Jyri Engestrom11 months ago
Conceiving of the welfare state as an investment fund in human potential – that's brilliant.
It reminded me of a story from second grade in Helsinki. One day a few weeks into September my parents asked me, seemingly confused, pointing to the class schedule I had taped to the kitchen window, why most of it was filled with the acronym "LOTR".
It stood indeed for Lord of the Rings. We spent the first part of the year listening to our teacher read the book (all three volumes) out loud and the remainder screenwriting, casting, staging, shooting and editing our own scrappy eight-year old's film version of the epic (yup... I played Gimli). We didn't quite finish it by the time the school year was over, but no one wanted to quit so some of us (including our teacher) kept working on the final cut even though school was out.
It wasn't the only time a teacher concocted a quirky subject seemingly ad hoc. And I bet that I would not have chosen the digital media career path I'm still on had it not been for that early opportunity to experience the wonder and stimulation of being a director-creator.
So why is a Finn like me here in the US? The answer, predictably in my case, is Silicon Valley. It has that childhood maker spirit, only the kids here are grown-ups. But look: we're homeschooling. In the Valley that is unremarkable. Not so in Finland. Unlike Valley entrepreneurs, Finns don't abhor institutions. Their institutions generally work well. There's an emphasis on the communal. In an environment like that, there's really very little need to go out on a limb, amble away on your own – to homeschool your kids for instance.
So Finnish life is more rooted, more institutionalized whereas in the US and especially in the Valley communities are more ad hoc.
That's fine. There are multiple ways.
Maybe it's not either or. How about splitting the year between two cultures? Take some of this, some of that, and roll your own mix.