Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Finnish dream

I must be getting old. Never before have I even considered listening to a radio talk show where two people sit and dissect the world for half an hour. Now, I’ve even looked it up, twice, at the internet (radio on demand).

I’ve been playing around with ideas about creativity and creative economy lately so I decided to browse around for interesting references. One of the radio talk shows I found starred Pekka Himanen (who obtained his PhD in Philosophy at the age of 20 from the University of Helsinki) who has been giving much appreciated speeches about the creative capital at conferences around the world lately (the radio interview in Finnish here).

Over lunch with the reporter, Himanen explained his theory on how Finland will keep up with the rest of the world. He said that just as the Americans have their own dream (the American dream which is about personal success, according to PH), the Finns should have their dream, i.e. the Finnish dream. This implies a society that is creative but caring. Like a creative welfare state in the midst of the information age. If a creative and caring society is what bodes for a boosting economy then Finland has every reason to smile. Welfare and caring is our middle name and industries like culture and information technology are strong here.

After a bit of googling, I found this account (in Finnish only) of the challenges of the information society that Himanen wrote for the future committee of the Finnish Parliament. I’ll read it as soon as possible, seems interesting.

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