robertogreco + sweden   118

Joy [Still Processing] - The New York Times
"Inspired by Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” we decide to KonMari Wesley’s Brooklyn apartment. We ask ourselves what sparks joy in our lives and examine whether Marie Kondo’s philosophy extends into the metaphysical realm.

Discussed this week:

“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” (Netflix, 2019) https://www.netflix.com/title/80209379

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” (Marie Kondo, 2014) https://konmari.com/products/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up

“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter” (Margareta Magnusson, 2017) https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Gentle-Art-of-Swedish-Death-Cleaning/Margareta-Magnusson/9781501173240 "
jennawortham  wesleymorris  mariekondo  legacy  2019  impermanence  konmarimethod  death  possessions  materialism  decluttering  mindfulness  scandinavia  clutter  tidying  organizing  sweden  cleaning  meaningmaking  joy  gratitude  life  living  self-awareness 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
Greta Thunberg full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference - YouTube
[See also:
https://grist.org/article/call-the-cops-this-swedish-teenager-just-wrecked-u-n-climate-negotiators/
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/16/world/greta-thunberg-cop24/index.html ]

"15 year old activist Greta Thunberg speaks truth to power at the UN COP24 climate talks:

"My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old. I am from Sweden.

I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now.

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn't matter what we do.

But I've learned you are never too small to make a difference.

And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.

You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don't care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.

Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything while there still was time to act.

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.

We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again.

We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time.

We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.

Thank you.""
gretathunberg  climatechange  2018  sustainability  youth  sweden  change  globalarming  activism  civilization  crisis  flight  action  money  corruption  anthropocene  goodancestors  resistance  science  climatescience  hope 
december 2018 by robertogreco
School strike for climate - save the world by changing the rules | Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm - YouTube
"Greta Thunberg realized at a young age the lapse in what several climate experts were saying and in the actions that were being taken in society. The difference was so drastic in her opinion that she decided to take matters into her own hands. Greta is a 15-year-old Stockholm native who lives at home with her parents and sister Beata. She’s a 9th grader in Stockholm who enjoys spending her spare time riding Icelandic horses, spending time with her families two dogs, Moses and Roxy. She love animals and has a passion for books and science. At a young age, she became interested in the environment and convinced her family to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community."
gretathunberg  climatechange  2018  sustainability  youth  autism  aspergers  sweden  change  globalarming  activism  extinction  massextinction  equity  climatejustice  inequality  infrastructure  interconnected  crisis  flight  action  money  corruption  anthropocene  goodancestors  resistance  science  climatescience  hope 
december 2018 by robertogreco
The Equality Trust | Working to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality
[See also:
(book) "The Spirit Level"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_Level_(book)
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better[1] is a book by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett,[2] published in 2009 by Allen Lane. The book is published in the US by Bloomsbury Press (December, 2009) with the new sub-title: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.[3] It was then published in a paperback second edition (United Kingdom) in November 2010 by Penguin Books with the subtitle, Why Equality is Better for Everyone.[4]

The book argues that there are "pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption".[5] It claims that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal countries, whether rich or poor.[1] The book contains graphs that are available online.[6]

In 2010, the authors published responses to questions about their analysis on the Equality Trust website.[7] As of September 2012, the book had sold more than 150,000 copies in English.[8] It is available in 23 foreign editions.

"The Spirit Level authors: why society is more unequal than ever"
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/09/society-unequal-the-spirit-level

[follow-up book] "The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing"
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/188607/the-inner-level/
Why is the incidence of mental illness in the UK twice that in Germany? Why are Americans three times more likely than the Dutch to develop gambling problems? Why is child well-being so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this groundbreaking study demonstrates, the answer to all these hinges on inequality.

In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to define and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount.

Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are innately competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of 'natural' differences in individual ability. This book sheds new light on many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.

"Does inequality cause suicide, drug abuse and mental illness?"
https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2018/06/14/does-inequality-cause-suicide-drug-abuse-and-mental-illness

"“The Inner Level” seeks to push that debate forward, by linking inequality to a crisis of mental health. This time the authors’ argument focuses on status anxiety: stress related to fears about individuals’ places in social hierarchies. Anxiety declines as incomes rise, they show, but is higher at all levels in more unequal countries—to the extent that the richest 10% of people in high-inequality countries are more socially anxious than all but the bottom 10% in low-inequality countries. Anxiety contributes to a variety of mental-health problems, including depression, narcissism and schizophrenia—rates of which are alarming in the West, the authors say, and rise with inequality.

Manifestations of mental illness, such as self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse and problem gambling, all seem to get worse with income dispersion, too. Such relationships seem to apply within countries as well as between them. Damaging drug use is higher in more unequal neighbourhoods of New York City, in more unequal American states and in more unequal countries. The authors emphasise that it is a person’s relative position rather than absolute income that matters most. A study of 30,000 Britons found that an individual’s place in the income hierarchy predicted the incidence of mental stress more accurately than absolute income did. And in America, relative income is more closely linked to depression than absolute income. It is not enough to lift all boats, their work suggests, if the poshest vessels are always buoyed up more than the humblest.

The fact that relative status matters so much is a result of human beings’ intrinsically social nature, Ms Pickett and Mr Wilkinson argue. Group interaction and co-operation have been an essential component of humanity’s evolutionary success; indeed, the authors say, its social nature helped drive the growth of human brains. Across primates, they write, the size of the neocortex—a part of the brain responsible for higher-level cognitive functions—varies with the typical group size of a species. Living in complex social groups is hard cognitive work. Survival requires an understanding of roles within the social hierarchy, and intuition of what others are thinking. Thus people are necessarily sensitive to their status within groups, and to social developments that threaten it.

Such hierarchies are found in all human societies. But as inequality rises, differences in status become harder to ignore. There is more to be gained or lost by moving from one rung on the ladder to another. And however much some maintain that disparities in pay-cheques do not correspond to differences in human worth, such well-meaning pieties feel hollow when high-rollers earn hundreds or thousands of times what ordinary folk take home. Money cannot buy everything, but it can buy most things. The steeper the income gradient, the less secure everyone becomes, in both their self-respect and their sense of the community’s esteem.

And so people compensate. They take pills, to steel their nerves or dull the pain. Some cut themselves. Some adopt a more submissive posture, avoiding contact with others. Yet such withdrawal can feed on itself, depriving recluses of the social interaction that is important to mental health, undermining relationships and careers and contributing to economic hardship.

Others respond in the opposite way, by behaving more aggressively and egotistically. Studies of narcissistic tendencies showed a steep increase between 1982 and 2006, the authors report; 30% more Americans displayed narcissistic characteristics at the end of the period than at the beginning. Scrutiny of successive American cohorts found a progressive rise in those listing wealth and fame as important goals (above fulfilment and community). Over time, more people cited money as the main motivation for attending college (rather than intellectual enrichment).

Domineering responses to anxiety are associated with loss of empathy and delusions of grandeur. Thus highly successful people often display narcissistic or even psychopathic behaviour. In surveys, the rich are generally less empathetic and more likely to think they deserve special treatment than others. Modern capitalism, the authors suggest, selects for assertiveness, for a lack of sentimentality in business and comfort in sacking underlings, and for showy displays of economic strength. From the top to the bottom of the income spectrum, people use conspicuous consumption and other means of enhancing their image to project status.

The least secure are often the most likely to exaggerate their qualities. For example, countries with lower average life-expectancy tend to do better on measures of self-reported health; 54% of Japanese say they are in good health compared with 80% of Americans, though the Japanese live five years longer on average. Whereas 70% of Swedes consider themselves to be above-average drivers, 90% of Americans do. Such figures cast declamations of America’s greatness, and the politicians who make them, in a new light."

"The Inner Level review – how more equal societies reduce stress and improve wellbeing"
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jun/20/the-inner-level-review ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmquJ7Ngvme/ ]
equality  inequality  society  trust  anxiety  well-being  stress  mentalhealth  uk  economics  community  socialmobility  class  education  drugs  drugabuse  health  violence  illness  consumption  hierarchy  horizontality  mentalillness  status  self-harm  gambling  depression  narcissism  schizophrenia  relativity  excess  cooperation  egotism  selfishness  empathy  dunning–krugereffect  greatness  politics  lifeexpectancy  japan  sweden  us  driving  capitalism  latecapitalism  fame  fulfillment  money  motivation  colleges  universities  exceptionalism  assertiveness  aggressiveness  richardwilkinson  katepickett  growth  erichfromm 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Hear the Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice | National Geographic - YouTube
"This small lake outside Stockholm, Sweden, emits otherworldly sounds as Mårten Ajne skates over its precariously thin, black ice. “Wild ice skating,” or “Nordic skating,” is both an art and a science. A skater seeks out the thinnest, most pristine black ice possible—both for its smoothness, and for its high-pitched, laser-like sounds."
sound  sounds  audio  ice  sweden  iceskating  2018 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Michelle Alexander's Keynote Speech from the 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference - YouTube
[20:15] "We're all primed to value and prefer those ho seem like us though the preferences hues have themselves re remarkably greater. No doubt due to centuries of brainwashing that have led them to actually believe often unconsciously, that they are in fact superior. Marc Mauer in his book "Race to Incarcerate" cites data that the most punitive nations in the world are the most diverse. The nations with the most compassionate or most lenient criminal justice policies are the most homogeneous. We like to say that diversity is our strength, but it may actually be our Achilles heel. Researchers have reached similar conclusions in the public welfare context. The democarcies that have the most generous social welfare programs, universal health care, cheap or free college, generous maternity leave, are generally homogeneous. Socialist countries like Sweden and Norway are overwhelmingly white. But when those nations feel threatened by immigration, by so-called foreigners, public support for social welfare beings to erode, often quite sharply. It seems that it's an aspect of human nature to be tempted to be more punitive and less generous to those we view as others. And so in a nation like the United States, where we're just a fe generations away from slavery and Jim Crow. Where inequality is skyrocketing due to global capitalism, and where demographic changes due to immigration are creating a nation where no racial group is the majority, the central question we must face is whether We, the People, are capable of overcoming our basic instinct to respond more harshly more punitively with less care and concern with people we view as different. Can we evolve? Can we evolve morally and spiritually? Can we learn to care for each other across lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality? Clearly these questions are pressing in the age of Trump.

[via: "Michelle Alexander asks the most fundamental question: Can we learn to care for each other across lines of difference?"
https://twitter.com/justicedems/status/934478995038572544 ]

[See also: "Michelle Alexander: I Am 'Endorsing The Political Revolution' (Extended Interview) | All In | MSNBC"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFHNzlx24QM ]
michellealexander  2017  drugs  waroondrugs  race  racism  bias  diversity  homogeneity  heterogeneity  policy  welfare  socialsafetnet  healthcare  education  maternityleave  socialism  sweden  norway  humans  criminaljustice  socialelfare  compassion  incarceration  donaldtrump  immigration  xenophobia  othering  democracy  jimcrow  thenewjimcrow  us  politics  humannature  demographics  inequality  class  classism  sexuality  gender  sexism  marcmauer  berniesanders  hillaryclinton  revolution  change  billclinton 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Tricia Wang en Instagram: “Sweden has a law called #allemansrätten translated to "everyone man's right" that allows you to access, hike and camp anywhere in nature…”
"Sweden has a law called #allemansrätten translated to "everyone man's right" that allows you to access, hike and camp anywhere in nature, even if it's privately owned, as long as you can't be seen by the owner. This makes the forests of Sweden even more amazing!"
words  sweden  swedish  property  triciawang  2017  ownership  rights  outdoors  nature 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Hello World: Explore the Tech World Outside Silicon Valley With Ashlee Vance
"Hello World invites the viewer to come on a journey. It's a journey that stretches across the globe to find the inventors, scientists and technologists shaping our future. Each episode explores a different country and uncovers the ways in which the local culture and surroundings have influenced their approach to technology. Join journalist and best-selling author Ashlee Vance on a quest to find the freshest, weirdest tech creations and the beautiful freaks behind them.

Episode 1: New Zealand
New Zealand’s freaky AI babies, robot exoskeletons, and a virtual you.

Episode 2: Sweden
We explore Sweden's magical treehouses, faceswapping robots, and enjoy fika with Spotify’s Daniel Ek.

Episode 3: Israel
Learn how the constant threat of war has shaped Israel's tech industry.

Episode 4: Iceland
Iceland's punishing terrain inspires cutting-edge tech.

Episode 5: Mojave Desert
America's most passionate and daring inventors have built an engineering paradise in the middle of nowhere.

Episode 6: Australia
Bio-hackers, Internet playboys, and underwater drones have ignited Australia’s long-dormant tech industry.

Episode 7: England
Once a computing pioneer, England has struggled to remain relevant in tech. Now, a revival appears to be on the way.

Episode 8: Japan
Japan's obsessive robot inventors are creating the future.

Episode 9: Russia
Grab yourself a vodka and witness the bizarre spectacle that is Russian technology.

Episode 10: Chile
Searching for the origins of the universe in the Earth’s driest desert."
technology  video  chile  russia  japan  england  australia  mojavedesert  iceland  israel  sweden  newzealand  ashleevance 
july 2017 by robertogreco
America Made Me a Feminist - The New York Times
"I used to think the word “feminist” reeked of insecurity. A woman who needed to state that she was equal to a man might as well be shouting that she was smart or brave. If you were, you wouldn’t need to say it. I thought this because back then, I was a Swedish woman.

I was 9 when I first stepped into a Swedish school. Freshly arrived from Czechoslovakia, I was bullied by a boy for being an immigrant. My one friend, a tiny little girl, punched him in the face. I was impressed. In my former country, a bullied girl would tattle or cry. I looked around to see what my new classmates thought of my friend’s feat, but no one seemed to have noticed. It didn’t take long to understand that in Sweden, my power was suddenly equal to a boy’s.

In Czechoslovakia, women came home from a long day of work to cook, clean and serve their husbands. In return, those women were cajoled, ignored and occasionally abused, much like domestic animals. But they were mentally unstable domestic animals, like milk cows that could go berserk you if you didn’t know exactly how to handle them.

In Sweden, the housekeeping tasks were equally divided. Soon my own father was cleaning and cooking as well. Why? He had divorced my mother and married a Swedish woman.

As high school approached, the boys wanted to kiss us and touch us, and the girls became a group of benevolent queens dispensing favors. The more the boys wanted us, the more powerful we became. When a girl chose to bestow her favors, the lucky boy was envied and celebrated. Slut shaming? What’s a slut?

Condoms were provided by the school nurse without question. Sex education taught us the dangers of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancy, but it also focused on fun stuff like masturbation. For a girl to own her sexuality meant she owned her body, she owned herself. Women could do anything men did, but they could also — when they chose to — bear children. And that made us more powerful than men. The word “feminist” felt antiquated; there was no longer a use for it.

When I moved to Paris at 15 to work as a model, the first thing that struck me was how differently the men behaved. They opened doors for me, they wanted to pay for my dinner. They seemed to think I was too delicate, or too stupid, to take care of myself.

Instead of feeling celebrated, I felt patronized. I claimed my power the way I had learned in Sweden: by being sexuality assertive. But Frenchmen don’t work this way. In discos, I’d set my eye on an attractive stranger, and then dance my way over to let him know he was a chosen one. More often than not, he fled. And when he didn’t run, he asked how much I charged.

In France, women did have power, but a secret one, like a hidden stiletto knife. It was all about manipulation: the sexy vixen luring the man to do her bidding. It wasn’t until I reached the United States, at 18, and fell in love with an American man that I truly had to rearrange my cultural notions.

It turned out most of America didn’t think of sex as a healthy habit or a bargaining tool. Instead, it was something secret. If I mentioned masturbation, ears went red. Orgasms? Men made smutty remarks, while women went silent. There was a fine line between the private and the shameful. A former gynecologist spoke of the weather when doing a pelvic exam, as if I were a Victorian maiden who’d rather not know where all my bits were.

In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

In the Czech Republic, the nicknames for women, whether sweet or bitter, fall into the animal category: little bug, kitten, old cow, swine. In Sweden, women are rulers of the universe. In France, women are dangerous objects to treasure and fear. For better or worse, in those countries, a woman knows her place.

But the American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it. In adapting myself to my new country, my Swedish woman power began to wilt. I joined the women around me who were struggling to do it all and failing miserably. I now have no choice but to pull the word “feminist” out of the dusty drawer and polish it up.

My name is Paulina Porizkova, and I am a feminist."
paulinaporitzkova  us  feminism  france  sweden  sex  gender  sexuality  sexed  sfsh  czeckrepublic  czechoslovakia  equality  women 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Ten Meter Tower - The New York Times
"Our objective in making this film was something of a psychology experiment: We sought to capture people facing a difficult situation, to make a portrait of humans in doubt. We’ve all seen actors playing doubt in fiction films, but we have few true images of the feeling in documentaries. To make them, we decided to put people in a situation powerful enough not to need any classic narrative framework. A high dive seemed like the perfect scenario.

Through an online advertisement, we found 67 people who had never been on a 10-meter (about 33 feet) diving tower before, and had never jumped from that high. We paid each of them the equivalent of about $30 to participate — which meant climbing up to the diving board and walking to its edge. We were as interested in the people who decided to climb back down as the ones jumping.

We filmed it all with six cameras and several microphones. It was important for us not to conceal the fact that this was an arranged situation, and thus we chose to show the microphones within the frame. Ultimately, about 70 percent of those who climbed did jump. We noticed that the presence of the camera as well as the social pressure (from those awaiting their turn beside the pool) pushed some of the participants to jump, which made their behavior even more interesting.

In our films, which we often call studies, we want to portray human behavior, rather than tell our own stories about it. We hope the result is a series of meaningful references, in the form of moving images. “Ten Meter Tower” may take place in Sweden, but we think it elucidates something essentially human, that transcends culture and origins. Overcoming our most cautious impulses with bravery unites all humankind. It’s something that has shaped us through the ages."

[video page: https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000004882589/ten-meter-tower.html ]
classideas  film  srg  documentary  fear  swimmingpools  divingplatforms  2017  maximilienvanaertryck  axeldaanielson  behavior  humans  sweden  humanbehavior 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Maria Fröhlich
["Comic artist and illustrator from the dark woods of northern Sweden."
http://mariafrohlich.daportfolio.com/about/ ]

[See also:
https://www.instagram.com/mariafrohlichart/
https://twitter.com/MariaFrohlich ]

[via: http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=88819455cab0b1139f96cec4d&id=6cb5179504

"The image above is part of the concept art for Maria Fröhlich's book Tales from Miraclecity. Her illustration blog features a society brimming with people of color — especially children — playing and exploring in a world both present and future." ]
mariafröhlich  illustration  sweden  peopleofcolor  scifi  sciencefiction  future  comics  graphicnovels  tumblrs 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs | World news | The Guardian
"Government to tackle ‘throwaway culture’ by cutting VAT on fixing everything from bicycles to washing machines"
sweden  repair  maintenance  2016  via:anabjain  jugaad  throwaayculture  mending  taxes  government  policy 
september 2016 by robertogreco
The new political divide | The Economist
"AS POLITICAL theatre, America’s party conventions have no parallel. Activists from right and left converge to choose their nominees and celebrate conservatism (Republicans) and progressivism (Democrats). But this year was different, and not just because Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party. The conventions highlighted a new political faultline: not between left and right, but between open and closed (see article). Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, summed up one side of this divide with his usual pithiness. “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” he declared. His anti-trade tirades were echoed by the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.

America is not alone. Across Europe, the politicians with momentum are those who argue that the world is a nasty, threatening place, and that wise nations should build walls to keep it out. Such arguments have helped elect an ultranationalist government in Hungary and a Polish one that offers a Trumpian mix of xenophobia and disregard for constitutional norms. Populist, authoritarian European parties of the right or left now enjoy nearly twice as much support as they did in 2000, and are in government or in a ruling coalition in nine countries. So far, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has been the anti-globalists’ biggest prize: the vote in June to abandon the world’s most successful free-trade club was won by cynically pandering to voters’ insular instincts, splitting mainstream parties down the middle.

News that strengthens the anti-globalisers’ appeal comes almost daily. On July 26th two men claiming allegiance to Islamic State slit the throat of an 85-year-old Catholic priest in a church near Rouen. It was the latest in a string of terrorist atrocities in France and Germany. The danger is that a rising sense of insecurity will lead to more electoral victories for closed-world types. This is the gravest risk to the free world since communism. Nothing matters more than countering it.

Higher walls, lower living standards
Start by remembering what is at stake. The multilateral system of institutions, rules and alliances, led by America, has underpinned global prosperity for seven decades. It enabled the rebuilding of post-war Europe, saw off the closed world of Soviet communism and, by connecting China to the global economy, brought about the greatest poverty reduction in history.

A world of wall-builders would be poorer and more dangerous. If Europe splits into squabbling pieces and America retreats into an isolationist crouch, less benign powers will fill the vacuum. Mr Trump’s revelation that he might not defend America’s Baltic allies if they are menaced by Russia was unfathomably irresponsible (see article). America has sworn to treat an attack on any member of the NATO alliance as an attack on all. If Mr Trump can blithely dishonour a treaty, why would any ally trust America again? Without even being elected, he has emboldened the world’s troublemakers. Small wonder Vladimir Putin backs him. Even so, for Mr Trump to urge Russia to keep hacking Democrats’ e-mails is outrageous.

The wall-builders have already done great damage. Britain seems to be heading for a recession, thanks to the prospect of Brexit. The European Union is tottering: if France were to elect the nationalist Marine Le Pen as president next year and then follow Britain out of the door, the EU could collapse. Mr Trump has sucked confidence out of global institutions as his casinos suck cash out of punters’ pockets. With a prospective president of the world’s largest economy threatening to block new trade deals, scrap existing ones and stomp out of the World Trade Organisation if he doesn’t get his way, no firm that trades abroad can approach 2017 with equanimity.

In defence of openness
Countering the wall-builders will require stronger rhetoric, bolder policies and smarter tactics. First, the rhetoric. Defenders of the open world order need to make their case more forthrightly. They must remind voters why NATO matters for America, why the EU matters for Europe, how free trade and openness to foreigners enrich societies, and why fighting terrorism effectively demands co-operation. Too many friends of globalisation are retreating, mumbling about “responsible nationalism”. Only a handful of politicians—Justin Trudeau in Canada, Emmanuel Macron in France—are brave enough to stand up for openness. Those who believe in it must fight for it.

They must also acknowledge, however, where globalisation needs work. Trade creates many losers, and rapid immigration can disrupt communities. But the best way to address these problems is not to throw up barriers. It is to devise bold policies that preserve the benefits of openness while alleviating its side-effects. Let goods and investment flow freely, but strengthen the social safety-net to offer support and new opportunities for those whose jobs are destroyed. To manage immigration flows better, invest in public infrastructure, ensure that immigrants work and allow for rules that limit surges of people (just as global trade rules allow countries to limit surges in imports). But don’t equate managing globalisation with abandoning it.

As for tactics, the question for pro-open types, who are found on both sides of the traditional left-right party divide, is how to win. The best approach will differ by country. In the Netherlands and Sweden, centrist parties have banded together to keep out nationalists. A similar alliance defeated the National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen in the run-off for France’s presidency in 2002, and may be needed again to beat his daughter in 2017. Britain may yet need a new party of the centre.

In America, where most is at stake, the answer must come from within the existing party structure. Republicans who are serious about resisting the anti-globalists should hold their noses and support Mrs Clinton. And Mrs Clinton herself, now that she has won the nomination, must champion openness clearly, rather than equivocating. Her choice of Tim Kaine, a Spanish-speaking globalist, as her running-mate is a good sign. But the polls are worryingly close. The future of the liberal world order depends on whether she succeeds."
us  europe  politics  openness  division  donaldtrump  hillaryclinton  2016  elections  brexit  globalization  progressivism  conservatism  wto  france  emmanuelmacron  justintrudeau  canada  nato  sweden  netherlands  marielepen 
july 2016 by robertogreco
How Sweden's innovative housing programme fell foul of privatisation | Owen Hatherley | Opinion | The Guardian
"But although some of Hammarby was built by the municipality, it's a wealthy and overwhelmingly white area, and rents are high. It offers little to those exiled to the peripheral million programmes. Hammarby implies that in Sweden, social democracy was only abandoned for the poor. Its innovations were retained for a bourgeoisie whose new areas are far more humane than those provided for them by British developers.

In Stockholm, the centre was cleared of the poor – the likely consequences in London of coalition's housing policies. The stark segregation visible there means that for the first time, it should stand as an example to London's planners of what not to do."
sweden  housing  inequality  2016  history  policy  development  privatization  socialexclusion 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Home Economics: author Jack Self on creating a manifesto for 21st century living
"Home Economics is a book designed to complement the exhibition of the same name. Normally, this would make Home Economics a catalogue – but this publication is the exact opposite.

It does more than simply represent or record, it proposes, and it reframes the publication as a project in its own right. Home Economics aspires to be a clear statement of intent, a (rather modest) manifesto, and a book with a proposition that can function entirely independently of the exhibition it was commissioned to accompany.

Featured are essays from Britain’s foremost writers and critics; architectural projects (including those commissioned for the show but not exhibited); photographic artworks that capture the spaces and provoke our assumptions about the home.

So why did the curators of the British Pavilion – myself, Finn Williams and Shumi Bose – conceive of such an ambitious book to mirror our exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale? And why did The Spaces support such an idea?

An important reference for the curatorial team when planning the book was the catalogue that followed the Acceptera exhibition, which took place in Sweden in 1931. We tend to think of Modernism as a movement that tried to sweep away the past and make a clean break with history – what makes Scandinavian Modernism practically unique is that the first major exhibition of Modernist architecture argued for the polar opposite.

Its instigators pointed to Victorian lace and dim rooms filled with dusty ornaments and said that in the past Scandinavian spaces were always clean, simple, filled with plain wooden furniture and brightly lit. With a clever twist, they suggested that Modernism was an extension of the most authentic forms of traditional architecture. It was this point that contributed to its success and mass acceptance (in fact Acceptera translates as ‘you must accept!’).

Their ‘catalogue’ was released almost a year after the exhibition closed. This book, also titled Acceptera, put the cart before the horse in catalogue terms: it was really a manifesto for Modernism and, since there were so few Modernist buildings in Scandinavia, it used the buildings of the exhibition to illustrate its argument. This is contrary to what one might expect, when the buildings are presented first and captioned to explain their purpose.

Home Economics, like Acceptera, is an exhibition of architecture at a life-size full-scale level. And while it is unlikely to be the beginning of a new movement, it does try to use the idea of an accompanying publication as a way to bring ideas about ownership, new forms of life, changes to domestic use, and the economics and politics of the home to a mass readership. The book is designed for a general audience, to be as engaging and as inclusive as the exhibition itself.

Of course, a big difference for Home Economics is that we couldn’t wait a year to release a book. It had to be ready and available on the first day of the show. To do this and include exhibition photography we had to pull installation forward by two weeks and use cutting-edge printing technologies (so-called ‘just-in-time’ production). This put the photographer whose beautiful photo-essay features in the catalogue, Thomas Adank, under immense pressure – he worked almost round the clock for several days to get the work completed.

Home Economics (the exhibition) contains almost no wall text, which is provided instead in a small pamphlet. The idea behind this is to give visitors more freedom to engage and explore with the spaces, rather than force them to stand and look at walls.

But this also creates a layered experience: someone with no knowledge could enter and grasp certain aspects from their time in the spaces alone; another person might read the pamphlet and have a deeper understanding of the themes and the works; and a third, armed with the book, would be able to fully understand the research, complexity and ambitions of the exhibition.

The book should not be seen as an addendum or addition – it is integral and a central part of the exhibition.

This publication is the product of a long chain of creative decisions: the British Council, who took a chance on commissioning the youngest ever curators to execute the pavilion; us curators, who then conceived and edited an extremely ambitious book (with design by OK-RM); and most importantly the publishers, The Spaces and the REAL foundation.

As one of the curatorial team for the pavilion, and as co-publisher for REAL foundation and editorial director for this book, I have to say that the partnership formed with The Spaces has been a meeting of minds. They have supported every proposal – even those that seemed impossible, like including show photography. Their experience from their own practice, which asks many of the same questions about what it means to live today, has been invaluable.

The quality of the book has only been made possible by their support for radical creative projects and a desire to have a long-term commitment to the promotion of new ideas about architecture."
ok-rm  jackself  architecture  modernism  1931  sweden  shumibosefinnwilliams  books  economics  politics  thomasadank 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The American Dream Is Alive in Finland - The Atlantic
"If the U.S. presidential campaign has made one thing clear, it’s this: The United States is not Finland. Nor is it Norway. This might seem self-evident. But America’s Americanness has had to be reaffirmed ever since Bernie Sanders suggested that Americans could learn something from Nordic countries about reducing income inequality, providing people with universal health care, and guaranteeing them paid family and medical leave.

“I think Bernie Sanders is a good candidate for president … of Sweden,” Marco Rubio scoffed. “We don’t want to be Sweden. We want to be the United States of America.”

“We are not Denmark,” Hillary Clinton clarified. “We are the United States of America. … [W]hen I think about capitalism, I think about all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families.”

Opportunity. Freedom. Independence. These words are bound up with American identity and the American Dream. The problem is that they’re often repeated like an incantation, with little reflection on the extent to which they still ring true in America, and are still exceptionally American.

Anu Partanen’s new book, The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life, argues that the freedom and opportunity Americans cherish are currently thriving more in Nordic countries than in the United States. (The Nordic countries comprise Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Finland.) But she also pushes back—albeit gently—against the trendy notion that Nordic countries are paradises.

Partanen is an unusual messenger. After all, her personal story is a testament to the Land of Opportunity’s enduring magnetism and vibrancy; she recently became a U.S. citizen, after moving from her native Finland to the United States in part because she felt she was more likely to find work as a journalist in New York City than her American husband was as a writer in Helsinki. But her time in America has also convinced her that Finland and its neighbors are doing a better job of promoting a 21st-century version of the American Dream than her adoptive country.

Partanen’s principal question is the following: What’s the best way for a modern society to advance freedom and opportunity? She explains that Nordic governments do so by providing social services that the U.S. government doesn’t—things like free college education and heavily subsidized child care. Within that big question, Partanen poses more pointed questions about contemporary life in the United States: Is “freedom” remaining in a job you hate because you don’t want to lose the health insurance that comes with it? Is “independence” putting your career on hold, and relying on your partner’s income, so you can take care of a young child when your employer doesn’t offer paid parental leave or day care is too expensive? Is “opportunity” depending on the resources of your parents, or a bundle of loans, to get a university degree? Is realizing the American Dream supposed to be so stressful?

“What Finland and its neighbors do is actually walk the walk of opportunity that America now only talks,” Partanen writes. “It’s a fact: A citizen of Finland, Norway, or Denmark is today much more likely to rise above his or her parents’ socioeconomic status than is a citizen of the United States.” The United States is not Finland. And, in one sense, that’s bad news for America. Numerous studies have shown that there is far greater upward social mobility in Nordic countries than in the United States, partly because of the high level of income inequality in the U.S.

In another sense, though, it’s perfectly fine to not be Finland. As Nathan Heller observed in The New Yorker, the modern Nordic welfare state is meant to “minimize the causes of inequality” and be “more climbing web than safety net.” Yet the system, especially in Sweden, is currently being tested by increased immigration and rising income inequality. And it’s ultimately predicated on a different—and not necessarily superior—definition of freedom than that which prevails in America. “In Sweden,” Heller argued, “control comes through protection against risk. Americans think the opposite: control means taking personal responsibility for risk and, in some cases, social status.”

Last week, I spoke with Partanen about what she feels Nordic countries have gotten right, where they’ve gone wrong, and why, if Finland is really so great, she’s now living in America. An edited and condensed transcript of our conversation follows.

Uri Friedman: You make an argument in the book that if you think about the American Dream in a certain way—if you define it in terms of opportunity, independence, and freedom—it is actually flourishing in the Nordic region more than in the United States. Why?

Anu Partanen: For a long time now, we’ve all, both in the United States and in Europe, thought that the United States is the land of freedom. For a long time, it was certainly true: American democracy was leading the way, the American middle class was the wealthiest. America was really the place where you could make your own life and you could decide who you wanted to be and pursue the dream.

When I moved to the United States in 2008, that was the idea I had. [But] when I came here, I was actually surprised [to learn that] people were very anxious. They were in many ways very dependent on their circumstances, the opposite of being a self-made woman or man. And a lot of this is related to family: if, [when] you were a child, your parents could provide opportunities, if they could offer you a life in a good neighborhood, offer you a life in a good school.

…"
culture  economics  europe  finland  us  policy  norway  denmark  sweden  iceland  freedom  independence  opportunity  denamrk  anupartanen  urifriedman  democracy  socialism  inequality  middleclass  income  incomeinequality  immigration  taxes  daycare  healthcare  health  qualityoflife  government  society  nathanheller  politics 
july 2016 by robertogreco
7 Things Nordic Countries Are Totally Doing Right, According To 'The Nordic Theory Of Everything' | Bustle
"1. Balancing Federal Budgets …

2. Curbing Income Inequality …

3. Bringing Equity To Education …

4. Closing The Gender Gap …

5. Supporting Families …

6. Aiming For True Work-Life Balance …

7. Insuring Everyone …"
nordiccountries  scandinavia  policy  socialism  equality  us  inequality  education  gender  women  families  paternityleave  work-lifebalance  well-being  health  healthcare  universalhealthcare  finland  sweden  norway  iceland  denmark  2016  government  qualityoflife  anupartanen  middleclass 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The “parenting happiness gap” is real, new research confirms — Quartz
"It’s an almost immutable fact: Regardless of what country you live in, and what stage of life you might be at, having kids makes you significantly less happy compared to people who don’t have kids. It’s called the parenting happiness gap.

New research to be published in the American Journal of Sociology shows that American parents are especially miserable on this front, posting the largest gap (13%) in a group of 22 developed countries.

But the research also shows that it doesn’t have to be this way. Every other country had smaller gaps, and some, including Russia, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Hungary, and Portugal, actually showed happiness gains for parents.

The researchers, led by Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas, looked at what impact policies such as paid sick and vacation leave and subsidized child care have on closing that gap. It was 100%.

“As social scientists we rarely completely explain anything, but in this case we completely explain the parental happiness gap,” said Glass. In countries with the strongest family-friendly policy packages, “the parental deficit in happiness was completely eliminated, accomplished by raising parent’s happiness rather than lowering nonparents’ happiness,” the authors wrote.

It’s not just one policy, like paid parental leave, that makes the difference. It’s the magic of a package of policies spanning over a lifetime, that allow people to care for children, support them financially, and even enjoy them every once in awhile on a holiday.

The study looked at 22 European and English-speaking countries using surveys from prior to the recession, including the International Social Surveys of 2007 and 2008 and the European Social Surveys of 2006 and 2008. The group created a a three-item policy index including combined paid leave available to mothers, paid vacation and sick leave, and work flexibility, and then looked at the effect of the basket of policies, as well as the impact of each individual one, on closing the happiness gap.

They found that in countries high on the comprehensive policy index, there was no gap, or, parents were even happier than non-parents. Countries low on that index were less happy.

All policies are not created equal. Paid sick and vacation leave and subsidized child care showed the largest impact on improving the happiness of non-parents as well as parents, Glass said. This is important, because policies that spend tax money to help parents at the expense of non-parents tend to be less popular.

Studies like this present some obvious challenges. For one, people in the US are actually a weirdly happy lot overall. On a scale from 1-10, they log in around the 8-10 range. People in France rate their happiness in the middle of the scale, from 5-7. “We aren’t sure if this means the French are truly less happy than Americans, or just don’t think it is appropriate to use the extremes of any scale,” Glass wrote.

To allow for these cultural differences, the research focused on the differences between parents and non-parents in the same country. They asked: “What factors are associated with parents being less happy than nonparents, given their country’s overall average level of happiness?” The key is association (or correlation), and not causation, which is impossible to prove in studies like this.

It’s no big surprise that parents in Sweden, with its dreamy parental leave policies, are happier (compared to their non-parent peers) than parents in the US, where there is no paid leave for anything—having a baby, much less raising it. But the research helps point to which policies could help most.

Glass says it’s not that parents are unhappy. They often find parenting fulfilling, and wouldn’t have it any other way. But their stress levels tend to be high, which can overshadow any happiness to be gained from shepherding another human being through life.

And why should we even care about whether parents are happy? “Parental happiness does in fact determine our fertility rates, it does determine the types of bills we get for stress-related diseases,” Glass said. “When you have a system that is not very efficient in supporting parents, you can expect to have problems motivating people to have children and care for them.”

Conversely, she said, “People want to have more children when you make it possible for them to be effective parents and effective workers.”"

[See also: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/us-has-largest-parental-happiness-gap.html ]
parenting  us  happiness  policy  culture  government  kids  sweden  denmark  france  finland  russia  spain  españa  hungary  portugal  norway  jennifer  glass  paidleave  maternityleave  parentalleave  paternityleave  sociology  europe  vacation  childcare  society 
june 2016 by robertogreco
I'm an American living in Sweden. Here's why I came to embrace the higher taxes. - Vox
"It seems that Americans would rather have inaccessibility to public places and crumbling infrastructure than pay more in taxes, right? After all, every American seems to know that taxes in Sweden are high and that they want nothing to do with high.

My wife and I have been dividing our time between jobs in Sweden and Wisconsin for the past dozen years, and I'm here to tell you that taxes in Sweden are not that high. To my surprise, I found that there are lots of things to love about the Swedish tax system. Swedish taxes are easy to pay, rational, and efficient. Best of all, rather than take away opportunities, Swedish taxes expand them.

Here are six reasons I have come to love Swedish taxes."
sweden  taxes  economics  2016  scandinavia  healthcare  healthinsurance  policy  politics  freedom  choice 
may 2016 by robertogreco
I live in Denmark. Bernie Sanders’s Nordic dream is worth fighting for, even if he loses. - Vox
"There is no question that America — heck, the world — would be a better place if it more resembled the Scandinavia that Sanders evokes. Even I, a British transplant to Denmark and sometime-Scandiskeptic, can see that America is badly in need of a little Scandi-therapy. But Scandinavia doesn't offer a quick fix for what ails the United States — and in recent years even Scandinavia itself has been backing away from some of the qualities that Sanders praises it for.

Scandinavia is more equal than the States

In terms of economics, the gap between richest and poorest, measured by the Gini coefficient, is far smaller here than in the States; in terms of gender equality it has a greater proportion of women in the labor force and more women in positions of power, and there is absolutely no question that women should have the right to decide over the inhabitants of their own wombs. Sweden was recently ranked the best country in the world in which to live as a woman.

And Scandinavia is more equal in terms of opportunity. It is far easier for a working-class Scandinavian kid to achieve a university education and attain professional qualifications than it is for a child from a similar background in the USA. Social mobility is far, far better here than in the States. As I only slightly grudgingly conclude in my book The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, these are the true lands of opportunity.

As Sanders rightly points out, America badly needs a dose of wealth redistribution. Rapidly spiraling poverty, unemployment, and homelessness with record repossessions, while billionaires pay 17 percent income tax? That doesn't tend to happen up here "beyond the wall."

Scandinavia's multi-party system works better than America's two-party system

America's political system would also benefit from a little Scandi-style transparency and multi-party consensus. Both help temper the extremes of political dogma that have afflicted the US political landscape. "But doesn't that lead to political stalemate?" I hear you ask. Like Washington, you mean? No, it's not that bad.

But really it all comes back to equality, the bedrock of the so-called Nordic miracle and Sanders's campaign mantra. The awkward truth about capitalism is that without proper equality of opportunity, the market cannot distribute wealth fairly or democratically, nor can it provide a safety net for the vulnerable. That's the role of government, and I'm afraid it requires everyone to pay their taxes.

But prosperous, Scandinavian-style societies don't happen overnight

Though Scandinavia has much to teach the world, sadly there is no quick fix to be found here. As with any region, Scandinavia has attained its current state of almost near perfection as a result of decades, perhaps centuries, of evolution, conflict, and change. The region is a product of its history, climate, and topography — not to mention of living so close to Germany and Russia.

You don't impose tax rates like these overnight; they creep up on you like bindweed without people really noticing until, whoops, you have five weeks of holiday a year and free health care, and young people are paid to go to university — but you are also paying more than half your income to the state.

You don't pick up democratic systems like this at the checkout. These levels of political and corporate transparency, devolution, equality, and accountability are formed following decades of debate and negotiation. Decent public transport takes long-term cross-party will; consensus politics require multiparty systems free of interference from large-scale corporate interest; effective labor relations are only possible if trade unions remain strong and are integrated into the decision-making process.

Even as Sanders praises Scandinavia, Scandinavia is becoming more and more like America

The great irony in all this is that while Sanders advocates Scandinavia as the default reset for America, the region itself is busy changing and reforming itself in the face of regional crises and global challenges — often making itself more American in the process.

In my book, I explain why these societies are so successful and happy — but I also spend some time explaining why Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (plus Finland and Iceland, for the full Nordic spread) are not the utopias the global media has made them out to be this past decade or so.

I live in Denmark of my own free will and find a great deal to admire about the Danes and the society they have built, but I felt there was a need for a counterbalance to the Scandimania that has characterized much of the reporting on Denmark and Scandinavia.

In many ways, Scandinavia has had enough of being Scandinavian. It has certainly had enough of socialism. As the Danish prime minister said in a recent speech at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."

In many ways, Scandinavia has had enough of being Scandinavian. It has certainly had enough of socialism.

These days, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are all mixed economies with relatively low corporation taxes, for instance. Many former state-run services are now privatized, and a large proportion of the population has private health care. Denmark regularly ranks high in global "ease of doing business" surveys, and Sweden in particular is currently experiencing impressive economic growth. Goldman Sachs recently bought a large stake in the Danish state energy company. Economies don't get much more mixed than that.

Some argue that high taxes are a disincentive to risk-taking and innovation and that generous welfare benefits engender a sense of complacency and entitlement, and I am sure there is some truth to this. There have been high-profile cases of able-bodied Danes playing the unemployment benefit system for years, and I once overheard a Danish parent complaining that her son's first choice of university did not have the surfing degree he wanted to take. Still, the region has given birth to a notable number of innovative global brands: Skype, Spotify, Novo Nordisk, Carlsberg, Ikea, and Lego to name just a few.

And Nordic governments are cutting back on their welfare states

Meanwhile, all of the Nordic governments have curbed the expansion of their welfare states over the past years to varying degrees, and many inhabitants of the region have opted out of their struggling state health and education systems. Politically, these countries began to move to the right 10 years ago, to the extent that far-right parties are now among the most popular with voters.

Neither do any of these countries have the "free" health care or "free" university tuition that Sanders wishes for. Bernie, let me tell you, we who live here pay for those free services with tax rates that would make your hair turn white. In Denmark I pay around 56 percent income tax, along with 25 percent retail tax, the highest energy taxes in the world, a veritable smorgasbord of property taxes, huge tariffs on alcohol and cars, and even a tax on air. (Soft ice cream is taxed based on its volume after the air is mixed in.)

And all of these countries have problems: Norway's oil income, upon which so much of its prosperity relies, has fallen off a cliff; like the teenager who advertised a house party on Facebook, the Swedes are now somewhat dismayed that tens of thousands of refugees and economic migrants have turned up on their front lawn; and with its own modest oil revenues dwindling, Denmark is facing up to the fact that the growth of its much-vaunted welfare state is no longer economically sustainable.

Believe me, get a Dane talking about the country's school system or to ask a Swede about immigration, and you will unleash a torrent of moans, gripes, and complaints that would make a New York cabbie blush. But — and it's a big "but" — all of these countries remain highly affluent, well-educated, free, democratic, "happy," and relatively equal. So that's why I'm rooting for Bernie and his vision for a more Scandinavian America."
denmark  socialism  scandinavia  2016  politics  policy  society  inequality  equality  welfare  sweden  norway  economics  taxes  berniesanders  transparency  accountability 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Scandi Crush Saga - Curbed
"Scandinavia’s focus on the home and family, assertions of democratic principles, and emphasis on traditional craftsmanship fit in well with consumerist ideals of the postwar period. Gordon, a staunch critic of the radical direction American modernism was taking, published a series of articles lashing out against the International Style—another name for the modernist architecture and design that emerged out of Europe in the 30s—which she referred to as "totalitarian," and those responsible for it as "dictators in matters of taste." Such sentiment played on Cold War era politics of the period."



"Today, Scandinavian design is once again riding a wave of success that many say stems from a wider fascination with Nordic countries. Kjetil Fallan, professor of design history at the University of Oslo, attributes the present popularity to the greater visibility of the Nordic lands during the period after the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

"When a lot of large stable economies like the U.S. were having major problems, they discovered small Nordic countries were hardly affected by it at all," said Fallan, barring Iceland, of course. He cites a renewed interest in what is commonly referred to as the Nordic model in governance and society, which is typically categorized by a strong welfare state and an emphasis on individual autonomy. Just in the past year, Sweden’s flirtation with six-hour workdays and Finland’s planned experiment with universal basic income have grabbed headlines, further piquing the world’s curiosity. Such publicity may have had trickledown effects on the design field. "There is a tendency," Fallan says, "to equate Scandinavian design as a reflection of Scandinavian society."

Nordic arts and culture, too, have become increasingly popular abroad. "I think it started with a mix of different furniture, interiors, food, music, and film," says Poul Madsen, co-founder of Normann Copenhagen, a Danish interior design brand. "Danes were announced as the happiest people in [the] world a couple of years ago and even Oprah was talking about it," he added. "Suddenly, everything we did in Scandinavia really echoed." Indeed, increased media coverage, the popularity of Danish TV in the UK, and Copenhagen’s cache of Michelin-starred eateries, like world favorite Noma, have been rolled into what Madsen describes as "one big mass of Nordic living."

Even 2009—a shaky year for consumerism in the West—was a success for the firm. Normann Copenhagen’s New Danish Modern furniture series designed and produced within Denmark included Jesper K. Thomsen’s molded beech wood Camping set, which was awarded the Good Design award by the Chicago Athaeneum later that year.

Since then, business has been booming. The company, which sells to 82 countries, has seen export markets up 45 to 50 percent per year for the past two years, although Madsen admits that their pieces are still most successful within Denmark."
design  furniture  architecture  history  materials  scandinavia  sweden  denmark  finland  norway  iceland  nordic  arnejacobsen  eeroarnio  alvaalto  pouladsen  normanncopenhagen  jesperthompsen  kristianbyrge  muuto  peterbonnén  kjetilfallan  nadialassen  olewanscher  hansbretton-meyer  iittala  kajfranck  artek  oliviaöberg  tappiowirkkala  mariannegoebl 
march 2016 by robertogreco
ADHD Diagnoses? Why the Youngest Kids in Class Are Most Affected | MindShift | KQED News
"By the time they’re in elementary school, some kids prove to be more troublesome than others. They can’t sit still or they’re not socializing or they can’t focus enough to complete tasks that the other kids are handling well. Sounds like ADHD. But it might be that they’re just a little young for their grade.

Studies done in several countries including Iceland, Canada, Israel, Sweden and Taiwan show children who are at the young end of their grade cohort are more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than their older classmates.

The youngest students were between 20 percent and 100 percent more likely to get the diagnosis or ADHD medication than were the oldest students in the cohort, says Helga Zoëga, an epidemiologist at the University of Iceland who worked on the Icelandic and Israeli studies.

The most recent evidence comes from Taiwan, where an analysis showed the youngest students in a grade were roughly 75 percent more likely to get a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than the oldest ones. It was published Thursday in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Kids are generally 6 years old when they start first grade. A scant few months can span a lot of mental growth at this age.

“Within that age range there is a huge difference in developmental and social and emotional maturity,” says Dr. Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital who was not involved in any of the studies. “A 6-year-old is just not the same as a 7-year-old.”

And yet a first-grader might stand shoulder to shoulder with another student nearly 12 months her elder. “And the way we diagnose ADHD is we talk to the parent about the child’s behavior, and we mail the teacher questionnaires,” Spinks-Franklin says. “The teacher will be comparing the child’s behavior relative to other children in the class.”

That could lead to a mistaken diagnosis of ADHD. Zoëga says the younger the student, the greater the likelihood that student will receive an ADHD diagnosis or medication. “If you look at the [students’ age] just month by month, you’ll see that the likelihood increases with each month,” she says.

Zoëga says the only country studied so far where the relative age of young children doesn’t seem to have an effect on ADHD diagnosis is Denmark, where there’s more flexibility for when children enter school. So this could be because Danish parents with kids who are born just before the cutoff date for grade school entry choose to hold their offspring back one year.

But if you’re an American parent with children born in the months of December, November or October, that doesn’t mean a child should repeat a grade for the fear their relative youth will handicap them, Spinks-Franklin says. “There is absolutely no data to support grade repetition for maturity issues. Children who repeat a grade are at a higher risk of dropping out of high school. They are more likely to be bullied.” If the child does have ADHD or another disorder, she notes, repeating a grade will not fix the disorder.

And relatively younger children diagnosed with ADHD might really have ADHD, says Dr. Mu-Hong Chen, a psychiatrist at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. “There’s a potential for the harm of overdiagnosis and overprescription.” That would unnecessarily subject kids to unwanted side effects of stimulant medication and the stigma of the disorder. But perhaps older, more mature-looking students are just being underdiagnosed and not get help they might need, he says. The studies didn’t look into that.

The best thing for worried parents to do is just give the kids a chance to grow up, Chen says. In most of the studies done on relative age and ADHD, the difference in diagnosis rates vanished by the time the students reached their teenage years. “I think we have to wait for a while, he says. “We have to have more time to evaluate their behavior, attention and brain development.”

The data also mean that doctors should take the child’s relative age into account when diagnosing ADHD, Zoëga says. “It has a sensible solution. Just treat the individual according to his or her age."
adhd  age  children  diagnosis  2016  taiwan  canada  us  israel  iceland  sweden  denmark  adiahaspinks-franklin  attention  labels 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Ranking countries by the worst students - The Hechinger Report
"But recently the OECD decided to analyze the past decade of test scores in a new way, to see which nations do the best job of educating their struggling students, and what lessons could be learned. This is important because low-performing students are more likely to drop out of school, and less likely to obtain good jobs as adults. Ultimately, they put more strains on social welfare systems and brakes on economic growth. The results were released on February 10, 2016 in an OECD report, “Low-Performing Students: Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed.”

It turns out that many of the top performing nations or regions also have the smallest numbers of low-performing students. Fewer than 5 percent of 15-year-olds in Shanghai (China), Hong Kong (China), South Korea, Estonia and Vietnam scored at the lowest levels on the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests in math, reading and science.

In the United States, by contrast, 29 percent of students scored below a basic baseline level in at least one subject, and 12 percent students score below a basic baseline level on all three tests — math, reading and science. The latter number amounts to half a million 15-year-olds who can’t do the basics in any subject. The worst is math. More than a million U.S. 15-year-olds can’t reach the baseline here. The OECD calculated that if all American 15-year-olds reached a baseline level of performance, then the size of the U.S. economy could gain an additional $27 trillion over the working life of these students.

Of course, the United States has relatively higher poverty rates than many nations in this 64-country analysis. One might expect more low performers given that our number of disadvantaged students in public schools surpasses 50 percent. But the interesting thing is that there wasn’t as tight a connection between low performance and poverty as we might expect. Some countries contend with higher poverty levels, but do better — Vietnam, for example, where only 4 percent of students were low performers in all subjects. Meanwhile, some other countries with lower poverty rates nonetheless have a bigger problem of low performers. For example, France, Luxembourg and Sweden all had higher percentages of low-performing students than the United States did.

Poor children around the world, on average, are between four and five times more likely to become low performers in school than children who grew up in a wealthier homes among more educated parents. But in the United States, poverty seems to seal your educational fate more. A socioeconomically disadvantaged American student is six times more likely to be a low performer than his or her socioeconomically advantaged peer. Here’s a stark figure: 41 percent of disadvantaged students in the United States were low performers in mathematics in 2012, while only 9 percent of advantaged students were.

In South Korea, by contrast, only 14 percent of disadvantaged students were low performers in math. In neighboring Canada, it was only 22 percent of the poorest students who scored the worst.

The report highlighted countries that had significantly reduced their share of low performers in math between 2003 and 2012. They were Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey.

“What do these countries have in common? Not very much,” admitted Andreas Schleicher, director of the education division at the OECD. “They are about as socioeconomically and culturally diverse as can be.”

Also, each country had embarked upon different reforms to improve educational outcomes at the bottom. But Schleicher sees hope in the fact that these countries succeeded at all, proving that poverty isn’t destiny and that schools can make a difference. “All countries can improve their students’ performance, given the right policies and the will to implement them,” Schleicher said."
education  schools  rankings  2016  pisa  standardizedtesting  testing  jillbarshay  poverty  us  southkorea  estonia  vietnam  hongkong  china  shanghai  france  luxembourg  sweden  brazil  brasil  germany  italy  poland  portugal  tunisia  turkey  diversity 
february 2016 by robertogreco
My family uses Slack. It’s pretty interesting. | Labs
It turns out our school is living in the future, providing a RSS-feed per child. I had no idea. RSS works very well with this setup.
via:alexismadrigal  rss  slack  schools  education  sweden  2016  automation  chat  parenting  communication  internet  web  online 
february 2016 by robertogreco
This House Concept was Created by Data from 200 Million Clicks on a Real Estate Site | Dwell
"Following our recent issue dedicated to the new smart home, we've had homes driven by technology on our minds. Swedish real estate site Hemnet developed a housing concept that's actually created by data. By analyzing over 200 million clicks on the site, architects Tham & Videgård designed a residence that they believe represents the ideal Swedish home."
sweden  houses  housing  data  2015 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Sweden's Minister of the Future Explains How to Make Politicians Think Long-Term | Motherboard
"Kristina Persson’s job is rather unique. Just over a year ago, Stefan Löfven, Sweden's current social democratic prime minister, decided the 70-year-old from Österstund would be the perfect figure to lead the country's new ministry of future issues, strategy and cooperation.

The idea behind the creation of such a ministry was a simple one: for Sweden to remain competitive tomorrow, it might, unfortunately, have to take unpopular steps today—and since politics and politicians, given elections and interests, tend to focus on the short-term, a watchdog for the long-term was needed.

It's easier said than done, as politics show us every day. Can you think of a politician willing to risk re-election for a better future they cannot benefit from? Most probably wouldn't. (Just look at American politicians' responses—or lack thereof—to climate change.) To understand a little more about how the new ministry works, how to plan the future, and why the Swedes always seems to be two steps in front of everybody else, I spoke with Persson.

Motherboard: Let’s start with the basics. What does long-term mean for you and your ministry?

Kristina Persson: Well, it really depends on the issue we are taking into consideration. It can be 5, 10 or even 50 years. Climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed with policies that looks at a 50 years or longer time spa\n, while the expansion of international cooperation is something we are working on with much shorter-term objectives.

Q: Can you tell us what are the areas you are focusing on?

A: The ministry is organized in three strategic groups. The first is concerned with the future of work, the second with the green transition and competitiveness, while the third one is what we call "global cooperation." Each strategic group brings together people with different backgrounds. Some come from the business community, others from civil society, trade unions, and academia. This variety is of the uttermost importance as the questions we are trying to address are complex, and finding solutions needs the cooperation of all of society’s stakeholders. No one [can be] excluded.

Q: Can you give us an example of your work?

A: Let’s take into consideration the "future of work" macro-area. There is no point trying to resist technological change and the expected automation of a great number of jobs in the coming years. Such an attitude would be shortsighted.

So the real question is not how we can try to delay the process. On the contrary, given the coming technological changes, how can we best prepare? And again, how can we guarantee that Sweden’s unemployment rate remains low and the level of social welfare the same as today? You see, these are not easy questions and if we want to find answers, we better start working now.

Q: Your ministry is a kind of odd one. You work across ministries rather than on your own agenda?

A: Yes, by its very nature the ministry of future issues overlaps with responsibilities of other ministries. For example, we work on issues that are the competence of the ministry of employment, the ministry of finance, as well as the foreign ministry. This makes our mission an extremely interesting one I believe. I think the best way to describe us is like a sort of internal government think tank whose role is to constantly remind others to include the long-term in the decision making process.

Q: That sounds quite complex, how is it to work with others?

A: It’s not always easy given the different perspectives of the different institutions involved. Yet ministries understand the importance of what we are doing and have always been quite cooperative.

We live in a world that is transforming at an unprecedented speed, a world that is constantly challenging and disrupting the old ways we are used to do things. Given the context, I believe that if politics wants to remain relevant and be useful to citizens, it needs to change its approach. It needs to experiment with new ways and new solutions. This is what we are doing at the ministry and it's quite ground breaking. A lot of colleagues from other countries have expressed interest in my work and I hope a similar institution will soon be developed in other parts of the world.

Q: I have a bit of a provocative question: Is there something undemocratic underlining your Ministry? Is it not as if you were saying that people only look at the short-term, and are unable to think long-term, so let’s create an unelected body to deal with that.

A: I can understand your point, but I disagree. If you think about it, most ministries have a top-down approach. By this I mean they decide on a specific policy and then, given they have a budget and political leverage, they have the power to implement it. This is a vertical approach, the opposite of the horizontal one we promote here at the ministry.

Rather than going top-down, we promote inter-ministerial collaboration and force decision makers to confront the long-term issues despite the fact this is harder to do sometimes. The product of our efforts are suggestions, never impositions, and I think this is very democratic. Also, whatever policy we might suggest has to be embraced other ministries in order to become a reality since we don’t have a budget and the political capital to push it through parliament.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you think that needs to be addressed other than climate change?

A: The demographic problem. Sweden, as well as the rest of Europe, has to cope with an increasingly ageing population. This raises questions about the present pension schemes and their sustainability. The issue is simple: who is going to pay for the pension benefits if in most European countries pensions will represent a higher percentage of GDP and fewer people will be part of the active labour force. We need to start thinking and acting now.

Q: When you are working, does anyone say something like "Oh my god, it's Kristina nagging about the long-term again"?

A: [Laughs] No, it has not happened yet."
kristinapersson  sweden  politics  policy  longterm  longnow  future  goodancestors  democracy  climatechange  aging  sustainability 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Fight on to preserve Elfdalian, Sweden's lost forest language | ScienceNordic
"OPINION: Secret language has preserved linguistic features that are to be found nowhere else in Scandinavia."
languages  language  sweden  2015  scandinavia  linguistics  history 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The 13 most innovative schools in the world - Tech Insider
[grain of salt, and some guffawing for a certain item on this list]

"Makoko Floating School. Lagos, Nigeria. The school that floats.
Ørestad Gymnasium. Copenhagen, Denmark. The school in a cube.
Big Picture Learning. Providence, Rhode Island. The school in the real world.
Egalia Pre-school. Stockholm, Sweden. The school without gender.
AltSchool. San Francisco, California. The school of Silicon Valley.
Sra Pou Vocational School. Sra Pou village, Cambodia. The school for building community.
P-TECH High School. Brooklyn, New York. The school that bridges high school and college.
Steve Jobs School. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The school that thinks different.
Brightworks School. San Francisco, California. The school that teaches dangerously.
Carpe Diem Schools. Aiken, Ohio. The school built like an office.
Innova Schools. Peru. The school built by world-class designers.
Blue School. New York, New York. The school fusing compassion and creativity.
Samaschool. San Francisco, California. The school that says it's not too late."
schools  schooldesign  education  2014  nigeria  lagos  sweden  denmark  gender  learning  howwelearn  lcproject  openstudioproject  bigpictureschools  samaschool  blueschool  altschool  p-techhighschool  cambodia 
october 2015 by robertogreco
14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden | A Cup of Jo
"On the Law of Jante: There’s an interesting cultural principal here and in a few other Scandinavian countries called the Law of Jante. It essentially means that one individual is not more special than any other, and you’re not to behave as if you are. When I was teaching ballet in Stockholm years ago, I noticed that my students were, indeed, reluctant to stand out. For example, they were quite timid when I asked them to demonstrate steps or propose new ideas to the class."



"On food: One of the funniest food customs I’ve observed here is the national tradition of having split pea soup and pancakes for lunch on Thursdays. The first time a Swede told me that, I thought he was joking, but the opera house where I work serves that meal every Thursday. I think all Swedish schools do it, too, and you’ll see it in restaurants. When Americans think of split pea soup it’s green, but here it’s more yellow, with white and yellow beans, and the meat is a pork sausage that’s sliced into the soup."



"On candy: Swedes eat more candy than anybody else in the world, something like 35 pounds of candy per person per year! Huge candy shops with impressive sections are everywhere. What intrigues me most about the Swedish sweet tooth is lördagsgodis or “Saturday candy.” Every Saturday, kids and often their parents fill bags with their favorite candy. Gummies and licorice are big favorites. Before I became a parent, I thought this was a great idea, but now I’ve seen what sugar does to my daughter!



On coziness: The Swedish word mysig is hard to translate, but technically means “to smile with comfort,” or be cozy. It’s an important concept here, where the winters are long and cold. You see candles everywhere, year round. When I first moved here, it struck me as a major fire hazard! But they’re everywhere and so beautiful. Sometimes we go to IKEA on weekends (“It’s cold and rainy, so let’s go to IKEA!”), and everyone buys their candles there! Everyone has candles in their carts at checkout.

Swedes even have a special word to describe curling up indoors on a Friday night: fredagsmys. You light candles, cuddle under a blanket on the sofa, eat candy and watch a movie. I love that there’s a verb for it."
sweden  coziness  parenting  families  children  astridlindgren  candy  food  pippilongstocking  alfonsaberg  alfieatkins  mysig  napping  fredagsmys  play  cold  climate  outdoors  motherhood  childcare  daycare  parentalleave  lawofjante  collectivism  community  summer  winter  scandinavia  via:jenlowe 
october 2015 by robertogreco
From Aleppo To Malmo: War-Weary Refugees Find A Home In Sweden
"MALMO, Sweden -- Nine months ago, Omar's parents decided that they could no longer stay in Turkey, where they had fled from Syria. Using a smuggler, Omar's dad made his way to the southern Swedish city of Malmo, where the family has friends.

He's not alone. This month, the Swedish Migration Agency's Malmo office is registering close to 900 new asylum seekers per day, a figure not seen since the Balkan wars 25 years ago. Malmo is not only a logical point of entry for the many asylum seekers who head for Sweden. It's also a destination.

"I only have one aunt left in Syria," says the 18-year-old Omar, who was later able to join his father along with his mother and sister. "Almost everyone else is in Malmo."

Indeed, many migrants specifically choose to come here.

"It's a big city and you can speak Arabic and English here," says Mohammad al-Balout, a young Syrian journalist who arrived last year after fleeing from Libya through Italy, then farther north, and now lives here permanently, having been granted asylum. (Sweden grants asylum to all Syrian citizens bar selected individuals such as war criminals.)

Ahmed, a Syrian teenager who arrived in Malmo 2 1/2 years ago, having made the journey via Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Austria, then on to Sweden, says his family had decided he should head for Malmo "because there are many Arabs here."

The Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) collects the new arrivals from Malmo's harbor and its train station, as well as the harbor in Trelleborg, a city to the south with ferry traffic to and from Germany. A steady stream of shuttle buses delivers the migrants to the Migration Agency's office, though from the train station the official buses are supplanted by cars and buses driven by volunteers.

The good Samaritans' activities at the train station, which also include providing food and beds to new arrivals, have caused some irritation among the authorities.

"The Migration Agency says they can receive everybody, but they can't," says Ali Jehad, an Iraqi who came to Sweden as a child via Saudi Arabia and now coordinates volunteer efforts at the train station. "We have enough food and beds for 600 people, but the authorities don't want our help."

Authorities acknowledge that they are wary of some forms of cooperation, but they say it is for good reason.

"We appreciate that volunteers want to help," says Betim Jahiri, deputy head of the Migration Agency's Malmo office, "but who's responsible when an undocumented migrant gets into a private person's car? As far as the law is concerned, such people are in the country illegally."

Regardless of how they are traveling, the result of the shuttle traffic is a crowded Migration Agency reception area and a long queue outside.

"We're setting new records every day," Jahiri says. "Malmo is a connection point for migrants."​

Seventy immigration officials staff the Malmo center to register the new arrivals, fingerprint them, take their photo, conduct a short interview, and give them a debit card for daily needs.

Copenhagen's twin city on the Swedish side of the Kattegatt strait, Malmo has a long history as a blue-collar city dominated by its shipyard. But over the past generation, migration has changed the city. Last year, 43 percent of the city's 318,000 residents were immigrants or first-generation Swedes, with Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina among the most common countries of origin. These days, they're joined by more Iraqis as well as many Syrians.

The Migration Agency is so busy that it's now hiring 50 more staff to process asylum registrations, and Jahiri says that his office is bracing itself for new records.

After their asylum claims have been registered, asylum seekers are assigned to Migration Agency housing in towns across Sweden. Many, however, have friends and relatives they can stay with and opt to do that. As a result, many asylum seekers stay in Malmo while their claims are being processed.

"Last week, we had eight additional people in our [three-bedroom] apartment," says Mohammed, an 18-year-old Iraqi who arrived with his family in Malmo three years ago, joining relatives already living here.

When their applications have been approved, many refugees logically stay put.

Malmo's politicians are doing their best to accommodate the rising number of residents, even creating, then expanding, a so-called Start School attended by migrant children until their Swedish is good enough for them to attend regular schools.

"Swedes respect everybody, even animals," says Raafat Amini, a Syrian who made it to Malmo 1 1/2 years ago and was able to bring his wife and four young children from Turkey earlier this year. "Here, refugees have the same rights as Swedes." His wife, Tahani Almousli, praises the fact that in Malmo's schools, her children are learning not just theoretical subjects but also skills such as swimming -- a point that seems a bit random were it not for the fact that Amini survived a capsizing dinghy by swimming to shore.

But a law intended to treat migrants humanely by allowing them to settle anywhere they choose is having unintended and difficult consequences.

The neighborhood of Rosengard, long home to a mix of working-class residents and immigrants, now has almost exclusively immigrant residents.

"The problem is that it's hard to get integrated in Malmo," says Balout. "Especially in Rosengard, people bring their own traditions, speak their own language. Malmo is a good place to live and work, but the thing is, you don't learn Swedish."

Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the son of a Croatian mother and a Bosnian father who was born and raised in Rosengard, speaks with a foreign-infused accent and vocabulary now known as Rosengard Swedish.

"Immigration is an incredibly positive thing for Malmo. The city's diversity makes us an attractive city to live and work in," says Andreas Schoenstroem, Malmo's deputy mayor in charge of integration, secondary education, and adult education. Rosengard's concentration of immigrants is an economic matter, not an ethnic one, he adds: "In parts of Rosengard, housing is cheaper, and that's why people move there when they want to establish themselves here. When they get work, they often move to other neighborhoods."

Recently, Balout sent his teenage brother, who escaped to Sweden with him, to live in a small town. That way, Balout argues, his brother will have a chance of becoming part of Swedish society. Balout himself has quickly learned Swedish and made the conscious decision to live by himself in a majority-Swedish neighborhood.

Safeta Bajraktarevic arrived in Malmo during the previous record refugee wave: She and her family escaped from Sarajevo in 1992. Speaking in effortless Swedish, Bajraktarevic labels the government's policy of allowing refugees to choose their place of residence "madness."

"The result is that all the immigrants end up living in the same place," Bajraktarevic says.

That's the Swedish decision-makers' bind: Allowing new arrivals to settle in cities and neighborhoods where people from their home countries live may be beneficial in the short term but counterproductive in the long term.

Bajraktarevic, who trained as a lawyer in Bosnia, has found integration into Swedish society "super easy," she says. "You just have to go to school, go to work. Otherwise, you'll never meet any Swedes."

But many Swedes are uneasy about the rapid increase in immigration. Last year, 81,301 people applied for asylum in Sweden, up from 17,530 in 2004. This month, the Sweden Democrats, who want to reduce immigration, scored a record 20.8 percent of voter support in a nationwide poll.

And getting work is not as easy as just applying. Academic research shows that applicants with immigrant-sounding names are invited for job interviews less often than Swedish applicants with the same qualifications.

"Now I'm unemployed again," says Bajraktarevic, who nonetheless is about to leave for a holiday on Crete. "As long as my name is Safeta Bajraktarevic, I'll have a hard time finding work. We immigrants don't have as many contacts as Swedes, so we need a little shove.""
malmo  refugees  syria  sweden  2015  immigration  migration  asylum  nationalism 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous - The Washington Post
"For most of its history, the United States was unique in offering a well-rounded education. In their comprehensive study, “The Race Between Education and Technology,” Harvard’s Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz point out that in the 19th century, countries like Britain, France and Germany educated only a few and put them through narrow programs designed to impart only the skills crucial to their professions. America, by contrast, provided mass general education because people were not rooted in specific locations with long-established trades that offered the only paths forward for young men. And the American economy historically changed so quickly that the nature of work and the requirements for success tended to shift from one generation to the next. People didn’t want to lock themselves into one professional guild or learn one specific skill for life.

That was appropriate in another era, the technologists argue, but it is dangerous in today’s world. Look at where American kids stand compared with their peers abroad. The most recent international test, conducted in 2012, found that among the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranked 27th in math, 20th in science and 17th in reading. If rankings across the three subjects are averaged, the United States comes in 21st, trailing nations such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia.

In truth, though, the United States has never done well on international tests, and they are not good predictors of our national success. Since 1964, when the first such exam was administered to 13-year-olds in 12 countries, America has lagged behind its peers, rarely rising above the middle of the pack and doing particularly poorly in science and math. And yet over these past five decades, that same laggard country has dominated the world of science, technology, research and innovation.

Consider the same pattern in two other highly innovative countries, Sweden and Israel. Israel ranks first in the world in venture-capital investments as a percentage of GDP; the United States ranks second, and Sweden is sixth, ahead of Great Britain and Germany. These nations do well by most measures of innovation, such as research and development spending and the number of high-tech companies as a share of all public companies. Yet all three countries fare surprisingly poorly in the OECD test rankings. Sweden and Israel performed even worse than the United States on the 2012 assessment, landing overall at 28th and 29th, respectively, among the 34 most-developed economies.

But other than bad test-takers, their economies have a few important traits in common: They are flexible. Their work cultures are non-hierarchical and merit-based. All operate like young countries, with energy and dynamism. All three are open societies, happy to let in the world’s ideas, goods and services. And people in all three nations are confident — a characteristic that can be measured. Despite ranking 27th and 30th in math, respectively, American and Israeli students came out at the top in their belief in their math abilities, if one tallies up their responses to survey questions about their skills. Sweden came in seventh, even though its math ranking was 28th.

Thirty years ago, William Bennett, the Reagan-era secretary of education, noticed this disparity between achievement and confidence and quipped, “This country is a lot better at teaching self-esteem than it is at teaching math.” It’s a funny line, but there is actually something powerful in the plucky confidence of American, Swedish and Israeli students. It allows them to challenge their elders, start companies, persist when others think they are wrong and pick themselves up when they fail. Too much confidence runs the risk of self-delusion, but the trait is an essential ingredient for entrepreneurship."
stem  education  testing  standardizedtesting  us  policy  sweden  israel  testscores  comparison  innovation  technology  science  conformity  conformism  standardization  diversity  williambennett  nclb  rttt  ronaldreagan  anationatrisk  writing  criticalthinking  liberalarts  fareedzakaria  2015 
march 2015 by robertogreco
An Ancient Design in a Modern Age by Per Kristian Bergmo (Works That Work magazine)
"The lávvu served for centuries as portable housing for reindeer herders. Its practical, efficient design and cultural heritage are attracting new users across Scandinavia."



"More than just a functional shelter, however, the lávvu is also important as a gathering place, a structure that creates community. As Reider Breivik, a 72-year-old Norwegian teacher and lávvu enthusiast, says, ‘I fell in love with it in 1980 for its use as a social arena with people sitting in a circle inside, facing each other. The feeling is very similar to sitting around a campfire, and in a way, that is what you do in a lávvu. It creates a great atmosphere where everyone is equal. It is a structure people from all over the world will feel at home in. I once hosted colleagues from Kenya, and as soon as they entered the lávvu they said that it reminded them of their grandmother’s house. They ended up choosing to sleep there instead of in the house for the duration of their stay.’For Herman Rundberg, the drummer of Violet Road, one of Norway’s most popular bands, the lávvu that his family puts up every year at the Riddu Riddu music festival is a connection to fundamental values: ‘I love the silence when you wake up in the lávvu on the tundra, or in the mountains, or at a festival camp. The sound of my father lighting the fire at dawn is a moment beautiful beyond words. I also really appreciate that even in these busy, fast-paced, modern times there is a place where you can do something as simple as sitting in a circle around a fireplace and just talking and feeling. It heals your soul and calms you.’"
architecture  design  portability  culture  perkristianbergmo  sami  sweden  finland  scandinavia  nomads  nomadism  lávvu 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Swedish Design: An Ethnography (Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge) (9780801479663): Keith M. Murphy: Books
"Swedish designers are noted for producing distinctive and elegant forms; their furniture and household goods have an especially loyal following around the world. Design in Sweden has more than just an aesthetic component, however. Since at least the late nineteenth century, Swedish politicians and social planners have viewed design as a means for advocating and enacting social change and pushing for a more egalitarian social organization. In this book, Keith M. Murphy examines the special relationship between politics and design in Sweden, revealing in particular the cultural meanings this relationship holds for Swedish society.

Over the course of fourteen months of research in Stockholm and at other sites, Murphy conducted in-depth interviews with various players involved in the Swedish design industry—designers, design instructors, government officials, artists, and curators—and observed several different design collectives in action. He found that, for Swedes, design is never socially or politically neutral. Even for common objects like furniture and other household goods, design can be labeled “responsible,” “democratic,” or “ethical”— descriptors that all neatly resonate with the traditional moral tones of Swedish social democracy. Murphy also considers the example of Ikea and its power to politicize perceptions of the everyday world.

More broadly, Swedish Design serves as a model for an anthropological approach to the study of design practice, one that accounts for the various ways in which order is purposefully and meaningfully imposed by designers on the domains of human life, and the consequences those impositions have on the social worlds in which they are embedded."

[via: https://twitter.com/npseaver/status/564483064902856704
and https://twitter.com/npseaver/status/564483374199238657 ]
sweden  design  culture  books  toread  2015  keithmurphy 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The American Way over the Nordic Model? Are we crazy? - LA Times
"In my long nomadic life, I've been to both poles and most countries in between. I still remember when to be an American was to be envied. The country where I grew up after World War II seemed to be respected and admired around the world.

Today, as one of 1.6 million Americans living in Europe, I instead face hard questions about our nation. Wherever I travel, Europeans, Asians and Africans ask expatriates like me to explain everything odd or troubling about the conduct of the United States. Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, ask pointedly about America's trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and "exceptionality."

Their questions share a single underlying theme: Have Americans gone over the edge? Are you crazy?

At the absolute top of the list: "Why would anyone oppose national healthcare?" Many countries have had some form of national healthcare since the 1930s, Germany since 1880. Some versions, as in France and Britain, have devolved into two-tier public and private systems. Yet even the privileged would not begrudge their fellow citizens government-funded comprehensive healthcare. That so many Americans do strikes Europeans as baffling, if not brutal.

In the Scandinavian countries, long considered to be the most socially progressive in the world, a national (physical and mental) health program is a big part — but only a part — of a more general social welfare system. In Norway, where I live, all citizens also have access to free education from age 6 through specialty training or university; low cost, subsidized preschool; unemployment benefits, job-placement and paid retraining; paid parental leave; old age pensions, and more. These benefits are not a "safety net" — that is, charitable payments grudgingly bestowed upon the needy. They are universal: equally available as a human right, promoting social harmony.

In the Scandinavian countries, long considered to be the most socially progressive in the world, a national (physical and mental) health program is a big part — but only a part — of a more general social welfare system. In Norway, where I live, all citizens also have access to free education from age 6 through specialty training or university; low cost, subsidized preschool; unemployment benefits, job-placement and paid retraining; paid parental leave; old age pensions, and more. These benefits are not a "safety net" — that is, charitable payments grudgingly bestowed upon the needy. They are universal: equally available as a human right, promoting social harmony.

This is the Nordic Model: a balance of regulated capitalism, universal social welfare, political democracy and the highest levels of gender and economic equality on the planet. It's their system, begun in Sweden in the 1930s and developed across Scandinavia in the postwar period. Yes, they pay for it through high taxation. (Though compared with the U.S. tax code, Norway's progressive income tax is remarkably streamlined.) And despite the efforts of an occasional conservative government to muck it up, they maintain it. Why?

They like it. International rankings cite Norway as the best place to grow old, to be a woman and to raise a child. The title of "best" or "happiest" place to live on Earth comes down to a neighborly contest among Norway and the neighboring Nordic social democracies, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

All the Nordic countries broadly agree that only when people's basic needs are met — when they cease to worry about jobs, education, healthcare, transportation, etc. — can they truly be free to do as they like. While the U.S. settles for the fantasy that every kid has an equal shot at the American dream, Nordic social welfare systems lay the foundations for a more authentic equality and individualism.

These ideas are not novel. They are implied in the preamble to our own Constitution. You know, the part about "We the People" forming "a more perfect Union" to "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

Knowing this, a Norwegian is appalled at what America is doing to its posterity today. That top chief executives are paid 300 to 400 times as much as an average employee. Or that Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Chris Christie of New Jersey, having run up their state's debts by cutting taxes for the rich, now plan to cover the loss with money snatched from public pension funds. That two-thirds of American college students finish in the red, some owing $100,000 or more. That in the U.S., still the world's richest country, 1 in 3 children lives in poverty. Or that the multitrillion-dollar wars of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama were fought on a credit card, to be paid off by the kids.

Implications of America's uncivilized inhumanity lurk in the questions foreign observers ask me: Why can't you shut down that concentration camp in Cuba? Why can't you stop interfering with women's healthcare? What is it about science and climate change you can't understand?

And the most pressing question of all: Why do you send your military all over the world to stir up trouble for all of us?

Europeans often connect America's reckless conduct abroad to its refusal to put its own house in order. They've watched the United States unravel its flimsy safety net, fail to replace decaying infrastructure, weaken organized labor, bring its national legislature to a standstill and create the greatest degree of economic inequality in almost a century. As they see it, with ever less personal security and next to no social welfare system, Americans are bound to be anxious and fearful. They understand as well why so many Americans have lost trust in a national government that for three decades has done so little for them (save Obama's endlessly embattled modest healthcare effort).

In Norway's capital, where a statue of a contemplative President Franklin D. Roosevelt overlooks the harbor, many America-watchers think he may have been the last U.S. president who understood and could explain to the citizenry what government might do for all of them.

It's hard to pin down why America is as it is today, and — believe me — even harder to explain it to others. Some Europeans who interrogate me say that the U.S. is "crazy" — or "paranoid," "self-absorbed," or simply "behind the times." Others, more charitably, imply that Americans are merely "misguided" or "asleep" and may still recover sanity. But wherever I travel, the questions follow, each suggesting that the United States, if not exactly crazy, is decidedly a danger to itself and others."
2015  annejones  us  healthcare  healthinsurance  socialsafetynet  scandinavia  norway  germany  uk  europe  inequality  equality  americandream  progressivism  socialism  capitalism  politics  policy  parentalleave  pensions  universality  nordiccountries  sweden  denmark  finland  iceland  individualism  equity  education  obamacare  affordablecareact  fdr 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Trailer de A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence subtitulado en inglés (HD) - YouTube
[See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Pigeon_Sat_on_a_Branch_Reflecting_on_Existence (2014)
"A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Swedish: En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron) is a 2014 Swedish comedy-drama film directed by Roy Andersson. It is the third part in his "living"-trilogy, following Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living. It premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival[1][2] where it was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film.[3]

Its title is a reference to the 1565 painting The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The painting depicts a rural wintertime scene, with some birds perched on tree branches. Andersson said he imagined that the birds in the scene are watching the people below and wonder what they are doing. He explained the title of the film as a "different way of saying 'what are we actually doing', that's what the movie is about."[4] At the Venice Film Festival, Andersson said that the film had been inspired by the 1948 Italian film Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica.[5]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_from_the_Second_Floor (2000)
Songs from the Second Floor (Swedish: Sånger från andra våningen) is a 2000 Swedish film written and directed by Roy Andersson. It presents a series of disconnected vignettes that together interrogate aspects of modern life. The film uses many quotations from the work of the Peruvian poet César Vallejo as a recurring motif. It is the first film of a trilogy, You, the Living being the second and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence being the third.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You,_the_Living (2007)
"The film is an exploration on the "grandeur of existence,"[3] centered on the lives of a group of individuals, such as an overweight woman, a disgruntled psychiatrist, a heartbroken groupie, a carpenter, a business consultant, and a school teacher with emotional issues and her rug-selling husband. The basis for the film is an Old Norse proverb, "Man is man's delight," taken from the Poetic Edda poem Hávamál.[4] The title comes from a stanza in Goethe's Roman Elegies, which also appears as a title card in the beginning of the film: "Therefore rejoice, you, the living, in your lovely warm bed, until Lethe's cold wave wets your fleeing foot."[5]

The film consists of a fluent succession of fifty short sketches, most with a tragicomic undertone. The cast is mostly non-professional, and alienating techniques are employed such as presenting the characters in grim make-up and having them talk directly to camera. The financing was difficult and the shooting took three years to complete. The film won the Silver Hugo Award for Best Direction at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and has received positive reviews. It is the second film of a trilogy, Songs from the Second Floor being the first and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence being the third."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Andersson ]
film  towatch  royandersson  humans  relationships  2014  sweden  life  living 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Elevated Child Poverty: A Capitalist Problem | Demos
"The way capitalist market institutions distribute the national income is hostile to child-rearing. This is so for at least two reasons.

First, adding a child to your family increases the amount of income your family needs, including the amount it needs to be above poverty. But capitalist institutions do not respond to this need by distributing more income to families as they add more children, which is what sensible child-friendly and family-friendly distributive institutions would do.

Second, capitalist institutions distribute the least amount of money to workers who are at the normal age of child-having. Left to their devices, then, capitalist institutions will always have child poverty rates that are much higher than the overall poverty rate.

Indeed, we see that in the US. In 2012, the official child poverty rate was 21.8 percent, while the overall poverty rate was 15 percent. This is a child-to-overall poverty ratio of 1.45, which indicates that children are 45 percent more likely to be in poverty than the population in general.

I've written about these basic anti-family problems with market distributive institutions before. [http://www.demos.org/blog/5/20/14/child-allowance-market-failure-corrective ] Since then, I've tried to think of clever ways to illustrate my point with data. I am still working on that for the first point. Here, I attempt to illustrate the second point that capitalist income life-cycles feed elevated child poverty rates.

Life-Cycle Effect

The life-cycle effect argument is pretty straightforward and obvious once you consider it. People have children when they are young. People receive the lowest amount of market income when they are young. Their incomes then go up later on in life when they receive promotions and raises and whatnot.

I figured that, if this was true, it would also mean that the youngest children have the highest child poverty rates and the oldest have the lowest child poverty rates. This is because (given parenting norms surrounding child spacing and such) the parents of older children are, on average, older as well, meaning they are deeper into their income life-cycle. All else equal, a family with a 15-year-old child in it has had more years to receive promotions and raises than a family with a newborn (obviously sometimes these families overlap, but not typically).

Using the latest 5-year American Community Survey (5% population sample), I calculated the poverty rate for every age from 0 to 17. This was the result: [graph]

As you can see, the rates move exactly as you'd expect. At age 0, 25.5 percent of children are in poverty. So, one in four children are born into poverty. At age 1, it inches up a little to 25.8%. I suspect it ticks slightly up instead of down for reasons related to determining the poverty status of a family in the prior 12 months when their kid is less than 12 months old. From there it's down, down, down as the the parents and kids get older and older. At age 15, the child poverty rate bottoms out at 18.2%. At age 16 and 17, you see upticks again, which is likely because 16 is the age at which the Census will categorize you as an adult if you move out, meaning your poverty status will be determined by your own income and not the income of your parents.

So from age 1 to age 15, child poverty rates fall a whopping 30%. This is because of income life-cycles, which are an artifact of the way market institutions distribute income.

Some takeaways:

1. Blaming parents for the anti-family consequences of capitalist distributive institutions doesn't make much sense. When child poverty rates fall 30 percent over the life cycle, that's an income distribution problem. Moreover, the 30 percent figure can mislead. It's not as if the remaining 70 percent who are impoverished at age 15 were also impoverished at age 0. People move in and out of poverty a lot. Half of all adults will spend at least one year in it.

2. This is utterly crazy from a child development viewpoint. Child poverty in general is, but this particular pattern of it especially. We distribute the least amount of income to people right when their kids are at their crucial development stage. If you are going to throw some kids into poverty, you'd much rather it be the older ones than the younger ones. Capitalist institutions do the reverse.

3. Child benefit programs, like the child tax credit and personal exemption, that pay more benefits to those with higher incomes are similarly crazy. In addition to just broadly giving more benefits to richer families than poorer families, they also end up giving more money to families with older children than younger children for these life-cycle reasons. Yet, younger children are in more need of the money (because they are much more likely to be poor) and it is more important for child development reasons that younger children have it. One way to fix this issue is to have a universal child allowance where families with children aged 0-5 get more benefits than those with children aged 5-17.

4. This is not just about poverty. The fact is that all parents, even those not in poverty, are going to face a similar life-cycle income issue wherein they have the lowest incomes when their kids are young and highest when they are old. This is also bad and counter to everything we know about child development. This makes the case again for a universal child allowance, perhaps with a higher benefit level for young children than old children.

5. The only solution is non-market income supplements of some sort. You are not going to be able to get capitalist firms to pay entry-level workers (aka parents of young children) more money. Nor are you going to force them to pay parents more than single workers. No amount of coaxing or manipulating the market will eliminate the Child Poverty Premium as I think I will begin calling it.

Conclusion

In closing, I thought it might be useful to compare the child-to-overall poverty ratios globally using disposable income (so income that includes child benefits and the like). Here are the best 5:

1. Finland - 0.53
2. Denmark - 0.62
3. Korea - 0.64
4. Norway - 0.68
5. Sweden - 0.68

As you can see, it's the usual suspects plus Korea. In Finland, children are about half as likely to be poor as the overall population. This is because it has a robust network of family benefits. Same with the other usual suspects."
poverty  childpoverty  2014  mattbruenig  capitalism  economics  childdevelopment  us  finland  denmark  korea  norway  sweden 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Anton Alvarez
"Anton Alvarez is a Swedish-Chilean designer based in Stockholm. A recent graduate of the Royal College of Art's Design Products MA, Alvarez originally studied fine art and cabinetmaking before completing an Interior Architecture and Furniture Design course at Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Craft and Design in Stockholm. Alvarez's work focuses on the design of systems and the creation of tools and processes for producing products. Alvarez work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Design Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London."

[via: http://www.designboom.com/design/mischertraxler-wins-2014-be-open-young-talent-award-04-24-2014/ ]

[See also: https://vimeo.com/44191867 ]
sweden  chile  art  design  antonalvarez 
april 2014 by robertogreco
America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
"What will change the overwork culture? There are several factors at play that I’m hoping will have an effect:

• Bright spots. I went looking for innovative "bright spots" at work, love, and play and found a host of really hopeful and cool things happening in companies large and small. For example, I have a profile of an innovative software company in Ann Arbor, Menlo Innovations, LLC, that was founded based on one principle: joy. Workers do intense, creative work, and are expected NOT to answer work phone and emails after hours or on weekends. If you come back refreshed—and maybe you’ve met someone, had a new experience, expanded your horizons—you’ll bring that freshness to work, perhaps make new connections, figure out how to solve an old problem in new ways.The more we shine a spotlight on how work can be done differently and well, the more companies and the middle managers who are the ones who implement policy changes, can follow new role models of success.

• Millennials. They may have been raised as precious and entitled, but many are coming into workplaces assuming that they can have it all—work and life—and are showing that they can do excellent work in their own way and in their own time. Creaky, rigid, old-fashioned cultures are beginning to adapt.

• Baby Boomers. They’re living longer and are healthier and aren’t ready or can’t afford to sail off into the sunset at 62. But neither do they want to work 90 hours a week anymore. There’s pressure from the top end to change as well.

• Technology. Technology is a double-edged sword right now. It’s freeing us up to work differently, but it’s also showing that it’s extending our work hours. I’m hoping that the more we use it, the smarter we’ll get about how to adapt to it. And all this recent extreme weather is showing managers how much good work can be done on snow days, etc. even when you’re not sitting at your desk under their nose.

• Human performance science and the creative class. In a knowledge economy, what do we value? Innovation, new ideas, creativity. How do we foster that? The brain is wired for the “A Ha” moment to come, not when our noses are pressed firmly into the grindstone, but in a break in the action. When we let our mind wander. In the shower. On a walk. When we are idle, neuroscience is showing that our brains are most active.

• Changes on the state level. While our national politics has been frozen for so long on issues of work and life, I was heartened to find states stepping in and looking for common sense policies and solutions to help people better manage the now conflicting demands and work and life. California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have state paid parental leave policies—paid for by employees a few cents out of every paycheck that is pooled into a Temporary Disability Insurance fund. Cities are passing tax incentives to companies that promote telework and flexible work, as well as exploring their own “right to request” flexible work laws.

• Health. NIH is in the middle of a giant, multi-year study of how our high-stress, long hours work cultures are making us sick—and that costs employers a lot of money. And the Yale Stress Center is finding in their functional MRI studies that stress—the WHO has rated us the most anxious country on the planet—is actually shrinking our brains. Sick and stupid and overworked and overtired does not make for the most creative and productive workforce.

Other countries limit work hours by law (the European Union’s Working Time Directive, for instance) to both keep workers from being exploited, burned out or, in the case of Germany in particular, to keep unemployment low by spreading out work hours among more workers. Other countries also value refreshed workers and family and leisure time, and have paid leave policies when children are born, fostered, or adopted, in addition to sick time. They have paid vacation policies of as much as 30 days. In Denmark, every parent gets two “nurture days” per child until the child is eight, in order to make it to parent-teacher conferences, the school play, etc.—things that in this country, many white collar workers guiltily slink out under the radar to rush to, and working class people risk getting fired to do. In the UK, within the first year that they implemented a “Right to Request” flexible work hours (which give employees the right to put together a plan for how to get their work done in a flexible way and employers could only turn them down if they could show it would hurt the business bottom line) more than one million families requested such schedules and business kept humming right along.

In the United States, we have no such policies. We value work. We work among the most extreme hours, behind only Japan and South Korea.We value work. We work among the most extreme hours, behind only Japan and South Korea. Our divided political system has yet to figure out what the proper role of government should even be, and we hate taxes. Ironically, the OECD has done studies that have found that the U.S. spends about as much as Sweden on health and welfare—it’s just that they pool their money to pay for everyone, and in the U.S., it all comes out of private pockets.

One of the most astounding studies I came across was another OECD look at productivity. I heard so often, well, this overwork culture is just the price we have to pay for being such an enormously wealthy and productive economy. But then the OECD sliced GDP per hours worked to get an hourly productivity rate, and for several of the years studied, the U.S. falls several rungs below other countries with more rational work-life policies, such as France. So we’re putting in the most hours, but we’re not actually working intense, short, productive hours. We’re just putting in a lot of meaningless face time because that’s what our workplace cultures value—at the expense of our health, our families, and our souls."
rebeccarosen  2014  work  labor  productivity  generations  millennials  babyboomers  technology  well-being  law  legal  qualityoflife  health  facetime  economics  france  denmark  sweden  japan  korea  brigidschulte  stewartfriedman  balance  lifepetersenge  jessicadegroot  inequality  monikabauerlein  clarajeffrey  boomers 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Educ-ação | Uma jornada em busca de inspiração
[Book (in Portuguese) is here: http://educ-acao.com/o-livro/ ]
[See also: http://educ-acao.com/

"Este projeto nasceu de uma motivação coletiva pela busca de modelos inspiradores de educação. Todos fomos e somos impactados profundamente por modelos educacionais desde cedo. Nosso aprendizado formal é um dos grandes responsáveis pelo que “vamos ser”. Quando crianças, nossa vida gira em torno das escolas. Quando jovens, nos deparamos com escolhas de disciplinas que vão delinear nosso futuro. Quando adultos, temos que tomar as mesmas decisões para nossos filhos. Movidos por inquietações ligadas à forma como entendemos educação hoje, um pequeno grupo se uniu em busca de reflexões e aprendizados em torno do assunto.

Foi assim, com estes desafios em mente, que um grupo de provocadores sonhou junto e desenhou um propósito em comum. Foi com um olhar não acadêmico em busca de inspiração que encontramos escolas, espaços de aprendizado, cursos formais e não formais que estão propondo novos formatos. Foi assim que chegamos a diversos modelos mundo afora: na India, na Suécia, na Indonesia, na Espanha, na Inglaterra, nos Estados Unidos… e no Brasil. Por acreditarmos na importância de escutar as experiências de quem está vivendo estes novos modelos, decidimos fazer uma jornada presencial por 13 destes espaços, em diferentes países e continentes. Vamos visitar estes locais, conversar com pessoas que compõem as histórias que dão vida e cor a estas iniciativas de educação.

Se quiser nos apoiar de alguma forma, por favor entre em contato: contato@educ-acao.com

//

This project was born out of a collective motivation to search for inspirational educational models. We are all profoundly impacted by educational models from an early age. Our formal training is largely responsible for the individual we’ll become when “we grow up”. When we are kids, our life revolves around school. When we are young adults, the disciplines we choose will help determine our future. As adults, we have to make these same decisions for our kids. Motivated by questionings related to the way we understand education today, a small group united in search for insights and learnings related to the subject. With this challenges in mind, a group of provocateurs came together, dreamt and designed a common goal.

It was with a non-academic viewpoint that we set out in search for inspiration, and we found schools, learning spaces, formal and informal courses that are proposing new formats. This is how we found diverse new models around the world: in India, Sweden, Indonesia, Spain, England, the US… and in Brazil. Some of these initiatives are still being selected in other countries. Because we believe in the importance of listening to whom is actually experiencing these new models, we decided to personally visit 13 of these spaces, in different countries and continents. We will visit them, talk to the people that are creating these stories and giving life and color to these new educational initiatives.

We believe this journey must be shared with the world, so the book will have a version for free download and will also share its contents through Creative Commons."
books  education  unschooling  alternative  deschooling  schools  northstar  quest2learn  argentina  brasil  brazil  spain  españa  cpcd  amorimlima  politeia  cieja  teamacademy  escuelasexperimentales  schumachercollege  yip  sweden  riversideschool  india  indonesia  greenschool  southafrica  sustainabilityinstitute  international  johnholt  paulofreire  rudolfsteiner  autonomy  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  lcproject 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Cristal Ball | EduShyster
"Reform hits the *g* spot
You know what tastes great when you’re done *crushing* the achievement gap? A Venti soy, half-caff, caramel macchiato with two shots of vanilla syrup. And by vanilla, I mean va*nil*la. It turns out that Reform, Inc. may finally have cracked the code for overcoming poverty without actually doing anything about poverty. It’s called *gentrification,* and it’s all the rage in reformy hot spots like Chicago, Washington, DC and New Orleans. 2014 prediction: the Fordham Institute opens up a satellite office in Cleveland because, well, Cleveland rocks."



"Fick val?
Reader: have you been longing to witness a decades-long experiment with school choice for yourself but lack the krona to get to Sweden? Great news! Now you can experience the wonders of choice-i-fi-cation, right here at home. Today’s destination: Minnesota, the first state to permit charter schools, where academies of excellence and innovation are popping up like ice fishing shanties atop one of the state’s 10,000 frozen lakes. The newest of these schools share a common trait with the snow that currently blankets the North Star State: whiteness. In the last five years, the number of mostly white suburban charters grew by 40%. In fact choosy Minnesota moms and dads now have a dazzling array of single race charters to choose from. 2014 prediction: this alarming trend will be completely ignored and, thanks to reform $$ falling like snowflakes, Minnesota will only charter harder."
education  commoncore  2014  schools  learning  policy  gentrification  sweden  minnesota  poverty  jenniferberkshire  edreform  reform  chicago  washingtondc  cleveland  neworleans  dc  nola  charterschools 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Planting For the Future — Weird Future — Medium
"New College’s actual method is much more robust.

Cultural continuity is ensured by regular visits keeping the foresters and college administrators in touch. Materials continuity is ensured by having redundant oaks spread over the college lands. No one oak is destined to be the future beam at College Hall. Instead, they have a bunch of oak, available for whatever circumstance might arise, including burning the great hall to the ground, three years in a row.

Part 3: Visingsö in Error
The lesson seems clear. Plant your seeds, plan for continuity, and your foresight will be rewarded. This is because I have pulled a trick, and told you only stories about where long term planning has paid off.

There is another story to tell.

Around the time that New College was repairing its great hall, the Swedish military was confronting a resource problem of its own. Demand for warships meant that there was a need for 150 year old oak trees. Foreseeing a shortage, the Navy began planting on Visingsö island. The trees came of age in the 1980s, when warships were made of steel.

Beware parables."
timmaly  longnow  culture  sustainability  continuity  foresight  stewartbrand  newcollege  visingsö  sweden  uk  history  parables  2013  alexanderrose  dannyhillis 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Human Rights Struggle in Europe: Educational Choice | Psychology Today
"State-mandated exams subvert self-directed education, because they dictate the content and timing of learning and undermine children’s sense that educational assessment is their own responsibility and pertains to their own personal, unique goals and values."
europe  netherlands  belgium  sweden  germany  homeschool  unschooling  standardization  standards  self-directedlearning  education  deschooling  learning  2013  petergray  assessment  humanrights  colonization 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Real Humans - Wikipedia
The story takes place in Sweden present time in a parallel universe, where the use of consumer-level androids is becoming more prevalent. The androids, known as hubots, are used as servants, workers, and company, but some have started to develop feelings and their own goals as their programming has become more advanced and manipulated. While some people embrace this new technology, others are frightened by what can happen when humans are replaced as workers, company, parents, and even lovers.
via:anne  sciencefiction  towatch  scifi  2012  sweden  androids 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Glimpt
"We decided we wanted to help them develop a more modern series of furniture. After having visited several villages and different cooperatives in the Andes we finally settled on Yungay as the village where we would set to work. In Yungay there was a little cooperative that worked with furniture making. During our visits we were impressed by their very high standards of craftsmanship and above all by the skill of the people who carved pictures in wood.

So day after day of soup followed by fried guinea-pigs and washed down with Inca Cola finally lead to the production of a series of coffee tables called Prehistoric Aliens. Our main difficulty was not a shortage of good ideas but rather the language barrier. Neither of us spoke any Spanish but we were faced with a situation where this was the only possible language for communication. The first few weeks we had been helped by our American friend Nick, but after a while we had to manage by ourselves. After keen language practice on the computer every evening, and getting a lot of hands on experience every day in the workshops, we finally managed to make some Spanish sounding words and were rewarded with the nicknames Gordo and Chato (Chubby and Shorty) by our fellow workers."

[via: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672896/swedish-design-and-peruvian-craft-meet-as-prehistoric-aliens ]
design  craft  sweden  furniture  artisans  wood  woodworking  perú 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Swedish School De-emphasizes Gender Lines - NYTimes.com
"What has become a passionate undertaking for its teachers actually began with a nudge from Swedish legislators, who in 1998 passed a bill requiring that schools, including day care centers, assure equal opportunities for girls and boys.

Spurred by the law, the teachers at Nicolaigarden took the unusual step of filming one another, capturing their behavior while playing with, eating with or just being with the center’s infants to 6-year-olds.

“We could see lots of differences, for example, in the handling of boys and girls,” said Lotta Rajalin, who directs the center and three others, which she visits by bicycle. “If a boy was crying because he hurt himself, he was consoled, but for a shorter time, while girls were held and soothed much longer,” she said. “With a boy it was, ‘Go on, it’s not so bad!’ ”

The filming, she said, also showed that staff members tended to talk more with girls than with boys, perhaps explaining girls’ later superior language skills…"
via:litherland  neutrality  gender-neutrality  criticalfriends  change  egalitarianism  egalia  egaliaschool  nicolaigarden  nicolaigardenschool  sweden  2012  observation  preschool  education  gender  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
- A crane to lift tears: 17 reasons why Malmö is the best Scandinavian city - A crane to lift tears: 17 reasons why Malmö is the best Scandinavian city
"These days, more than 300 years after Scania became Swedish territory, Malmö is finally coming into its own, again. In an era where packets travel faster by cable than ships, the skies still sustain the heart of Malmö by bringing in people from all around the world. Instead of building ships to send out to the sea, the waters new bring in new residents from all around the world.

An invisible crane still oversees the city and if you stay just long enough, you’ll feel it too when you walk around and talk to the people who make the city come alive. Malmö may be Sweden’s 3rd largest city, but it may win for being the most welcoming and exciting city in Scandinavia. Cities are more than landmarks, they are made by the people who live in it.

Here are17 reasons why Malmö is the most awesome Scandinavian city."

[Tagged 'Copenhagen' and 'Denmark' because of reason number one.]
diversity  denmark  triciawang  2012  scandinavia  cities  malmö  sweden  from delicious
october 2012 by robertogreco
Mapping the World's Most Seductive Shrines to Coffee - Claire Cottrell - The Atlantic
"We've rounded up some of the most beautiful purveyors of coffee around the world in virtual guide form, meaning not only have we included the eye candy you know and love, but we've also added addresses and handy links to Google Maps."

[Little Nap Coffee Stand - Tokyo, Japan]
2012  toronto  switzerland  basel  porto  portugal  silverlake  hungary  busapest  brooklyn  bluebottlecoffee  sanfrancisco  oregon  portland  tokyo  sweden  denmark  telaviv  paris  poland  nyc  losangeles  us  japan  architecture  design  intreriors  openstudioproject  glvo  srg  coffee  cafes  from delicious
october 2012 by robertogreco
BBC News - How Americans view wealth and inequality
"Rawls said that "a just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you'd be willing to enter it in a random place". And it's really a beautiful definition.

He called it a veil of ignorance, because if you're very wealthy, you might want the wealthy people to have lots of money and the poor to have very little; and if you are very poor, you might want the poor to have more money and the wealthy to have less.

But in Rawls' definition, you don't know where you'll end up, you have to consider all the different options and therefore you have to think about what is good for society as a whole."

"And it turns out people created a society that is much more equal than any society on Earth. It was much more equal than Sweden."
sweden  psychology  class  wealth  wealthdistribution  justice  justsociety  2012  johnrawls  us  society  philosophy  economics  money  inequality  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Chris Heathcote: anti-mega: to be real
"…a bit more theoretical than many of my talks, but I wanted to make the point that things like trust and authenticity aren’t binary – these are built slowly, and gained in the minds of people by doing the right thing. Also that the best trust is from just doing your job, and letting your employees & customers tell their stories."
hownotto  howto  socialmedia  personalization  depersonalization  twitter  firstdirect  people  vimeo  37signals  iceland  nokia  ebay  newspaperclub  kickstarter  upcoming  del.icio.us  flickr  personality  providence  history  business  branding  storytelling  heritage  moleskine  sweden  curatorsofsweden  bookdepositorylive  tumblr  generalelectric  net-a-porterlive  enoughproject  theyesmen  facebook  spambots  brompton  bromptonbicycles  hiutdenim  historytag  @sweden  douglasrushkoff  google  dopplr  copywriting  webdesign  craft  social  spam  russelldavies  online  web  internet  administration  management  howwework  chrisheathcote  2012  authenticity  trust  nextberlin  nextberlin2012  webdev  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Vittra - International and bilinguals schools in Sweden
"Vittra gives every individual the opportunity…

* to find the best approach for them: play & learn on the basis of their needs, curiosity & inclination in the best ways possible.
* to learn based on experience: learning is based on their experience which increases motivation & inspires creativity.
* to understand their own learning: equipped w/ the tools to acquire new knowledge & increase understanding of ‘How I learn’, which enables them to learn more easily & effectively in the future.
* to have faith in themselves & their abilities: become more self-aware, aware of their strengths & potential for development which means they dare & like to be challenged.
* to develop their ability to communicate & engage in respectful interaction w/ others: understand & are considerate to the needs & interests of others, can express & stand for their own views as well as take responsibility for their actions.
* to be equipped for study and work in an international environment…"

[via: http://gfbertini.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/vittra-school-system-sweden/ ]
communication  howwelearn  knowledge  play  curiosity  creativity  self-awareness  teaching  children  deschooling  unschooling  learning  education  schools  sweden  vittra  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Nina Lindgren
"I draw and create (and sometimes I also write) about things inside and surrounding. It interests me to come up with and to invent new realities and to tell the stories about them.

When it comes to arts and depicting it is an unsurpassed freedom to be able to bend and govern over what otherwise are rules and regulations. I search for sudden glimpses of unreality: preferably unforeseen and unpredictable to make virtual both real and pretended. If I draw a house balancing on one tiny piece of plank it will never fall, unless I want it to. In these own worlds you are the one to decide what reality is and what to be part of another's consciousness."

[via: http://strictlypaper.com/blog/2010/10/cardboard-heaven-by-nina-lindgren/ ]
portfolio  unpredictability  glvo  unreality  ninalindgren  sweden  artists  art  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Immerse yourself in the sounds of the Arctic (Wired UK)
"Adams, Plaid and Persen combined the poem with electronic music and the ambisonic field recordings to produce a piece titled Nord Rute -- the first in a four-part collection of performances about indiginous peoples titled The Compass Series, which merge poetry from Valkaeapää, music from Plaid and ambient audio from Adams. Nord Rute is a narrative account of the Sami people's annual migration.

The resulting performance is described as a "three dimensional psycho-acoustic experience" and an "ambisonic narrative evocation". During a performance the floor is covered with reindeer pelts and surrounded by speakers that create a plane of sound within which blindfolded audience members can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the journey across the frozen wastes. To enhance the experience, there'll be absolutely no heating -- blankets will be provided and schnapps will be served instead."
ambient  surroundsound  ambisonics  rossadams  sháman  korpiklaani  music  singing  joik  yoik  nomadism  nomads  sound  sápmi  russia  finland  sweden  norway  sami  tundra  arctic  2010  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Is Sweden's Classroom-Free School the Future of Learning? - Education - GOOD
"Jannie Jeppesen, the principal of Vittra Telefonplan writes on the school's website that the design is intended to stimulate "children's curiosity and creativity" and offer them opportunities for both collaborative and independent time. Vittra doesn't award traditional grades, either—students are taught in groups according to level—so maximizing diverse teaching and learning situations is a priority.

The open nature of the campus and the unusual furniture arrangements reflect the school's philosophy that "children play and learn on the basis of their needs, curiosity, and inclination." That's true for kids all over the world, so let's hope educators in other countries begin to pay attention."

[Not sure what the program is, waiting to read more. Previously: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665867/school-without-walls-fosters-a-free-wheeling-theory-of-learning ]
2012  classrooms  schools  children  design  unschooling  deschooling  democraticschools  freeschools  architecture  schooldesign  sweden  learning  education  classroom  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ | Common Dreams
"While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different."
georgelakey  99%  1%  nonviolence  labor  history  norway  sweden  democracy  1930s  transition  socialism  unions  revolution  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Tensta Konsthall
"It is Tensta konsthall’s ambition to be an institution with a given place in the local community. At the same time Tensta konsthall aims to offer a program of the highest international quality, to be an ongoing and self-evident destination for people interested in art. Central to the konsthall is its particular focus on both various kinds of collaborations and on the intensive mediation of new ideas.

Art mediation, generally and even internationally, has lagged behind other aspects of art and therefore it is important to provide equal possibilities for its development. Essential to Tensta konsthall’s work with art mediation is a grounding in contemporary art and a development that retains the integrity of and respect for both the art itself as well as the public. This means, amongst other things, that each aspect of mediation must be tailor-made in relation to the art in question and to the individuals and groups involved in the interchange, demanding a great deal of time & energy."
libraries  archives  artmediation  lcproject  sweden  art  via:litherland  tenstakonsthall 
january 2012 by robertogreco
G.D.P. Doesn’t Measure Happiness - NYTimes.com
"What these societies have in common is that rather than striving to be the biggest they instead aspire to be constantly better. Which, in the end, offers an important antidote to both the rhetoric of decline and mindless boosterism: the recognition that whether we are falling behind or achieving new heights is greatly determined both by what goals we set and how we measure our performance."
scandinavia  nordiccountries  economics  via:anthonyalbright  2011  well-being  happiness  growth  gdp  improvement  society  capitalism  competition  davidrothkopf  measurement  carolgraham  nicolassarkozy  josephstiglitz  bhutan  jeffreysachs  us  china  development  post-development  stability  sustainability  prosperity  wealth  australia  canada  singapore  japan  netherlands  norway  sweden  denmark  luxembourg  europe  fiscalresponsibility  humanism  shrequest1  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
EconoMonitor : Ed Dolan's Econ Blog » How Smart Fiscal Rules Keep Sweden’s Budget in Balance
"American conservatives still sometimes mock Sweden as failed experiment in socialism, but the reality, especially under that country’s current center-right government, is quite different. True, Sweden’s public sector is larger than that of the United States, although the gap is not as wide as some people imagine. When all levels of government are included, the share of government expenditures in GDP is 52 percent in Sweden compared to 41 percent in the United States. Somehow, though, the burden of government spending has not crushed Sweden’s economy as completely as might be thought."
eddolan  fiscalpolicy  sweden  us  socialism  budget  politics  policy  fiscalrules  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Malpractice reform lessons from abroad - PNHP's Official Blog
"US requires patients injured by medical negligence to seek compensation through lawsuits, an approach that has drawbacks related to fairness, cost, & impact on medical care. Several countries, including New Zealand, Sweden, & Denmark, have replaced litigation w/ administrative compensation systems for patients who experience an avoidable medical injury. Sometimes called “no-fault” systems, such schemes enable patients to file claims for compensation w/out using an attorney. A governmental or private adjudicating organization uses neutral medical experts to evaluate claims of injury & does not require patients to prove that health care providers were negligent in order to receive compensation. Info from claims is used to analyze opportunities for patient safety improvement. The systems have successfully limited liability costs while improving injured patients’ access to compensation. US policymakers may find many of the elements of these countries’ systems to be transferable…"
health  healthcare  malpractice  law  legal  money  medicine  us  newzealand  nofault  sweden  denmark  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
In English - Kunskapsskolan
"Personalised education - towards clear learning goals

Kunskapsskolan will provide the best schools in Sweden where every student, through personalised learning and clear goals, will stretch their boundaries and learn more than they thought possible.

In Kunskapsskolan, you as a pupil will be placed in the centre. Personalised education means that the school and the teachers start from and adapt themselves to your goals, your ambitions and your potentials - not the opposite.

The main task of the school is to impart knowledge. In addition to this, it is the aim of Kunskapsskolan to provide each pupil with additional skills - methods of acquiring and using a variety of knowledge, as well as personal development - to be able to meet a future world of vast flows of information and a rapid rate of change. The fundamental principle behind our method of learning is the conviction that all pupils are different and that they learn in different ways and at different rates…"
education  sweden  learning  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  teaching  kunskapsskolan  via:willrichardson  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com — John Holt Speaks to Swedish Teachers About How Children Learn
"talk John Holt presented to Swedish teachers in Gothenberg, Sweden on March 22, 1982…As Holt notes forcefully on this tape, unasked for teaching actually impedes learning, particularly for young children, a lesson confirmed by research that Holt notes in 1982 and quite recently confirmed again by new research cited in the Boston Globe (Front page, 3/29/11). However, a point often lost among today's unschoolers is that when a child of any age asks to be taught then "Go for it!" John provides an example of how a baby or toddler might ask for or invite teaching from an adult.

Like most of the audio tapes I have, this was recorded by John while he spoke, so the quality is a bit rough. I've removed as much hiss as I could, and the entire speech is here, though part 4 ends abruptly during the Q&A section. However, you are able to grasp John's final point, one he made often: schools should be more like public libraries, in spirit and in organization."
johnholt  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  teaching  1982  sweden  schools  politics  patfarenga  libraries  organization  tcsnmy  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
SURFING OFF THE COAST OF SWEDEN | More Intelligent Life
"Surfers don’t just gather in California and Cornwall. A few tough men have made a habit of surfing at Torö, an island off the coast of Sweden. Among them is the photographer Daniel Månsson, who captures some frozen moments."
surfing  sweden  photography  cold  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Placticity, Global Movements and Bioregion Change
"The first half of the twentieth century was drenched in the blood spilled by German and Japanese aggression, yet only a few decades later it is hard to think of two countries more pacific. Sweden spent the seventeenth century rampaging through Europe, yet it is now an icon of nurturing tranquility. Humans have invented the small nomadic band and the continental megastate, and have demon- strated a flexibility whereby uprooted descendants of the former can function eaectively in the latter. We lack the type of physiology or anatomy that in other mammals determine their mating system, and have come up with societies based on monogamy, polygyny, and polyandry. And we have fashioned some religions in which violent acts are the entrée to paradise and other religions in which the same acts consign one to hell. Is a world of peacefully coexisting human Forest Troops possible? Anyone who says, “No, it is beyond our nature,” knows too little about primates, including ourselves.”

[Quote from Robert Sapolsky here: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/files/articles/natural_history_of_peace.pdf ]
thomassteele-maley  plasticity  adaptability  anthropology  society  human  ingenuity  change  gamechanging  robertsapolsky  bioregions  happiness  schools  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  primates  ecology  culture  lcproject  tcsnmy  history  sweden  germany  japan  war  agression  utopia  baboons  nomads  citystates  scale  humannature  phenotypicplasticity  environment  environmentalism  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Pirate Party (Sweden) - Wikipedia
"The Pirate Party (Swedish: Piratpartiet) is a political party in Sweden founded in 2006. Its sudden popularity has given rise to parties with the same name and similar goals in Europe and worldwide, forming the international Pirate Party movement.<br />
<br />
The party strives to reform laws regarding copyright and patents. The agenda also includes support for a strengthening of the right to privacy, both on the Internet and in everyday life, and the transparency of state administration. The Party has intentionally chosen to be block independent on the traditional left-right scale to pursue their political agenda with all mainstream parties."
sweden  politics  pirateparty  copyright  privacy  transparency  government  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Sweden Solar System - Wikipedia
"The Sweden Solar System is the world's largest permanent scale model of the solar system. The sun is represented by the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, the largest hemispherical building in the world. The inner planets can also be found in Stockholm but the outer planets are situated northward in other cities along the Baltic Sea. It was started by Nils Brenning and Gösta Gahm. It is in the scale of 1:20 million." [See also: http://ttt.astro.su.se/swesolsyst/stations.html via: ªªhttp://hello.typepad.com/hello/2010/12/they-had-me-at-scale-of-120-million.html ºº]
sweden  scale  solarsystem  scalemodels  models  travel  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Learning from Finland - The Boston Globe
"As recently as 25 years ago, Finnish students were below the international average in mathematics and science. There also were large learning differences between schools, with urban or affluent students typically outperforming their rural or low-income peers. Today, as the most recent PISA study proves, Finland is one of the few nations that have accomplished both a high quality of learning and equity in learning at the same time. The best school systems are the most equitable — students do well regardless of their socio-economic background. Finally, Finland should interest US educators because Finns have employed very distinct ideas and policies in reforming education, many the exact opposite of what’s being tried in the United States.

Finland has a different approach to student testing and how test data can or should not be used. Finnish children never take a standardized test. Nor are there standardized tests used to compare teachers or schools to each other…"
finland  us  education  policy  teaching  schools  equity  equality  pisa  systemsthinking  cooperation  government  sweden  germany  choice  competition  leadership  standardizedtesting  pedagogy  reform  2010  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
jagnefalt milton: a rolling master plan
"swedish architecture firm jagnefalt milton has been awarded third prize for 'a rolling master plan', their proposed development for the idea competition of andalsnes in norway.

the design utilizing new and existing train tracks to create a diverse system where buildings roll through the city on rails, providing an opportunity to reorganize programmatic requirements in relation to the urban space. the mobile flexibility allows the city to adjust for uses such as concerts, festivals, markets, and seasonal changes.

the integration of mobile structures - including a rolling hotel, public bath and concert hall - has the potential to transform the city into a dense, integrated and continually changing scenography. the temporary, small-scale structures sets the 'city in motion', providing an important connection between the land and the sea."

[See also: http://www.jagnefaltmilton.se/page4.html ]
design  architecture  urban  planning  mobile  mobility  nomads  neo-nomads  jagnefaltmilton  sweden  norway  rail  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Preoccupations's Wikileaks Bookmarks on Pinboard
Through his bookmarks on Delicious, David Smith is building a valuable reference on the topic of Wikileaks surrounding Cablegate. See also his bookmarks for Julian Assange: http://pinboard.in/u:preoccupations/t:Julian_Assange
wikileaks  2010  davidsmith  julianassange  privacy  us  security  amazon  espionage  paypal  search  hosting  internet  web  information  dns  freespeech  sweden  france  cloud  cloudcomputing  censorship  democracy  policy  politics  whistleblowing  secrecy  government  activism  journalism  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
KIOSK - Interesting things from interesting places
"ARCHIVE: JAPAN, SWEDEN, MEXICO, GERMANY, FINLAND, 8 for 2008 + 1, HONG KONG<br />
AMERICA 1, 9 for 2009, AMERICA 2, Provence, Portugal, Groundhog Day, Iceland, America 3"
art  culture  design  accessories  gifts  shopping  japan  sweden  mexico  germany  finland  iceland  us  international  global  provence  france  hongkong  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Are we better off renting? | Money | The Observer
"For generations, we've aspired to be home owners. But evidence shows we'd be better off renting – both individually and as a nation. In Germany and Sweden, the rental market is credited with making people wealthier and happier, and with creating more attractive cities. So, is it time to sell up?"
via:cityofsound  renting  housing  homes  money  finance  happiness  sweden  germany  wealth  economics  incentives  society  socialstigmas  uk  us  switzerland  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Chef Marcus Samuelsson | PRI's The World
"Marcus Samuelsson is one of America’s top chefs. Indeed, he recently won the TV cooking competition, Top Chef Masters. Add that to accolades including 3 star-reviews from the New York Times and awards from the James Beard Foundation. Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia. But after his birth mother died, he was adopted by a couple from Sweden, where he grew up. Samuelsson’s food takes in influences from, among other places, Sweden, Ethiopia and New York City, where he lives. The World’s Alex Gallafent spoke to Samuelsson and asked the chef to share some of his musical influences too."
marcussamuelsson  sweden  ethiopia  us  music  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Open education: if you can do it, do it | FLOSSE Posse
"NYTimes wrote about fathers’ leave in Sweden. The articles ends w/:

"In Sweden I am on right,” Mr. Westerberg said, “but in US, I’m considered Communist.”"

Some days ago David Wiley wrote that w/ open content Open Knowledge Foundation gets it wrong when claiming share-alike licenses are open but non-commercial ones aren’t.

For those who are not familiar w/ open/free content/knowledge discussion, share-alike license has a condition asking people who remix or build upon content to distribute resulting work under same license. The license ensures later works will stay in commons. Wiley wrote:

“When authors adopt share-alike license, they are saying: we value the freedom of content over the freedom of people.”

As an author using share-alike license I see this a bit differently. I value the *freedom of mankind*, the common good, over the freedom of content or individuals.

I think that this is the way most SA people see it: When you are given, you should give back, too."
teemuleinonen  sharealike  communities  freedom  collectivegood  licensing  copyright  sweden  us  policy  individualism  opencontent  open  openknowledgefoundation  commercial  non-commercial  creativecommons  free  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Higher education and wages: Study leave | The Economist [Chart]
"YOUNG people often worry whether the qualification for which they are studying will stand them in good stead in the workplace. According to the OECD, college and university leavers are better placed in the labour market than their less educated peers, but this advantage is not even in all countries. Young graduates living in Spain are particularly likely to end up taking low-skilled work, while those in Luxembourg rarely take anything other than a graduate job. American and British students appear to have the biggest incentive to study: British graduates aged 25-34 earn $57,000 on average. Their Swedish peers earn $37,400."
education  college  colleges  universities  credentials  salaries  comparison  us  uk  sweden  labor  overeducated  work  markets  international  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
tor palm: south africa project
"as part of their final project from the carl malmsten furniture studies in stockholm, sweden tor and mattias of tor palm, wanted to utilize their woodworking skills and collaborate with
sweden  torpalm  stockholm  southafrica  design  furniture  wood  lighting  craftsmanship 
august 2010 by robertogreco
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

related tags

1%  37signals  99%  1930s  @sweden  accessories  accountability  action  activism  activities  adaptability  adaptation  adhd  adiahaspinks-franklin  administration  advertising  affordablecareact  afghanistan  age  agency  aggressiveness  aging  agression  alexanderrose  alfieatkins  alfonsaberg  alternative  altschool  alvaalto  amazon  ambient  ambisonics  americandream  amorimlima  anationatrisk  andreasviestad  androids  animals  annejones  anthropocene  anthropology  antonalvarez  anupartanen  anxiety  apple  applications  architecture  archives  arctic  argentina  arnejacobsen  art  artek  artisans  artists  artmediation  ashleevance  aspergers  assertiveness  assessment  assimilation  astridlindgren  asylum  atheism  attention  audio  australia  austria  authenticity  autism  autodidacts  automation  autonomy  axeldaanielson  baboons  babyboomers  bailout  balance  banking  barryritholtz  basel  behavior  belarus  belgium  belief  berniesanders  beyondexuberance  bhutan  bias  bigpictureschools  billclinton  bioregions  bluebottlecoffee  blueschool  bolivia  bookdepositorylive  books  boomers  borders  branding  brasil  brazil  brexit  brigidschulte  britain  brompton  bromptonbicycles  brooklyn  budget  busapest  business  cafes  cambodia  canada  candy  capitalism  carolgraham  catholicism  censorship  change  charterschools  chat  chicago  childcare  childdevelopment  childpoverty  children  chile  china  choice  chrisheathcote  cieja  cities  citystates  civilization  clarajeffrey  class  classideas  classism  classroom  classrooms  cleaning  cleveland  climate  climatechange  climatejustice  climatescience  cloud  cloudcomputing  clutter  coffee  cold  collaboration  collectivegood  collectivism  college  colleges  colonization  color  comics  commands  commercial  commoncore  communication  communities  community  comparison  compassion  competition  competitiveness  conferences  conformism  conformity  conservatism  consumerism  consumption  continuity  cooking  cooperation  copper  copyright  copywriting  corporations  corporatism  corruption  costarica  countries  courtesy  coziness  cpcd  craft  craftsmanship  creativecommons  creativity  credentials  criminaljustice  crisis  criticalfriends  criticalthinking  culture  curatorsofsweden  curiosity  czechoslovakia  czechrepublic  czeckrepublic  dannyhillis  data  davidmichael  davidrothkopf  davidsmith  daycare  dc  death  decluttering  del.icio.us  democracy  democraticschools  demographics  denamrk  denmark  depersonalization  depression  deschooling  design  development  diagnosis  disparity  diversity  divingplatforms  division  dns  documentary  dominicanrepublic  dominicans  donaldtrump  dopplr  douglasrushkoff  driving  drugabuse  drugs  dumponus  dunning–krugereffect  dynamic  ebay  ecology  economics  eddolan  edreform  education  eeroarnio  efficiency  effort  egalia  egaliaschool  egalitarianism  egotism  egypt  elections  emmanuelmacron  empathy  employment  energy  engineering  england  enoughproject  environment  environmentalism  equality  equity  erichfromm  escuelasexperimentales  españa  espionage  estonia  ethics  ethiopia  ethnicity  etiquette  europe  exceptionalism  excess  extinction  facebook  facetime  fame  families  fareedzakaria  fashion  fdr  fear  feminism  film  finance  finland  firstdirect  fiscalpolicy  fiscalresponsibility  fiscalrules  flags  flickr  flight  food  foresight  france  fraud  fredagsmys  free  freedom  freeschools  freespeech  fulfillment  fun  furniture  future  gambling  gamechanging  games  gdp  gender  gender-neutrality  generalelectric  generations  gentrification  georgelakey  germany  gifts  gini  gizmondo  glass  global  globalarming  globalization  glvo  goodancestors  google  government  graphicnovels  graphics  gratitude  greatness  green  greenschool  gretathunberg  growth  göteborg  haiti  hansbretton-meyer  happiness  health  healthcare  healthinsurance  heritage  heterogeneity  hierarchy  hillaryclinton  history  historytag  hiutdenim  homes  homeschool  homogeneity  hongkong  hope  horizontality  hosting  hotels  houses  housing  housingbubble  hownotto  howto  howwelearn  howwework  human  humanbehavior  humanism  humannature  humanrights  humans  humor  hungary  hunting  ice  iceland  iceskating  iittala  ikea  illness  illustration  imagination  immigration  impermanence  improvement  incarceration  incentives  income  incomeinequality  independence  india  individualism  indonesia  industry  inequality  infographics  information  infrastructure  ingenuity  ingmarbergman  innovation  installation  interaction  interconnected  interiors  international  internet  intreriors  ios  iphone  israel  italy  jackself  jagnefaltmilton  japan  jeffreysachs  jennawortham  jennifer  jenniferberkshire  jesperthompsen  jessicadegroot  jillbarshay  jimcrow  johansunberg  johnholt  johnrawls  joik  josephstiglitz  journalism  joy  jugaad  julianassange  justice  justintrudeau  justsociety  kajfranck  katepickett  keithmurphy  kickstarter  kids  kiruna  kjetilfallan  knowledge  konmarimethod  korea  korpiklaani  kristianbyrge  kristinapersson  kunskapsskolan  labels  labor  ladonia  lagos  language  languages  latecapitalism  law  lawofjante  lcproject  leadership  learning  legacy  legal  liberalarts  libraries  licensing  life  lifeexpectancy  lifepetersenge  lighting  linguistics  lithuania  living  logistics  longnow  longterm  losangeles  luxembourg  lávvu  mac  macau  maintenance  malmo  malmö  malpractice  management  manufacturing  marcmauer  marcussamuelsson  mariafröhlich  mariannegoebl  mariekondo  marielepen  markets  massextinction  materialism  materials  maternityleave  mattbruenig  matttaibbi  maximilienvanaertryck  meaningmaking  measurement  meatspace  media  medicine  meetings  mending  mentalhealth  mentalillness  mexico  michellealexander  micronations  middleclass  migration  military  millennials  mindfulness  mining  minnesota  mobile  mobility  models  moderation  modernism  mojavedesert  moleskine  momus  money  monikabauerlein  monks  morality  motherhood  motivation  mp3  museums  music  muuto  mysig  nadialassen  names  naming  napping  narcissism  nathanheller  nationalism  nationalpride  nato  nature  nclb  neo-nomads  net-a-porterlive  nethelands  netherlands  neutrality  newcollege  neworleans  news  newspaperclub  newzealand  nextberlin  nextberlin2012  nicolaigarden  nicolaigardenschool  nicolassarkozy  nigeria  ninalindgren  nofault  nokia  nola  nomadism  nomads  non-commercial  nonviolence  nordic  nordiccountries  normanncopenhagen  norms  northstar  norway  nyc  obamacare  observation  ok-rm  olewanscher  oliviaöberg  online  onlinetoolkit  open  opencontent  openknowledgefoundation  openness  openstudioproject  opportunity  optimism  oregon  organization  organizing  othering  outdoors  overeducated  ownership  p-techhighschool  paidleave  panamá  parables  paraguay  parentalleave  parenting  paris  paternityleave  patfarenga  paulinaporitzkova  paulkrugman  paulofreire  paypal  pedagogy  pensions  people  peopleofcolor  perkristianbergmo  personality  personalization  perú  peterbonnén  petergray  phenotypicplasticity  philosophy  phones  photography  pippilongstocking  pirateparty  pisa  planning  plasticity  play  poland  policy  politeia  politics  polls  portability  portfolio  portland  porto  portugal  possessions  post-development  postindustrialism  pouladsen  poverty  pranks  preisthood  preschool  primates  privacy  privatization  production  productivity  products  progressives  progressivism  property  prosperity  provence  providence  psychogeography  psychology  qualityoflife  quest2learn  race  racism  radio  rail  rankings  rations  rebeccarosen  recipes  recovery  recreation  recycling  reform  refugees  relationships  relativity  religion  renting  repair  research  resistance  revolution  richardwilkinson  rights  riversideschool  robertsapolsky  ronaldreagan  rossadams  royandersson  rss  rttt  rudolfsteiner  russelldavies  russia  salaries  samaschool  sami  sanfrancisco  scale  scalemodels  scandinavia  schizophrenia  schooldesign  schooling  schools  schumachercollege  science  sciencefiction  scifi  sculpture  search  secrecy  security  self-awareness  self-directedlearning  self-harm  selfishness  services  sex  sexed  sexism  sexuality  sfsh  shanghai  sharealike  shopping  shrequest1  shumibosefinnwilliams  sháman  silverlake  singapore  singing  slack  slovakia  sms  social  socialelfare  socialexclusion  socialism  socialmedia  socialmobility  socialsafetnet  socialsafetynet  socialstigmas  society  sociology  solarsystem  sound  sounds  southafrica  southkorea  space  spain  spam  spambots  spirituality  spontaneity  spotify  srg  stability  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  status  stem  stephendownes  stewartbrand  stewartfriedman  stockholm  storaenso  storytelling  streaming  street  streetart  stress  studios  summer  surfing  surroundsound  sustainability  sustainabilityinstitute  sweatshops  sweden  swedish  swimmingpools  switzerland  symbols  syria  systemsthinking  sápmi  taiwan  tappiowirkkala  taxes  tcsnmy  teaching  teamacademy  technology  teemuleinonen  teens  telaviv  tenstakonsthall  testing  testscores  texting  thenewjimcrow  theology  theyesmen  thomasadank  thomassteele-maley  throwaayculture  tidying  timmaly  tinanordström  tokyo  toread  toronto  torpalm  towatch  training  transition  transparency  travel  trends  triciawang  trust  tumblr  tumblrs  tundra  tunisia  turkey  twitter  tylerbrule  uk  ukraine  unions  universalhealthcare  universality  universities  unpredictability  unreality  unschooling  upcoming  urban  urbanism  urifriedman  us  utopia  vacation  via:alexismadrigal  via:anabjain  via:anne  via:anthonyalbright  via:ayjay  via:cityofsound  via:grahamje  via:jenlowe  via:litherland  via:willrichardson  video  videogames  vietnam  vimeo  violence  visingsö  vittra  voicemail  war  waroondrugs  washingtondc  wealth  wealthdistribution  web  webdesign  webdev  welfare  well-being  wesleymorris  whistleblowing  wikileaks  williambennett  winter  women  wood  woodworking  words  work  work-lifebalance  workshops  world  writing  wto  xenophobia  yip  yoik  youth 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: