This Wednesday was the first big seminar day.
Manfred Max Neef that had been a part of the tour during the last days was going to be the keynote speaker. Manfred is the developer of an economic system based on basic human needs for which he has won the “Right livelihood award”, also referred to as the alternative nobel price. To have such a great thinker as Manfred attending the tour was an honor far greater than most people could understand, and people had been looking forward to hear him speak about “the new economy paradigm” during the whole week.
This seminar was an open seminar which meant that people from the area also attended the conference. It gathered a group of about 30 people.
Lisbeth Lennartsson, chairman of the executive board of Borgholm opened up the conference by giving a brief introduction to Borgholm.
After the welcome Torbjörn Lahti took over by giving the background about Sweden, how it has become what it is today and how it is working at the moment, also giving a quick introduction to the terms of backcasting and the 4 system conditions. http://www.naturalstep.org/backcasting http://www.naturalstep.org/the-system-conditions
He also spoke about the big UN conference in New York at the 2nd of April this year on which he had been participating as one of the world’s experts on sustainability. This conference was initiated by the country of Bhutan as a first try to create a new economic paradigm for the world. The main idea about this new economic paradigm was that it would serve the people and be based on happiness instead of economic growth.
With this introduction to the seminar it was time for the first “fika” coffee break (and boy do swedes love their fika judging from the huge amount of food!)
After the introduction the topic of a new economic paradigm had already been dropped and who knew better about that then Manfred Max Neef?! With his great skills for presentation and a lot of humor and charisma Manfred captured and twisted the minds of the audience for two hours, starting out in a very philosophical way and slowly narrowing it down to his own theories about the 9 basic human needs. A lot of critisism was delivered to the idea of economic growth as a sign of progress (no one could possibly have left the room as a growth supporter) and the story about how he in search for what differentiated humans from animals started studying the “stupidology”.
“Economy should serve the people, not people serving the economy.”
“Drift in alertness. The people that know where they are going never discover anything.” – about the so call “fixed point obsession”
Not many people left for lunch with the same view of the world as before.
Many people enjoyed the two hours lunch break and took the opportunity to clear their head on a walk in the sunny weather.
After lunch the environmental ambassador for Kährs, Bruce Uhler talked about Kähr’s “FSC and fairtrade timber project” for improving forest rights, biodiversity, sustainable development and corporate CSR in Curacautin, Chile. The main topic was sustainable entrepreneurship and the responsibility and power of the consumer. A rather odd change of topic but still interesting.
The day finished with Eva Alfredsson presenting the results for a study called “Sweden’s decision makers view of green economy”. As she couldn’t be there physically she held her lecture virtually over the internet. Technique isn’t famous for being reliable so unfortunately the webcam didn’t work and the microphone caused an echo every time someone from the audience tried to ask a question. This caused a lot of laughter and made the communication between Eva and the audience quite hard.
Despite this Eva managed to follow through with the presentation.
Because of changes in the schedule the seminar ended there and people were left to discuss during the second fika of the day and to enjoy some free time. The big favorite on the fika table was without doubt the “biskvi” pastry. Here’s the recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/chocolate-biskvi-74344
The people that weren’t resting or taking a walk joined in on a volleyball tournament in the very windy weather. How much of that volleyball game that was spent in the water trying to catch the ball that had flown away is not to be told…
As a special treat for the participators Tommy Lindström had prepared a tasting of “kroppkakor, the special dish of Öland. http://www.food.com/recipe/swedish-kroppkakor-61420
On the way there you had the possibilities to try the electric car or the electric bike.
As if it hadn’t been enough food for the day the dinner was held at the small restaurant “Sörens krog”. Afterwards people scattered in different directions, some for a night walk to Borgholm’s castle and some for calmer activities at the hotel.