Published January 10, 2017

The Next Era

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?

The reason for setting up The Next Era is clear: Everyone seems to agree we are on the verge of a large transformation, yet surprisingly few ask: where do we want to go? What kind of jobs and income do we want? What is the future of democracy and self-organization? What role does growth play?

In the coming decades, we are likely to create unprecedented amounts of wealth. However, we risk displacing large groups of people and putting our planet’s capacity to sustain life in jeopardy.

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

Many western 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 our societies. We aim to imagine just future in which such values as wide participation of people, a high level of trust, and fairness are emphasized. This all should of course happen within the planetary boundaries.

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?

The Next Era is launching by bringing together people, projects, and organizations through a series of global meetings in 2017.  We are seeking for scalable social innovations that can speed up social and human progress, in order to overcome the transformation peacefully.

We will open the discussion by publishing three themed publications on the changing structures of society: work and income, democracy and participation, and growth and progress.

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.

The result will be an internationally significant opening on the future of just, open and forward-looking society. 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.