four years, a growing number of educators have started experimenting with the teaching and learning process in order to answer critical questions: “How does learning change when formal boundaries are reduced? What is the future of learning? What role with educators play in this future? What types of institutions does society need to respond to hyper-growth of knowledge and rapid dissemination of information? How do the roles of learners and educators change when knowledge is ubiquitous?”

…This is an unusual course. It does not consist of a body of content you are supposed to remember. Rather, the learning in the course results from the activities you undertake, and will be different for each person.

In addition, this course is not conducted in a single place or environment. It is distributed across the web. We will provide some facilities. But we expect your activities to take place all over the internet. We will ask you to visit other people’s web pages, and even to create some of your own.

This type of course is called a ‘connectivist’ course and is based on four major types of activity:

1. Aggregate

We will give you access to a wide variety of things to read, watch or play with. There will be a LOT of content associated with this course, everything from relatively basic instruction to arguments and discussions to high-level interviews with experts in the field.

Every day you will receive an edition of ‘The Daily’, which will highlight some of this content. Normally it will arrive first thing in the morning (if you are in North or South America), but not always. The Daily is created fresh each day – it is not prepared content. So delivery may vary

You are NOT expected to read and watch everything. Even we, the facilitators, cannot do that. Instead, what you should do is PICK AND CHOOSE content that looks interesting to you and is appropriate for you. If it looks too complicated, don’t read it. If it looks boring, move on to the next item.

2. Remix

Once you’ve read or watched or listened to some content, your next step is to keep track of that somewhere. How you do this will be up to you.

You can keep a document on your own computer listing all the things you’ve accessed. Or, better yet, you can keep a record online somewhere. That way you will be able to share your content with other people.

3. Repurpose

We don’t want you simply to repeat what other people have said. We want you to create something of your own. This is probably the hardest part of the process.

Remember that you are not starting from scratch. Nobody every creates something from nothing. That’s why we call this section ‘repurpose’ instead of ‘create’. We want to emphasize that you are working with materials, that you are not starting from scratch.

What materials? Why, the materials you have aggregated and remixed online. These materials are the bricks and mortar you can use to compose your own thoughts and understanding of the material.

What thoughts? What understanding? Well – that is the subject of this course. This whole course will be about how to read or watch, understand, and work with the content other people create, and how to create your own new understanding and knowledge out of them.

In a sense, the we will describe in this course are the TOOLS you will use to create your own content.

Your job isn’t to memorize a whole bunch of stuff about the tools. Rather, your job is to USE THE TOOLS and just practice with them. We will show you the tool, give examples, use the tools ourselves, and talk about them in depth. You watch what we do, then practice using them yourself.

Think of every bit of content you create not simply as content, but as practice using the tool. The content almost doesn’t even matter – what matters is that you apply the tool.

This will seem awkward at first, as any tool does. But with practice you’ll become an accomplished creator and critic of ideas and knowledge. And that is the purpose of this course!

4. Feed Forward

We want you to share your work with other people in the course, and with the world at large.

Now to be clear: you don’t have to share. You can work completely in private, not showing anything to anybody. Sharing is and will always be YOUR CHOICE.

And we know, sharing in public is harder. People can see your mistakes. People can see you try things you’re not comfortable with. It’s hard, and it’s sometimes embarrassing.

But it’s better. You’ll try harder. You’ll think more about what you’re doing. And you’ll get a greater reward – people will see what you’ve created and connect on it. Sometimes critically, but often (much more often) with support, help and praise.

People really appreciate it when you share. After all, what you’re doing when you share is to create material that other people can learn from. Your sharing creates more content for this course. People appreciate that, you will probably appreciate the content other people in the course share with you.

When a connectivist course is working really well, we see this great cycle of content and creativity begin to feed on itself, people in the course reading, collecting, creating and sharing. It’s a wonderful experience you won’t want to stop when the course is done.

And – because you can share anywhere – you won’t have to. This course can last as long as you want it to….”

Please do visit if you fancy learning more.

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The best of two worlds

Fairness is a difficult concept. Taste it and you know soon that it tastes very much different if you or I taking it in the mouth. Let me tell you about Sweden, freely recovered from a story by Troed Troedsson

150 years ago, Sweden was very much an unfairly, segregated and unequal society. It was obvious to all that the lad on the farm could never become a Master of Laws, that housemaid had much shorter life than the princess. Starvation and unbearable living conditions were not considered as injustice, but rather as a picture of how life was created. If you had bad luck in life, you could always hope to be compensated in the afterlife.

Ordinary people were in most cases at the mercy of the reasons of discretion and there was not very big opportunity for a fair and impartial arbitration in cases where they disagreed. Not even when the matter went to court seems to have been very fair by our standards.

In the early 1900s, it became a common perception that so it could not be. The distance between things is the desired state and their fair became larger and clearer. The struggle for fairness hardened and more and more excited by a stronger feeling that we could and should do something about this unfairness difference. An important starting point for the fight was that the vast majority of the people were at the mercy of a few privileged discretion. It was therefore also most solutions focus on how we could minimize arbitrariness. Now we stand on the steps of the welfare state and the modern welfare state. Solutions was about to go from a society that was built on subjectivity and thought for a society based on objectivity and set ground rules.

Collective bargaining agreements and various laws merely unfairness employers the right to exploit and manage people badly. Other laws and norms restricted landowners’ ability to be unfairness or limited entrepreneurs opportunities to cheat their customers. That was Act into law, rule, the rule to protect us against injustice. Laws should protect us from environmental marauders, terrorists traffic, noisy pubs, favoritism, unfair treatment in the courts or unfairly living near oceans and lakes.

We chose the well-being project euphoric dream of the perfect idyllic society to fight unfairness values ​​by removing the space for the values ​​at all. From the very difficult discussion of what is fair and unfairly we got into it much more manageable on what is alike and different. Fair and unfairly is always subjective assessments, equal and different, however, possible to determine objectively reasonable.

In Sweden we have just enjoyed crayfish premiere and perhaps we buy a little less crayfish than we would like to stop in us, simply because they are so ungodly expensive. This can be solved in two ways. The first is the Swedish way from the beginning of the 1800s. Father decides autocratic who should have what. It opens the way for the fair. Those who are hungry, who like most crayfish, the person helping with the dishes, the one that nags at least or something else. If we in the family around the table also agree to our values​​, we will have the same perception of what is fair – all taken into account. The solution provides the other hand also the possibility of extreme injustice. Housefataher can take all the crayfish themselves or to give the most to the one he likes best. Let us call the solution to the perceived solution and it gives as I said it that determines the possibility of both fairness and injustice.

The second is the Swedish welfare model. We weigh the force and given all opposite part. This in and of itself that little Vera get as much as the big strong Gustaf. This we could solve by a rule that says you get crayfish in the same proportion that corresponds to body weight and may also add factors in the distribution model for how much you like crabs or not. The rules will never be perfect, we will always be factors that are not included in the formula – but which we think should be there. If little Vera drops two crayfish on the ground, it is perhaps reasonable that she gets two new, but if Gustaf does the same thing should bear the consequences of his mess himself? This solution we call the objective and the means that the issue of fairness and unfair goes to those who write the rules, not those who benefit the crayfish.

The Swedish welfare model, a model for much of the world, slipping slowly but consistently increasing over the latter solution. Unbiased reviews of school, objective grounds for waterfront development, objective decision-making system for procurement in the municipalities, objective dismissal rules and objective environmental regulations, traffic rules, rules for international trade and rules of exploitation of or against labor, children, women or the natural resources of the Third World. In area after area replacing people’s ability to subjectivity – and therefore to both fairness and unfair – with the objective structures that will ensure that issues are dealt with equally, whether it is perceived as fair or unfair. We created the objectivity of society. A society where the very question of fairness or unfairness completely overshadowed by the issue of equal or different. People in an objective world will probably object and less and less important in the perfect society, where someone else decides what is equal.

Thus leading objective basis with clear demarcations of missions and roles for staff and politicians who at first did not want to, and eventually cannot see beyond their own everyday little annoyances. Anyone who wants to expand its field of work and therefore do their part of the whole greater must reformulate the problems of larger scale and become more subjective, thus working with values ​​instead of control. Anyone who wants to be less myopic and thus solve the problems that are more extensive needs to become more subjective, that is, working with values​​, and expand the area within which it operates, thus redefining its part of the whole. Anyone who wants to get better at basic values ​​and valuation work needs to blow up the boundaries of what is perceived by its own operations and develop the capacity for visionary and astute observance of the things that are much further away than we are accustomed.

Society is like life – in an ongoing journey. The journey has been long and permits and the form has probably been worn and has lost some of its freshness and luster. On the trip the way, people have become independent, critical questioning individuals who yearn for that – as the subjective individuals they are – the very basis of their highly subjective values ​​determine what is best for me.

In a thesis in 2010 found that our older people lose their identity when they end up in geriatric care. When we are born, we are quite similar. Since we spend our whole life to develop our own personalities. But when we get old and need care is expected to once again have the same needs.

Research shows that although the business believe that the old should have influence over their lives – it is rarely so in practice. Instead, the routines of elderly care that govern everyday life. The old lose part of their identity. Many believe that the man becomes a social security number on the way to the end station. It is a humiliation and an aggression and smoldering just beneath the surface of many elderly. Policy believe that new tax-funded money to local governments and new rules for what is fair care to calm the emotions. Instead of allowing a greater degree of subjectivity in the welfare model, that is, evaluative and liked people.

Objectivity Society disadvantages become more apparent the more individuals to develop as individuals and can only be combated with a retention of the right to be just an evaluative and thought man, being a subject – one that is subjective.

Condition for a sustainable society is minimal social divisions, where all the opportunity to develop and grow based on its highly subjective points of view. We need standards and rules that eliminate arbitrariness and unequal conditions, so in that respect I share the view of a more equitable distribution of growth and prosperity. 1800’s discretion is not the way to go. Neither 1900’s objective of universal welfare model is the solution. So we must look ahead and combine the best of both worlds, subjective fairness with objective equality.

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A call for a return to fairness

“We value effort, hard work, diligence, conscientiousness, and application; we do not value free-riders, shirkers, the slapdash, those who do the minimum or jobsworths “,  writes Will Hutton  in his latest book “Them and Us – Changing Britain – Why we need a Fair Society” in a straight-talking  description which sums up what very few people could responsibly disagree.

One of the key themes of his book is a call for fairness at all levels of Society, at the top and the bottom – applicable, in my view to both to looters on a smash and grab raid, to bankers approaching their work as if it was a casino.

As a careers professional I am constantly searching for analysis of our Society, trying to make sense of the economic and social issues that will directly impact the opportunities that the people I advise are faced with on a daily basis.   There is no doubt that the challenges that individuals face are so much more that when I graduated 20 years ago – when I applied for one slightly quirky job that suited me well (that’s another story) and got it.

As Chief Executive of the Work Foundation, an organisation tasked to analyse the big issues around Work, Will Hutton is someone I always sit up and listen to, as I feel the issues he addresses directly impact my own professional practice.

Some key ideas struck me from his book which I thought I’d share in this blogpost. Firstly, his argument for a return to fairness, secondly his vigorous support for innovation and enterprise as a way for the British economy to grow, thirdly, his analysis of poor social mobility and how this is bad for UK PLC’s human capital, and lastly some ideas for how to make radical changes to enhance fairness, innovation and human capital.

Why fairness matters?

With regard to fairness, he talks about “due deserts”. He rejects shallow notions of luck that allow people to be successful, quoting a truism in the words of the golfer Gary Player:  “It’s a funny thing: the more I practise, the luckier I get.” He also refers to Malcolm Gladwell ‘s work, in which Gladwell tried to quantify what kind of effort is required for success, using 10,000 hours as the total of hours work required for an elite musical performer but generalising from that figure for other fields of expertise too.

Currently, our Society is witnessing inter-generational “unfairness”; specifically the rather blessed baby boomers who enjoyed free higher education and multiple property booms without having done anything to “deserve” it in contrast to the current younger generation who face large debt to go to University and without considerable family back-up property-ownership is a pipe-dream.

Hutton’s view is that we have too often as a nation taken short cuts rather than put in the effort that is required to get long-lasting success. The recent collapse of the banking system epitomised how financial services took too many short cuts and also failed to adequately invest in the innovation and enterprise required for the long term success of our nation.

How can the UK cultivate innovation in our economy?

What we need if we are really to create sustainable job growth is to construct a British innovation ecosystem which will support private wealth generation for all. Hutton quotes Bill Gates senior in demonstrating that a successful ecosystem for innovation requires a strong relationship between how the State functions and how business and enterprise functions.

“Success is a product of having been born here in this country (the US), a place where education and research are subsidised , where there is an orderly market, where the private sector reaps enormous benefit s from public investment. For someone to assert t that he or she has grown wealthy in America without the benefit of substantial public investment is pure hubris.”

The jobs of the future will certainly be knowledge-based and the human capital required to do them will need a strong social soil to flourish.  Fastfuture’s report for BiS (2010) envisions jobs and industries that could exist in the UK if the environment was right:  manufacturers will make living body parts for transplant and nano-doctors will prescribe and implant molecular scale treatments; food production will be boosted by pharmers who will create genetically modified crops with health benefits; vertical farmers will grow food in city skyscrapers; intelligent avatars will teach our students; personal branders will help people to present themselves on social networking sites; space transport jobs, servicing pensioners’ care and leisure needs.

Is Britain up to the job?

Hutton is concerned about whether our “human capital” in Britain is up to the job.

He describes the growing differences between people in Society. 10 million British adults earn less than 15K a year and close to 3 million are workless and not even offering themselves for employment. Success is largely pre-determined by to whom and where you were born. There is a tendency for “gleeful condemnation of the poor as sponging chavs who deserve their hardship” masking the brute reality of a poor that increasingly locked into this condition. In contrast only 7% of British children are privately educated and 75% of judges, 70% of finance directors, 45% of top civil servants, 32% of MPs have been independently schooled.

This analysis is nothing new, The Spirit Level, (which was quoted by both politicians on the right and left), compared social mobility in UK to other developed countries. The comparison wasn’t favourable!

Some big ideas to challenge the status quo

Hutton throws some interesting ideas into the mix, from economist Ton Wilthagen and educationalist Howard Gardner.

In an over-arching critique of current practices in our labour market, Dutch economist Ton Wilthagen invented idea of “flexicurity”. His starting point is that modern firms need ever more contractual flexibility to operate in a fast-changing economic environment. He proposes outlawing redundancy payments but at the same time suggests using the cash saved from redundancy to make better individualised training schemes for staff etc. to improve up skilling and reduce the risks of unemployment. In addition he recommends raising initial early months payment in unemployment benefits so the result of unemployment is less calamitous.

Wilthagen also argues that getting people off to the right start in life is critical and that the State should be employer of last resort – guaranteeing six months of work for 18-24 year olds.

Howard Gardner’ s work challenges whether our education system is fit for the purpose – arguing traditional conception of education is far too constraining in a sense preparing young people to be a traditional “staff member” rather than having the ability to be an innovative and flexible thinker which is required for jobs of the future.

Gardner argues for 5 distinct sets of mental capabilities that are necessary for future progress. The disciplined mind which can work through subject matter  in any discipline to uncover essential laws, truths or insights by a systematic disciplined process; the creative mind; the synthesising mind which can marshal disparate information; the respectful mind which understands diversity; and the ethical mind which accepts mutual responsibility/reciprocity.

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