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Wise Societies — A Call for Wisdom in the Post-Pandemic World
We have gathered the data; we need to cultivate the wisdom.

Can societies be wise?

Experiences of the pandemic — both why it happened and how it was handled — ring alarm bells for many of us.

Judging by today’s standards, societies are far from wise. Individuals hold this trait almost exclusively. Yet, our public intellectual culture enables noise instead of focusing it through powerful ideas. Social media has given more ground to populism than accountability. Crisis management — as with the health crisis — can rely heavily on rhetoric instead of expertise. In the meantime, the institutions that should instill wisdom, like schools, fail to do so, prioritizing efficiency over depth. With the acceleration of technology, we gather information and data much faster than we reflect on how to use it. A combination of the above has rendered wisdom irrelevant, at a time when it’s most needed.

Demos Helsinki would like to invite you to an online event on May 5th, at 12 pm BST/1 pm CEST/2 pm EEST, where our Fellow Geoff Mulgan proposes a new way to think about Wisdom, through his latest paper.

Together we will explore some essential and practical applications of wisdom that can help us steer our future, for example:

- What processes activate learnings and facilitate growth
- How we can cultivate wisdom in the institutions that matter
- How to reach consensus through collective capabilities

Theory must be accompanied by action. We are joined by drivers of transformation:

- Sylvie Barbier, Artist; Co-founder @ Life Itself
- Sampo Hietanen, CEO and founder @ MaaS
- Panthea Lee, Executive Director @ Reboot
- Niko Soininen, Professor of Environment Law and Water Law @ University of Eastern Finland

Equally, we hope that you bring your own perspective and that you share it with others. There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction, questions, and comments.

There is a fair, sustainable, and joyful future ahead of us. Let’s not miss our chance to get there.

May 5, 2021 02:00 PM in Helsinki

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