With all the negative news coming out of Iceland, it’s important to keep in mind that there are loads of positive and inspiring things happening on a daily basis that tend to get shoved aside by the REALLY SERIOUS ISSUES like, say, the closing of the Icelandic McDonald’s franchise.
One such initiative is an upcoming National Assembly organized by the esteemed Ministry of Ideas and other related organizations, who collectively call themselves The Anthill. The premise behind the initiative is that the Icelandic nation is currently at a critical crossroads and we urgently need a new roadmap into the future. And of course it is impossible to create a roadmap to somewhere unless you know where you want to end up.
Enter The Anthill. This grassroots collective has now organized an event where 1,500 Icelanders, randomly selected, will converge for a full day in the Laugardalshöll arena to deliberate on what they would like the future in Iceland to look like. Those 1,500 invitees will be divided into small groups each facilitated by a moderator, the objective being to establish a set of core values that will guide the Icelandic nation into the future with some sort of established vision.
The event will be on Saturday, November 14, and the first half will be devoted to discussing the question “What core values will guide us in developing our society, and what is the purpose and future vision of the Icelandic nation?” The latter half of the day will be given over to discussing different facets of society, such as welfare, health, law and order, education and business, and how those can be engineered to manifest the values and aspirations defined in the first half of the meeting.
The name Anthill refers to the fact that anthills have some sort of collective wisdom that each individual ant does not have. For example if an anthill is located on the edge of a river and the riverbank starts to erode, the ants will collectively start moving the hill – even though no individual ant can actually see that the riverbank is eroding, much less give the command to start moving. Similarly, the organizers believe that the collective wisdom of the Icelandic nation can give us some sort of direction into the future, where single individuals fail.
The Anthill is made up of volunteers from all walks of society – some of whom are well known, like our Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir and Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of Auður Capital [the only investment firm in Iceland that not only survived the meltdown but was actually recruiting people in the midst of it]. And as far as I know, this has never been done before in any country – to assemble a statistically significant cross-section of the nation to determine the future vision of a country.
IT’S A GLOOMY LATE-OCTOBER DAY
It’s been so overcast, and at this time of year that can feel quite oppressive, since the days are getting so short. I dug out our SAD light a couple of days ago and have that on in the mornings now while I’m eating breakfast. Still, we can’t complain – thanks to climate change it’s still balmy temps out there, currently 10°C [50F]. Sunrise was at 9.03, sunset at 5.17 pm.