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This one is for you, my son.

In a world where we all have access to unlimited information, we know less and less

Dear friends and co-creators of our joint future,

Today is one of the definite milestones of my life!

I feel hope, faith and love today, and I will soon tell you why. But first, let me give you the framework:

Yesterday early morning I was attending when Per Schlingman give a public speak at the business university in Gothenburg, his old school. Per Schlingman is quite famous; he wrote a couple of good selling books and used to work in the last ruling government, focusing on communicating the trademark of Sweden. He has a pretty good knowledge about the global development and has gained status as a trend analyst.

He was talking about the rapid changes of the systems and how that effects decision making and power. We will have to learn to live with uncertainty; to be fully flexible, adoptable, intuitive and learn other ways of managing decision making then from copy-paste of last year Excel sheet. We can no longer anticipate the consequences in 5, 3 or even 1-year calculations, because no one knows how the future will look any longer! In a world where we all have access to unlimited information, we know less and less. The most valuable will be what is not possible to copy for free for anyone:

  • Human uniqueness.
  • Human relations.
  • Business culture.
  • Stories.

The world is changing. And so does the way we value a result. What is really the hottest currency of tomorrow? A couple of weeks ago I went to Oslo to see my dear friend Unni Sekkeseater, who is a true pioneer within social business and microfinance in Norway. We went to a political hearing with all the political parties and the biggest social enterprise, FERD, founded by one of the richest men in Norway. He was talking about the difficulty to measure the value created and set goals in this kind of ventures. What would the true parameters of success be in companies working with programs to aid dyslectic children, or integrate people with criminal background in society, or give hope to young people who lost faith in life? One of their parameters was, instead of a certain yearly turnover, to make sure that everyone has at least one good friend.

Today, my teenage son Hjalmar , 15, had his last day at school before summer holiday. When he returned in the afternoon he handed me a small white envelope without saying anything. I looked at him questioning, but he just said “open it!”. Inside I found 20 Swedish kroner (about 2 Euro), a ticket to the cinema and a folded card with flowers on it. The text inside the little card said: “Congratulations Hjalmar, you are selected the Best Friend of the class!”. The effect was instant sending tears running down my face, tears of joy and gratefulness. It is hard to understand for those of you who haven´t known Hjalmar for as long as I have. You weren´t there all those years when he was bullied at school and had no friend to play with in school or after. You weren´t there during all those meetings we had as parents with the “special force” at school trying to help him. You didn´t sit next to the little boy when he gathered all his courage to call a friend he wanted to play with and time and time again got rejected. You did´t sit by his bed trying to talk him to peace before falling asleep, trying to chase the bad dreams away. How little it helped saying that “It will get better one day, my son, just stick to your golden heart and you will find your way…” when he was frustrated and sad.

But today, my son, is That Day. The day you came home from the last day at school before summer, with a token of appreciation from your classmates because they selected you as the best friend. I guess the wisdom you gained from knowing what it feels like not to have a friend and the courage to stick to your golden heart led you here. I am so, so proud of you! It is a huge milestone in my life too.

It is You, Hjalmar, and your peers- the young goodhearted people- who are the hope of the future. You are about to become adults in a world where the biggest value is your personality and your ability to build strong and authentic connections to other humans, to the animals and to nature. I will do everything in my power to support you in that, I will keep the ugliness and greed and the old sad linier “bigger is better” mindset the hell out of your way. I trust in You.

 

Love, your Mom.

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