According to the recently released World Happiness Report, all four Nordic nations are in the top 10, with Finland and Denmark leading the way. What is the secret to their success?
In 2020, David Brooks asked the same question:
Progressives say it’s because they have generous welfare states. Some libertarians point out that these countries score high on nearly every measure of free market openness. Immigration restrictionists note that until recently they were ethnically homogeneous societies.
None of these explanations, it turns out, is sufficient. The answer is education, specifically, education policy guided by an understanding of human nature and development captured by the German word Bildung.
Lene Rachel Andersen is a futurist and cultural philosopher who not only tells the Nordic success story, but explains how Bildung can and must be adapted for the 21st century. Can Bildung provide the cultural and institutional DNA for a new Renaissance?
She teaches at Columbia University and the City University of New York, and previously at ThinkOlio, the New York Public Library, and with incarcerated students. She is former Editor-in-Chief of the American Philosophical Association’s Blog and a certified fellow with the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. Before philosophy, she was an international equity arbitrageur, management consultant, and Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserves.
Beyond philosophy, we explore her experience practicing martial arts, her NYC cocktail bar expertise, and her experience interviewing Esther Perel.
Grace is a philosophy teacher, trainer, facilitator, scholar and advocate. Over the last fifteen years – through her many projects in the places people live, learn, work and play – she has enjoyed philosophical conversations with thousands of thinkers of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience. Through her workshops, training, talks and writing, she has shared her thinking and practice nationally and internationally.
Working in the community, she founded Thinking Space in 2008. She is also an accredited trainer with SAPERE and Dialogue Works, a specialist with The Philosophy Foundation, a contributor to P4C.com and a board member of the European network SOPHIA.
Working in academia, she is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds where she runs ‘Philosophy Exchange’ – a project that brings together philosophy students, teachers and children in weekly philosophical enquiry. She also consults with other UK universities, helping to set up similar programmes. Grace is currently finishing a PhD in Philosophy at UCL Institute of Education where she writes on ethics, education and aesthetics, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) doctoral award.
Steve McIntosh is the founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a think tank devoted to solving the problem of political polarization. His recent book, Developmental Politics, draws on integral philosophy to drill down into the causes of the culture wars, and proposes a bold new vision for how America can become a better version of itself.
More recently, Steve has collaborated with thought leaders such as John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, and Carter Phipps on the book Conscious Leadership, and started an organization called the Post-Progressive Post.
Steve’s diagnosis of the hyper-polarization plaguing our political culture is the best I have ever come across; better, in my judgment, than those of media luminaries such as Ezra Klein and Jonathan Haidt. Join us for a philosophical tour de force of a conversation!
Ian Olasov is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a public philosopher at large. In his new book, Ask a Philosopher: Answer to Your Most Important and Most Unexpected Questions, Ian weighs in on the results of a social experiment he has run for years: philosophers travel to public places like parks, street fairs, and farmers markets, set up a booth, and invite people to talk about whatever is on their mind. He has written for Slate, Vox, and other publications.
In this episode, Ian regales us with tales from the popular Brooklyn Night of Philosophy, considers what speech act theory can tell us about the rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter movement, and shares what he has learned running the “Ask a Philosopher” booth–from the funky to the weird, provocative, and profound.
If I had to pick the most interesting person I’ve ever met, it would probably be my friend and mentor Sal Giambanco. When we first met over ten years ago at our common alma mater, Fordham University, he described what he did for a living as “philosophical counseling for CEOs.” Needless to say, he had me at “transferrable skills.” It was Sal that first planted the idea for this podcast in my head–that philosophers can succeed beyond the ivory tower–so he is the ideal guest for its inaugural episode.
After studying philosophy and training to become a Jesuit at Fordham in the early ’90s, Sal moved to San Francisco. Here, he served as a hospital chaplain for the dying, at the veritable ground zero of the AIDS plague. Years later, he left the Jesuits and academia, and went on to a successful career in human resources, working for companies such as PayPal, eBay, and the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm. Sal is an expert in human capital and an executive coach.
Join us as we explore his fascinating life, his extraordinary career, and his personal encounters with Elon Musk, Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama…