Preparing for the Post-Industrial World

As part of my job as a research associate at the University of Southern Denmark, I was one of the main organizers; Next Scandinavia was not involved.

Science and technology are changing our societies at a tremendous pace - or are they?

If they are, how should we deal with it as societies and what should politicians be aware of and do about it?

In order to find out, 40 scientists met at the Lorentz Center in Leiden for a week. We also engaged 30 students of science communication and society in order to communicate our results. We are now working on a whitepaper for the scientific community and on how to best reach and help the policy makers.

Read more about the workshop and our ongoing work at

Almost all the participants at the workshop; scientists from a broad range of fields, people from the arts and the students of science communication and society.

To the very left in the white shirt, professor Steen Rasmussen who was the main organizer, behind him, professor Jos van den Broek who runs the science communication program and organized the students, and behind him Norman Packard, the third organizer.

Some of the scientists and their presentations can be found on

Some unusual contributions

Everybody at the workshop contributed in their own unique way and we had managed to bring together an extremely interesting group of people with very diverse kinds of knowledge.

On the one hand, I do not want to single anybody out, on the other, I would like to share how diverse the group actually was: Below are three contributors, all rather unusual at a scientific conference.

I think we got everybody to think outside their normal boxes and everybody dared to leave their comfort zones. I am very grateful that we managed to do that.

Wael Ghonim - Thursday skype

Our first session Thursday morning was a skype with Wael Ghonim, Egyptian activist and founder of Parlio, about social media's role, possibilities and risks concerning activism and the fight for democracy.

Wael it just too cool and everybody was both moved and encouraged by his presentation.

Thank you Wael, for taking time to share your insights with us at the workshop!

Zarqa Nawaz - Muslim comedy

Later Thursday, Zarqa Nawaz who has bridged a number of gaps between Muslim immigrant and Canadian culture through comedy, presented her story and her work. Without a doubt the funniest presentation at the workshop, but first of all very enlightening and an eye-opener to all. 

Thank you Zarqa for crossing the Atlantic to meet with the scientists and for adding this rather unusual part to our work.

At the last session at our workshop was a discussion with Kristina Persson, the Swedish Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation (5th person from the right, black jacket, white shirt).

Before the session, Persson had spoken personally with several of the scientists, one of the students had interviewed her, and she had participated in the working group on changing narratives.

Urbane Change

Booklet about the future of cities

The Nordic City Network just had its annual meeting, this time in Aarhus, Denmark, and besides a presentation about the future of cities, they also asked for a booklet they could hand out to their participants.

The booklet is in Danish and my presentation was in Swedish - a pleasant surprise to the Swedes, Finns and Norwegians, and the cause of a funny, surprised look on the faces of the Danes. It all went very well, and the feedback on the book has been amazing.

An English version of the book should be on its way soon...