by Lene Rachel Andersen
Technological development, climate change and globalization are challenging the national institutions and modes of governance we created during the industrial era. Our old knowledge and general understanding of the world do not provide sufficient answers anymore. In order to maintain meaningful lives, social calm and liberal democracy, we need to upgrade our meaning-making to match the complexity of the world we are creating. Metamodernity is an alternative to both modernity and postmodernism, a cultural code that presents itself as an opportunity if we work deliberately towards it. Metamodernity provides us with a framework for understanding ourselves and our societies in a much more complex way. It contains both indigenous, premodern, modern, and postmodern cultural elements and thus provides social norms and a moral fabric for intimacy, spirituality, religion, science, and self-exploration, all at the same time. It is a way of strengthening local, national, continental, and global cultural heritage among all and thus has the potential to dismantle the fear of losing one’s culture as the economy as well as the internet and exponential technologies are disrupting our current modes of societal organization and governance. Metamodernity will thus allow us to be meaning-making at a deeper emotional level and a higher intellectual level compared to today; it will allow us more complex understanding, which may match the complexity of the problems we need to solve. Appropriate meaning-making is the best prevention against the frustrations that generally lead to authoritarian ideologies and societal instability. Using metamodernity as the filter through which we see the world and as a template, we can create, among other things, new and appropriate education, politics and institutions for our societies of the 21st century. A vision such as this may even give hope.
From Lene’s personal website:
I am an economist, author, futurist, philosopher and Bildung activist. After studying business economy for three years, I worked as a temp teacher before I studied theology. During my studies, I wrote entertainment for Danish television until I decided to quit theology, become a fulltime writer and focus on technological development, big history and the future of humanity.
Since 2005, I have written 15 books and received two Danish democracy awards: Ebbe Kløvedal-Reich Democracy Baton (2007) and Døssing Prisen, the Danish librarians’ democracy prize (2012).
Among my books are The Nordic Secret (2017), co-authored by Club of Rome member Tomas Björkman Metamodernity (2019) and Bildung (2020).
I am a full member of the Club of Rome and one of the co-founders of the Copenhagen based think tank Nordic Bildung and the European Bildung Network.