Welcome to my worldmoires – a word I have invented for the occasion. It means writing about my life in the perspective of global affairs and trends that have influenced my work and myself since I was born in the middle of the preceding century.
And the occasion? I’m approaching the 50th anniversary of my work as a peace, conflict and future researcher. The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, that my wife Christina and I have established turned 35 on January 1, 2021. And I launched this writing project on January 13, 2021, marking my 70th birthday.
This is an online book – and the reasons are explained at the outset. And it is a book in-the-making that you are invited to follow – you get a note when a new chapter has been published, and you can comment on it. So, it’s highly interactive and flexible in the sense that new texts can be added as I continue into new ventures.
What is it about?
It’s about some aspects of where I came from and how I got to be who I am, but not about my private life. I will tell how I was influenced not by influencers but by people – teachers in particular – and by global developments and how I came to stand where I stand on a series of them, including the West’s conspicuous decline and coming fall.
There will be quite a lot about my work as conflict analyst, mediator, commentator and visiting professor with observations from countries such as Yugoslavia – my third country with Denmark where I was born and Sweden where I live – Georgia, Japan, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Burundi, Iraq, Iran, Syria and China.
The role of learning, research and the media – and how I have related to them – will be rolled out. As will my thinking about time, work, freedom and money.
Then there will be more free-floating essays on how I perceive some of the existential issues of our time – be it nuclear weapons, the role of violence in our culture and thinking, and the question mostly put in popular terms like “are we [sic] too stupid to survive”?
But no doom and gloom. There is more than enough of that.
I will focus on what I – with my particular vantage point, profession(s) and experience – think can become a better future for us all after the fall of the US Empire and the West has become one among equals.
I see a much better world as a possibility but I cannot estimate its probability.
What I know for sure is that we must think creatively and talk unconventionally about that better future and that it won’t come about unless we – the people – come together and also work for it.
Finally, since I’ve lived all my life with contemporary art and am an art photographer, expect quite a few excursions into that landscape too.
But do not expect it to be finished quickly. I continue with my work for peace and for art photography in almost the same tempo as usual.
I shall be very happy if you find it worth reading what is already there and perhaps also follow the process as the larger thing comes to life.