The Next Era: what is the future of the nordic model?

How do we guarantee well-being for everyone, if the only thing we know for sure is that everything will change? 

What is it about?

Sitra and Demos Helsinki have launched The Next Era, work to create a vision aimed at a reform of the Nordic model, i.e. the next era of well-being.

We live in the middle of a tremendous transformation that is shaking the basic structures of society. Nordic societies have enjoyed considerable prosperity across recent decades, but now lack a vision for where we will be heading next. What is well-being like in a society in which work is changing, politics is blurring, and growth is reversing?

With The Next Era, we want to create a common understanding of the change taking place in the world and of sustainable well-being in which Nordic values – wide participation of people, a high level of trust, and fairness – are emphasised. Future well-being must also take place within the limits of natural resources.

How should a societal vision be written? People are increasingly seen as individuals and the changes in the world are visible to different people in very different ways. Therefore, The Next Era will initiate an expanding discussion on a future in which people build society together and in which everyone has a fair chance to participate.

What will we do?

We will open the discussion by publishing three themed publications on the changing structures of society: income, democracy and growth. Because these changes apply to all societies, The Next Era will also be published in English.

We will organise a series of international workshops on the themes of The Next Era across the world during 2017. In these workshops, we will deepen the understanding of the transformation and the most interesting international solutions – and look at the strengths of the Nordic model.

In Finland, we will organise Debates on the Future, to which we will invite a wide range of Finns to build a shared interpretation of the future of society. The new kind of future dialogue will take place across Finland during 2017, first in Joensuu and Kemijärvi towards the end of March and the beginning of April.

The result will be an internationally significant opening for reforming the Nordic model. This work will continue until the end of 2017, when the new vision for sustainable well-being will be published.

Follow our work at and take part in the discussion at #NextEra.