Tuesday, August 16, 2022
  Human Advancement Program     Source
About Human Advancement Program

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Our civilization is in a critical phase of development and this century could be the best or the worst ever. More than fifty global systemic risks and an endless row of social problems may reach tipping points and create cascading effects that may have major implications on the world’s population.

When hundreds of social problems can be observed in every country on earth, which occupy a large part of the GDP, we can be certain that there exists a system error. The author claims that lack of individual and collective wisdom must be the cause of this system error.

A system error can only be resolved by a system solution. The book tries to describe the status of our civilization, the system error and system solution, scientific background and how to materialize this global transformation.


This book is written for people who are well acquainted with global systemic risks and the precarious situation of our civilization.

The contents is very condensed in order to shorten the book as much as possible without losing substance. Thanks to everyone, who made this book possible.

Endorsement 1

  • quote small left"Humanity has reached a critical point in history where it either destroys its civilization and perhaps the planet, or embarks on a journey towards increased wisdom. It is not a question whether it is possible to implement it or not, but whether humanity is collectively mature to make this decision."
  •      The above Conclusion to this remarkable book states the problem facing the human community. Christer Nylander’s book helps create a basis for accelerating the collective maturation of humanity to make the decision to adopt a program that incorporates, and applies, the necessary level of wisdom. It should be read by everyone who has the fate of our our children, and their children, at heart. quote small right – Ervin Laszlo

Ervin Laszlo is a systems philosopher, integral theorist, and classical pianist. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has authored more than 70 books, which have been translated into nineteen languages, and has published in excess of four hundred articles and research papers, including six volumes of piano recordings.

Dr. Laszlo is generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, and serves as the founder-director of the General Evolution Research Group and as past president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

He is also the recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences from the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, as well as of the coveted Artist Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest. Additional prizes and awards include four honorary doctorates. For many years he has served as president of the Club of Budapest, which he founded.

He is an advisor to the UNESCO Director General, ambassador of the International Delphic Council, member of both the International Academy of Science, World Academy of Arts and Science, and the International Academy of Philosophy.

Endorsement 2

  • quote small leftA most comprehensive account of the challenges facing humanity, with many practical suggestions for re-education at all levels of society. This is important work that needs to be taken seriously, and has the potential to initiate some radical changes. I hope it is implemented by countries around the world.quote small right – Peter Russell

Peter Russell is a physicist, psychologist, philosopher, and the bestselling author of ten books, and has been lauded as “one of the finest minds of our time,” “The New Buckminster Fuller,” and an “Eco–Philosopher Extraordinaire.”

Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, The World Business Academy, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest.

Endorsement 3

  • quote small leftWe urgently need greater collective wisdom to avert disaster, and begin to make progress towards as good a world as possible. This book spells out graphically just how vital it is that we enhance our collective wisdom globally, and it indicates how it might be done.quote small right – Nicholas Maxwell

Nicholas Maxwell is Emeritus Reader in Philosophy of Science at University College London.

During more than three decades, in eight books, over seventy papers, and countless lectures delivered in universities and conferences all over the UK, Europe and north America he has argued that humanity urgently needs to bring about a revolution in universities, so that the basic intellectual aim becomes, not knowledge merely, but rather wisdom.

He is the founder of Friends of Wisdom (www.knowledgetowisdom.org).


We are often unable to tell people what
they need to know, because they want to
know something else, and would therefore
only misunderstand what we said.
– George MacDonald

It always seems impossible until its done.
– Nelson Mandela

Humanity has undergone a fantastic economic and technological development over the past centuries, but the future is very unpredictable and globalization is getting more and more complex. This could be our best century ever because of the great achievements of our civilization, or it could be our worst.

Our civilization faces multiple global challenges like climate change, fresh water scarcity, pandemics, financial crises, food shortages, collapse in biodiversity, health problems, ocean acidification, overfishing of oceans and many more. On a national scale countries are struggling with hundreds of social problems, and in addition potentially dangerous new technologies are being developed rapidly. This is the bad news.

The good news is that humanity has never had so many technological opportunities to create a sustainable and life affirming planet as now.

So what are the problems? From a shallow perspective we see that politicians lack the ability to act adequately. Experts are unable to provide clear recommendations of how to proceed. Institutions are static. Most voter’s vote short-term or experience lack of political alternatives. Media and society are permeated by disinformation. Commercials indoctrinate us incessantly. Fragmentation obstructs a comprehensive view and structural defects are common.

From a deeper perspective we ought to understand that our society is only a reflection of our collective wisdom. When global complexity increases rapidly our collective wisdom must follow at least as quickly. This means that humanity must go through accelerated learning and inner development to be able to understand and manage our civilization and the earth successfully. This is the reason for the initiative Human Advancement Program (HAP).

Chapter 1 ♦ Today’s society

Today’s society
  ■ Global Challenges
  ■ National Social Problems
  ■ Systemic Risks

Chapter 2 ♦ System Error

System Error
  ■ Shallow Perspective
  ■ Deep Perspective

Chapter 3 ♦ System Solution

System solution
  ■ Human Advancement Program
  ■ Why a Duplicable Concept
  ■ HAP Factors
  ■ HAP Tools
  ■ HAP Activities
  ■ Virtual Reality Software
  ■ Changed Role of Teachers
  ■ Context Driven Upgrade
  ■ HAP Activities in Practice
  ■ Transformation Process
  ■ Human Needs

Chapter 4 ♦ Future society

Future society
  ■ HAP Outcomes
  ■ Changes within Fifty Years

Chapter 5 ♦ Scientific Support

Scientific Support
  ■ Global Systemic Risks
  ■ Social Problems
  ■ Global System Error
  ■ Definition of Collective and Individual Wisdom
  ■ Wisdom Literature
  ■ Importance of Global Collective Wisdom
  ■ Importance of Proposed HAP Factors
  ■ Results from Wisdom Advancing Activities around the Globe
  ■ Potential for National Human Advancement Programs

Chapter 6 ♦ Political process

Political process
  ■ Why Sweden as Pilot Country
  ■ HAP International
  ■ HAP Sweden
  ■ Preparation
  ■ Pre-implementation
  ■ Implementation


  ■ Social Problems
  ■ Wisdom Literature and Links

Human Advancement Program

The Human Advancement Program (HAP) is an international initiative to raise global collective wisdom.

Lisa Forstenius
Magnus Liljebergh
ISBN 978-91-982240-0-9
  Printed by Media-Tryck, Lunds Universitet, Sweden  

The Human Advancement Program website no longer exists.
  To download the ebook, go to this archived copy at academia.edu [LINK]  


Chapter 1 ♦ Today’s Society
Today’s Society

For most people in the rich world, everyday life is rather pleasant.

  • We have food, accommodation, clothes, and an abundance of gadgetry to ease daily lives.
  • We live in a fairly secure world where we can get education, a good job, enjoy our spare time and even have opportunities for self-realization.

For others, daily life is completely different.

  • Lack of food, poor housing, disease, lack of fresh water, simple sanitation, little or no income, and many more hardships are the reality for billions.

This is one picture of the planet.

The second depicts the system that enables and holds all this together. A very complex dynamic system developing rather autonomously.

  • It is unnatural for individuals to embrace this complexity.
  • However, during recent decades it is becoming more and more obvious that mankind is building its own mousetrap.
  • The overall system is built around many subsystems that interrelate, such as global finance, production, insurance, information, power systems, transportation, governance, energy, natural resources and nature.
  • Furthermore, we rely heavily on the cycles of our planet, the sun, and space, which can cause climate change, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, polar shifts, tsunamis, space weather, and meteorite impacts.

The third picture shows the social behavior of mankind and its internal social infrastructure derived from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.

  • It is a complex and non-linear process with edifying and degenerative phases.
  • From one perspective you could argue that our collective wisdom is higher than ever before, even though billions of people are suffering.

From another perspective it seems evident that our collective wisdom is far from sufficient, if we take into account the complex society we are managing.

Global Challenges

By a global challenge I mean a global problem or event that implies a systemic risk that may have major implications on the world’s population, either directly or indirectly by reaching a tipping point.

  • These systemic risks include most global challenges and can be divided into five categories; economy, environment, geopolitics, society, and technology.

Some of the current global challenges and systemic risks are:


     ■ Deflation in a major economy
     ■ Failure of a major financial mechanism or institution
     ■ Failure of the us dollar as world currency
     ■ Fiscal crises in key economies
     ■ Liquidity crises
     ■ Oil-price shocks
     ■ Structurally high unemployment
     ■ Unmanageable inflation


     ■ Big meteorites
     ■ CO2 increase
     ■ Drought
     ■ Fertilizers for agriculture
     ■ Floods
     ■ Fresh water scarcity
     ■ Heatwaves
     ■ Hurricanes
     ■ Localized destruction of means of production
     ■ Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
     ■ Marine collapse
     ■ Multiple major earth quakes
     ■ Nuclear disasters
     ■ Oil spills
     ■ Overfishing of oceans
     ■ Pesticides for agriculture
     ■ Polar shift
     ■ Raising sea water levels
     ■ Severe wildfires
     ■ Soil depletion
     ■ Space weather (coronal mass ejections, solar energetic particle events, solar flares and solar radio bursts)
     ■ Massive volcanic eruptions
     ■ Tsunamis


     ■ Global governance failure
     ■ Increasing corruption
     ■ Increasing organized crime
     ■ Oil/gas embargo
     ■ Political collapse of nation
     ■ Terrorist bio-pathogen attacks
     ■ Weapons of mass destruction


     ■ Animal diseases
     ■ Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
     ■ Food crises
     ■ Large-scale migration
     ■ Pandemics
     ■ Political and social instability
     ■ Severe income disparity
     ■ Unmanageable burden of chronic disease


     ■ Breakdown of critical information infrastructure
     ■ Full virtual reality
     ■ Gene technology
     ■ Internet attacks
     ■ Massive data fraud/theft
     ■ Meta-materials
     ■ Nanotechnology
     ■ Neuro-technology
     ■ New energy technologies
     ■ New weapons technologies
     ■ Power grid failure (part of or whole continent)
     ■ Robotics
     ■ Super-intelligence (computer singularity)
     ■ Swarm technology
     ■ Synthetic biology
     ■ Technological catastrophe (experiment)
     ■ Wireless signals


     ■ Known unknown (black swans)

National Social Problems

National social problems are identified as all social issues affecting a country, that are a consequence of its social system and which should be present to a much lesser degree in a well functioning society.

  • Based on my rough estimates about 40-60% of gross domestic product (GDP) in rich countries can directly or indirectly be traced to national social problems.
  • Social problems do not only imply huge costs but they also include massive carbon emissions, energy waste, suffering, and a very heavy workload.
  • A comprehensive list can be found in Encyclopedia of Social Problems (2008), that contains 632 articles of different social problems from more than 500 authors.
  • Only very few people ponder the totality of social problems and thereby do not see the absurdity of the situation and the system error.
Systemic Risks

Systemic risks refer to the risks imposed by inter-linkages and inter-dependencies in a system where the failure of a single entity or cluster of entities can cause a cascading failure, which could potentially bring down the entire system.

  • System-wide collapses can occur even when individual components within the system seem robust.
  • When evaluating systemic risks it is easy to be deceived by linear, experience-based, or intuitive explanatory approaches.
  • These systemic risks are of increasing interest and include most global challenges.

World War 2 (WW2) is one example of how a major conflict can lead to absurd results.

  • WW2 caused more than 60 million deaths.
  • Devastation of more than
         ■ 1700 cities
         ■ 70,000 villages
         ■ 30,000 industrial facilities
         ■ 40,000 hospitals
         ■ 84,000 schools
         ■ Many thousands of miles of railroads and roads (Wikipedia).

Systemic risks are complex because of multiple causal links, synergism and antagonism, negative and positive feedback loops, different delays, factor variations, etc.

  • Uncertainty is high due to, for example, measurement errors, statistical variation, ignorance, and dubitation.
  • Interpretation is subjective and multiple ripple effects caused by political, social and economic actors can cause unpredictable consequences.
Chapter 2 ♦ System Error
System error

When hundreds of social problems can be observed in every country on earth, which occupy a large part of the GDP, we can be certain that there exists a system error.

  • No excuses or arguments can conceal this fact.
  • It is easy to focus on subsystems like finance, employment, migration, international governance, etc. as system errors, because we usually define systems by how we perceive the world.
  • However, a global system error must include all subsystems and be rooted in human behavior.
Shallow Perspective

From a shallow perspective it is easy to find multiple causes for global and national problems.

  • These could be inability of politicians and experts, lack of discernment by voters, failure of international institutions, lobbying, fragmented and biased media, brainwashing by commercials, etc.
  • If you think about it these phenomena are a natural aspect of this system error.

Some of these causes are:

Political Inability

Political parties act in a way to maximize voters.

  • They promise and implement short-term favors to those with power and those who will vote for them at the next election.
  • They constantly compromise with other politicians who must satisfy other voters.
  • They think in fragments and give fragmentary solutions.
  • They claim that they lack mandate for radical changes.
  • Often the real power is concentrated to a small group around the party leader, which hinders a transparent, vivid dialogue and deep reflections.
  • Furthermore, politicians are usually overloaded with work.
Expert’s Incapacity

Experts are even more fragmented and theoretical in their thinking than politicians since their education and research is very focused.

  • Their research is often financed by industry with vested interests.
  • Their basic education is based on antiquated theories not relevant for a complex society in high speed development.
Voter’s Lack of Discernment

Everyday life for most citizens, at least in the rich parts of the world, consists mainly of stressful work, home matters and some free time.

  • In media we are faced with fragmented news reports that tell of wars, accidents, policy proposals, scandals, etc.
  • We seldom get the whole picture of what is going on in our society.
  • From this decision basis it is difficult to be wise when voting.
Static International Institutions

International institutions are populated by people from all over the world with vested interests.

  • Either the strongest get their way, or the overall results are modest.
  • Institutions with veto rights are especially static.

Disinformation occurs when information is managed, consciously or not, in a way that would be unacceptable in a well-functioning society. There are many forms of disinformation and a few are discussed below:

  1. Intentionally misleading information may come from industrial, financial, political or military sources. To their help they have hundreds of research organizations, think tanks, PR offices, newspapers, TV channels, internet, etc.
  2. There are about 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels, and almost as many in Washington, who try to manipulate politicians.
  3. A lot of knowledge in the form of new inventions has been bought by companies and placed in safes to avoid competition, and some have been confiscated by governments, for instance on the pretext of protecting national security.
  4. The major media companies on the planet are owned by a very small elite that simultaneously controls thousands of multinational corporations that they want to support.
  5. Censorship in media is common practice, as is mocking of controversial ideas that do not fit into mainstream values.
  6. The strategy of media is to mix important and trivial information. People get confused and do not see the big picture.
  7. Moreover, the endless supply of distractions from movies, TV-series, social media, magazines, internet, etc., absorbs a large part of people’s time, which ought to be used in a better way at this critical time in history.

Statistics show that several thousands of buy messages hit us on a daily basis.

  • Themes like the seven deadly sins – greed, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, indifference and arrogance, are the most effective ones when selling products.

Fragmentation means a split of information.

  • After hundreds of years of increasing specialization we now have more than 2500 lines of work.
  • Since the volume of information has exploded, each person often only has control over very limited knowledge.
  • People think in fragments and give fragmentary solutions.
  • Experts and politicians are no exceptions.
Structural Deficiencies

The financial system is often blamed for many of our global problems.

  • Lending is created by banks, which have limited responsibilities to balance long-term liquidity.
  • Bubbles are likely to burst.
  • Capital can easily move globally, and mistrust can fast create shortage of liquidity.
  • The financial instrument market is very complex, global and dynamic, and is characterized by high systemic risk.
  • National and private debt has reached perilous levels in many countries.
  • The formerly strong petrol dollar is artificially maintained despite a weak United States economy.

These are only a few of many structural deficiencies.

Deep Perspective

When confronting all global and national problems it becomes quite obvious that our civilization suffers from a common malady.

  • The global society is only a reflection of our collective wisdom.
  • From this logic we can derive that mankind never held enough collective wisdom to avoid collapses of civilizations, and that this civilization will likely follow the same path.

The main reason is that no civilization has really understood the decisive importance of a conscious development of the right kind of collective wisdom that is required to develop and administer a planet successfully.

  • This becomes very clear when the complexity of society increases rapidly.
  • Our civilization is much more knowledge than wisdom driven.
Chapter 3 ♦ System Solution
System Solution

If the system error is lack of individual and collective wisdom, the solution must be more adequate individual and collective wisdom.

Collective wisdom is an amorphous phenomenon characterized by collective learning over time.

  • It is a superior ability to understand oneself, others, events, things, etc. and predict behavior or events that may be used to benefit oneself but foremost others.
  • When collective wisdom increases, systemic risks decrease, and is simultaneously a positive driving force for individuals, groups, nations and the planet.
  • Thus, the more humanity invests adequately in augmenting wisdom, the more humanity benefits.
Human Advancement Program

The Human Advancement Program (HAP) is an international initiative to raise global collective wisdom, where Sweden is suggested to be a pilot country of implementation.

  • By collective wisdom I mean life experience, positive values and virtues, knowledge, practical skills, holistic perspective, intuition and other creative and problem solving abilities, that are decisive for reducing global systemic risks and building a sustainable and life-affirming planet.

HAP includes all citizens, children as well as adults, and intends to start a positive change spiral in the whole population and in the whole complex of problems.

The smallest scale for a successful ”upgrading” is on a national level. Some of the reasons are that a national human advancement program must:

  • Prepare and implement a new core subject in school
  • Balance massive daily indoctrination by commercials
  • Counteract media fragmentation and bias
  • Invest heavily in virtual reality software
  • Prepare and implement education of educators
  • Survey and package wisdom project activities from all around the globe
  • Prepare and implement HAP activities for adults
  • Initiate research and cross border co-operation
  • Use all media channels to mobilize citizens

Thus, it means multibillion dollar investments in research, preparation and implementation requiring extraordinary human resources.

  • This is not feasible on a local level.
  • Furthermore, there is strong power in a national mobilization.
  • A field-trial on a local level, without necessary resources, may jeopardize the whole program since its feedback may very well be negative or fairly neutral.
  • The success of HAP stands in proportion to the wisdom of preparations.

HAP is designed to be applicable to all kinds of human contexts, which means different age groups, education levels, religious beliefs, historic origin, sexual orientation, genders, cultures, ethnicities, races, income groups, socioeconomic class, geographic locations, disability status, nationality, social values, norms, etc.

HAP aims at increasing the wisdom of every human whatever conditions might prevail or whatever the starting level.

  • It is voluntary, nonjudgmental, process focused, reflection based, positive, multiplex, synergistic, reality centered and interest based.
  • The objective is to accelerate growth of individual and collective wisdom.
Why a Duplicable Concept

In order to reduce global systemic risks and begin a shift into a positive global development we need a higher collective wisdom in all countries around the globe.

  • The change process must be fairly rapid.
  • Even though people are different within and between countries the same concept and tools to raise wisdom can be used everywhere, which means easier proliferation.
  • A global concept makes it possible to invest a lot more in advanced multilevel HAP activities and HAP tools, both in terms of volume and quality.
  • With one concept it is easy to use feedback from other countries and to co-operate, which unites people.
  • By using one concept we may ensure that all countries will access the best HAP activities and wisdom augmenting processes on the planet, built on proven experience and scientific background.
  • With one concept we may ensure that HAP is not twisted into an indoctrination program in some countries, but remains free from all discriminatory influences.
HAP Factors

Nine HAP factors have been identified as especially important to augment wisdom.

  • To optimize growth of wisdom, emphasis should be put on using them simultaneously in context based HAP activities involving suitable HAP tools.
  • They are synergistic in nature.

These are:

Positive Social Values and Virtues

Positive social values and virtues are vital because they are the guiding principles of life.

  • They transcend specific actions and situations and serve as standards or criteria.
  • Social values are abstract and rarely conscious, and they are dynamically related to each other and ordered by importance.

Some of these social values and virtues are:

acceptance accountability appreciation assertiveness awe caring certitude
charity cheerfulness cleanliness commitment compassion confidence consideration
contentment co-operation courage courtesy creativity decisiveness detachment
determination devotion dignity diligence discernment empathy endurance
enthusiasm excellence faith faithfulness fidelity flexibility forbearance
forgiveness fortitude friendliness generosity gentleness grace gratitude
helpfulness honesty honor hope humanity humility idealism
independence initiative integrity joyfulness justice kindness love
loyalty mercy mindfulness moderation modesty obedience openness
optimism orderliness patience peacefulness perceptiveness perseverance purity
purposefulness reliability resilience respect responsibility reverence righteousness
sacrifice self-discipline sense of beauty serenity service simplicity sincerity
steadfastness strength tact thankfulness thoughtfulness tolerance trust
trustworthiness truthfulness understanding unity wisdom wonder zeal

Every value and virtue above will be interpreted differently by different people around the planet, but the process of adopting positive social values and virtues will deepen awareness into more wisdom.

Ability to Understand Wholeness of Self, Others, Groups, Society, Nature, and Systems
Such as Ecosystems, Financial Systems, Technologies, Production Systems, Judiciary Systems, Energy Systems, etc.

Since the Cartesian area of the 17th century, information has been more and more fragmented mostly due to specialization.

  • This has led to a diminished capability to understand the role of these fragments in a bigger whole.
  • We can see this in science, technology, economics, sociology, media, and in most knowledge based areas.
  • This has lead to decisions based on incomplete data with devastating results and widespread misunderstandings and incomprehension.

To understand the wholeness of self, others, groups, society, nature and systems, we have to make it a habit to place every fragment into the bigger picture and clarify its roles, impacts, consequences, interdependencies, etc.

Enhanced Leadership Capacity of Self, Others, Organizations and Society

With leadership capacity I mean the ability to guide oneself, a team, an organization, or a nation in a way that leads to clear individual or common goals.

I believe there are six ways for humans to make decisions: by instinct, subconscious beliefs, conscious beliefs, values, intuition, and inspiration (Richard Barrett).

  • To make wise decisions we have to free ourselves from subconscious beliefs and shift to conscious values as the basis for our decision-making.
  • This includes individuation, examining beliefs and letting go of the ones that do not serve us, developing a new guidance system based on our deeply held values.
  • As consciousness grows there is potentiality to shift from value-based decision-making to more and more intuition-based decision-making.
  • Inspirational leadership is individual and provides the inner guidance needed for staying in a state of “flow”.

Ultimately, the problems of our civilization are due to lack of wisdom and consciousness, and the crisis we face is a crisis of wise leadership.

Increased Creativity and Problem Solving Capability

Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive things in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate new ideas.

  • It could relate to a physical product or an intangible concept, to a literary work or to music.
  • Creativity can apply to anything, for example technology, communication, politics, psychology, education, philosophy, theology, sociology, business and economics.

The process of creativity and problem solving includes among others:

  • Associating
  • Questioning
  • Reflecting
  • Observing
  • Reframing
  • Networking
  • Experimenting

Creativity and the launching of new ideas can be augmented by multiple techniques like:

  • TRIZ
  • The Osborne-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process
  • Lateral thinking
  • Edward de Bono´s six thinking hats
  • Brainstorming
  • Outside-the-box thinking
  • Games
  • Swot analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Thought experiments
  • The five Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
  • Coaching, etc.
Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of:

  • Actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information.
  • [Information] gathered from or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication.
  • [It is used] as a guide to belief and action (Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, 1987).
  • It is used as a way of deciding whether a claim is true, partially true, or false.
  • It is a tool by which one can reach well-grounded conclusions based on a reasoned process.

The process includes:

  • Recognizing problems
  • Understanding importance
  • Gathering and arranging relevant information
  • Recognizing unstated assumptions and values
  • Comprehending and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment
  • Interpreting data, appraising evidence and evaluating arguments
  • Recognizing logical relationships between propositions
  • Drawing warranted conclusions and generalizations
  • Putting to the test one´s conclusions and generalizations
  • Reconstructing one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience
  • Rendering accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life (Edward M. Glaser, 1941)
Emotional References

In order to understand other people’s feelings we have to have our own similar emotional references derived from all that life consists of, for example:

  • Practical experiences
  • Books
  • Films
  • Music
  • Games and much more

These are important conditions for empathy.

Our capacity of increasing emotional references depends on their volume and quality, and the more senses and deeper emotional values that are involved, the more profound impact they will have.

Practical Skills

We need practical skills to understand how things work in real life to be able:

  • To assist in various assignments
  • Manage our own life
  • Create resilience and redundance
  • To be creative and problem solving

As with all other HAP factors, context is essential to reach wisdom.

Theoretical Knowledge

To comprehend the world around us, including physical objects, concepts and ideas, our history, human interaction, etc., we need theoretical knowledge.

Of the enormous amount of accessible information on the planet we must give higher priority to knowledge that enhances our own abilities to act and contribute successfully to a sustainable and life affirming planet.

Conflict Resolution Abilities

Conflict resolution can be described as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution.

  • Cognitive resolution is a way for disputants to understand and view the conflict, based on beliefs and perspectives, reasoning, and attitudes.
  • Emotional resolution looks at the emotional energy involved and how disputants feel about a conflict.
  • Behavioral resolution works with the perception the disputants have of each other´s acts.

Among the conflict resolution methods we find:

  • Active listening
  • Nonviolent communication
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Diplomacy
  • Creative peace-building techniques

Conflict resolution techniques can be applied to a wide spectrum of situations, from a disagreement between countries to a conflict of thoughts in one´s own mind.

HAP Tools

The nine HAP factors may be turned into wisdom by using different synergistic tools in various HAP activities. These can be:
     ■ Education, lectures, dialogue
     ■ Reflection
     ■ Practical experience
     ■ Role play
     ■ Virtual reality
     ■ Social media
     ■ Cultural activities
     ■ Film, TV and radio
     ■ Books and articles
     ■ Commercials and information campaigns
     ■ Mobile apps
     ■ Fairy tales
     ■ Relaxation, yoga, meditation, etc.

The selection of different HAP tools may depend on HAP activity, resources, age, number of people and other contexts.

The most important tool for enhancing wisdom is reflection, which should always be directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, involved in all HAP activities.

HAP Activities

In practice HAP covers all kinds of activities for children and adults that develop the nine HAP factors and thereby augment wisdom. Some of them are listed below:


1) New core subject in school (HAP) including integration in all other subjects.

  • Covers pre-school to university level.
  • The objective is to use all nine HAP factors from pre-school but adjusting the complexity, system perspective, and context to the different age and maturity levels.

2) Games with inbuilt HAP factors.


  1. Positive social values and virtues
  2. Media guidelines
  3. TV programs about HAP
  4. Information campaigns
  5. General and occupational leadership courses
  6. New educational subjects
  7. Cross border collaboration
  8. HAP activities for the general public, such as:
  • Study circles
  • Books, magazines, articles
  • Movies, video clips, theater
  • Cultural activities, workshops, lectures
  • Parent courses
  • Direct democracy practices
  • Community meetings, work place programs, virtual reality training facilities
  • Computer and reality games
  • Apps for activism/knowledge sharing/co-operation/direct voting/brain storming/investing opportunities/project groups/mass education, etc.
New Core Subject in School

The educational system of today is much more knowledge than wisdom driven, which means that most of the nine HAP factors have a subordinate role.

  • To change this, a new core subject must be created that focuses on building the inner human infrastructure necessary to augment wisdom.
  • This means a new pattern of thinking, reflecting, analyzing, acting, feeling, etc.
  • It also means a different kind of theoretical knowledge and practical skills relevant to the local, regional, national and world situation.

The transformation of the educational system will be gradual, which means that besides a new core subject that focuses on the inner human infrastructure and suitable HAP activities, all other subjects will continuously be integrated into the same type of mental pattern.

  • It is not accomplished by brainwashing but by combining HAP activities, HAP factors and HAP tools.
  • It is a process of slowly increasing wisdom and insight, which can only be done at the individual level.
  • Forced indoctrination will not build wisdom.
Games with Inbuilt HAP Factors

The speedy development of computer games suits the HAP perfect.

  • New HAP software will be developed that enable children to gradually increase complexity levels.
  • Different interests can be satisfied and simultaneously reach common goals.
  • Hundreds of different games create multiple perspectives, on wisdom and knowledge.
  • Virtual reality software will increase in volume exponentially, which will mean a new role for the teacher, which will be dealt with in later chapters.
Positive Social Values and Virtues

As I mentioned earlier positive social values and virtues are vital because they are the guiding principles of life.

  • To achieve a higher level of these, children and adults must be faced with the consequences of both negative and positive social values and virtues, and incorporate these in discussions and reflections in daily life.
  • The process is slow but unavoidable if HAP is going to succeed.
  • An efficient way of achieving this is to use the same channels that are used to sell products and services, i.e. commercials in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet, advertisement pillars, etc.
  • This contrasting activity will create a vigorous general debate and internal wisdom enhancing process among the whole population.
  • Social values and virtues will also be discussed in almost all HAP activities.
Media Guidelines

In order to mobilize, inform, include and activate citizens in local, regional, national and international issues, media must act differently than today.

  • Their focus, depth and long-term interest must correspond to the questions that are crucial for a sustainable and life-affirming society.
  • Which means that the media industry ought to invest in in-house wisdom augmenting activities.
TV Programs about HAP

Like private media, public service TV channels must mobilize, inform, include and activate the population concerning the Human Advancement Program and a transformation of society.

This may mean regular TV debates, documentaries about HAP in education/industry/welfare/earth system governance, etc.

Information Campaigns

One way of informing citizens of the Human Advancement Program is to use mass information campaigns using TV, mail-merge, internet, social media, apps, advertisement pillars, etc., both on national and municipal levels.

General Leadership and Occupational Courses

Leadership and occupational courses are perfect opportunities to incorporate many of the nine HAP factors to augment wisdom, which is a necessary quality in a good leader.

  • To be able to offer leadership courses for different occupational levels, advanced virtual reality software, distance learning, mentoring and occasional meetings would be an appropriate setup.
  • These leadership courses would be focused on leading self, others, organizations and nations.
New Educational Subjects

In order to increase research within human advancement programs and build new faculties and multidisciplinary networks, new educational subjects ought to established.

  • They may begin in high school and continue through university.
Cross Border Collaboration

An important part of raising wisdom is collaboration.

  • It augments knowledge, creates new perspectives, enhances creativity, tests conflict resolution abilities, etc.
  • By connecting education, research, industry and politics, powerful synergy may emerge.
HAP Activities for the General Public

There are many opportunities for the general public to be involved in wisdom raising activities in addition to those mentioned above.

  • Study circles about local, regional, national and international issues, where small groups gather regularly, can be an excellent way of augmenting wisdom.
  • Reading and pondering relevant books, magazines, articles, and watching quality TV programs, movies, video clips, etc. are other ways.
  • Attending workshops, lectures, community meetings, parent courses, cultural activities and various open air events are still others.

When we gradually increase our ability to use the nine HAP factors as a natural mental pattern, every activity becomes a more fruitful experience.

All HAP products should be kept in internet HAP activity libraries, as open source software, and be accessible to everyone for free.

Virtual Reality Software

Virtual reality (VR) means a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places, in the real world or imagined worlds, and that has the future potential to recreate all sensory experiences, including virtual taste, sight, smell, sound, touch, gravity, temperature, pain, balance, kinesthetic sense, etc.

  • It can be used in simulation, interaction, full-body immersion, telepresence, and network communication.
  • Nearly every activity in reality can be simulated in the future VR, which means education, enhancement of wisdom, art, games, music, therapy, occupational training, research, product design, urban planning, archeology, pleasure, and much more.
  • If properly developed VR would revolutionize education and our society as a whole.
  • Alas, it also holds the power to degenerate and destroy humanity.

The rapid technological development and increased complexity of society has widened the gap between existing and needed collective wisdom to a perilous level. In order to close this gap, humanity must:

  1. Substantially shorten its general learning curve
  2. Focus on relevant knowledge
  3. Rapidly enhance individual and collective wisdom
  4. Speedily develop new technologies and concepts, to transform unsustainable sectors and deal with global issues.

VR has the potential to assist in all these, but this would mean multi-billion dollar investments worldwide and would require efficient global co-operation.

Changed Role of Teachers

When implementing the human advancement program in education, the role of the teacher will change significantly.

  • Different kinds of off-the-shelf HAP products, many including virtual reality, will be used to develop the nine HAP factors.
  • To help enhance wisdom, the teachers could act as mentors and facilitators of dialogue, reflection, critical thinking, etc.
  • The more advanced VR products will automatically lead the students through different learning processes of varying complexity and evaluate progress, meaning less workload for teachers.
  • However, dialogue and reflection between humans will still be crucial for raising wisdom.
Context Driven Upgrade

If HAP is implemented world wide there will be a human development process over many decades before humanity reaches a fairly equalistic world.

  • This means that during this period the required wisdom must be extraordinarily context based to suit the needs in different parts of Earth.
  • However, the mental “infrastructure” of high wisdom derived from the nine HAP factors will be almost the same everywhere, even though on different levels within and in different nations.
HAP Activities in Practice
HAP Activities in Practice

All HAP off-the-shelf activities will be labeled with information about their use.

  • They could range from economical, environmental, geopolitical, societal, to technological subjects.
  • The example below shows a simplified version of how a children HAP activity, and its evolution, could look like.
  • Since HAP activities range from advanced virtual reality, with multilevel complexity in deep theoretical subjects, to plain outdoor activities, there will be more or less involvement by teachers.
  • Only creativity limits the scope of how wisdom can be enhanced.

I believe that spending time in nature and growing plants should be a regular activity from pre-school to university. Understanding nature from a practical and systemic perspective is crucial.

  • For pre-school and early elementary school children, fairy tales, dialogues about feelings, building simple things, small adventures, reading aloud, music, artistic expression, together with virtual reality and computer games, will be useful.
  • Quite early in elementary school children ought to start dismantling commonplace technology such as toasters, mobile phones, refrigerators, drilling machines, hairdriers, etc. to see how things work, even on a rudimentary level, and then go on to more advanced technology as they grow older.
  • Simultaneously, they should learn how to build simple things, and gradually move on to more complicated devices, to enhance their practical technological capacity.
  • It will be a mix of theory and practice where most of the HAP factors are involved. In the beginning of implementing HAP, current educational practices will be used, complemented by the nine HAP factors.
  • As time goes by, more and more off-the-shelf HAP activities will be accessible, where virtual reality will substantially shorten the learning curve in all subjects and increase the potential for augmenting wisdom.
  • HAP activities will include many themes directly connected to the outside world but also explicit activities to develop the internal infrastructure of leadership, creativity, critical thinking, conflict resolution abilities, etc.
Example of HAP Activity Information

Recommended Age

To be in another’s shoes

How would it feel to be a caged industrial chicken or a child slave. What can be done?

Main Concept
Two short films from both situations
Group discussions, reflections and possible actions

Teacher’s Input

  1. Show films
  2. Present where and why these situations exist,implications and big picture.
  3. Give students questions, for example:
         a) What kind of feelings do you get when watching the films?
         b) Can you see any similarities between the films?
         c) How can these situations be avoided or mitigated?
  4. If suitable: visit an ecological chicken farm and/or build a model of an ecological free-range chicken yard.

Student’s Input
Look at films and participate in discussions, and possible practical tasks. Involve all nine HAP factors.

HAP Activity Evaluation

Social Values
All students thought that both child slavery and industrial chicken farms are wrong and unnecessary. Their words were “unfair”, “cruel”, ”unethical”, “unacceptable”, “unnecessary”, “thoughtless”, and “short-sighted”.

Overall Picture
Students discussed why these problems exist and how they fit into the global production system. They understood many of the side effects and saw the similarities between industrial chickens and child slavery. The class discussed the pros and cons of an ecological chicken farm.

Students decided to write a letter to the municipality telling them that they do not like industrial chickens farms, and refuse to eat meat or eggs from these.

Creativity/Problem Solving
The students designed models of chicken yards where the hen live a “nice life”.

Critical Thinking
The students critically analyzed the bias of the chicken film that showed a positive picture of industrial chickens.

Emotional References
The students seemed deeply moved by both films.

Practical Skills
Models of chicken yards.

Theoretical Knowledge
Students got knowledge of two important social problems and their implications from different perspectives.

Conflict Resolution Abilities
The discussions gave some opposing views and they listened carefully to each one.

Students Score of HAP Activity (1-10)
Good: We learned something important. We acted.
Bad: The chicken film was biased. The child slavery film did not show the owners of the company or who bought their products. Quite a lot of information was missing.

Teacher’s Comments
Choose better films next time that explain the overall situation better. Ask more questions about the relationship between systemic risks of inferior health from poverty and large scale animal production units. More debate about the reasons for child labor. Discuss if it might be more economical to have ecological than industrial chicken farms in a long-term perspective.

Transformation Process

The national and global transformation process will most certainly encounter many challenges on its journey.

  • In general, the success of HAP will be mirrored by the level of wisdom in the preparations.

This means that HAP needs the wisest people on earth to assist:

  • In the research of wisdom
  • In developing off-the-shelf HAP products
  • Organizing necessary support
  • Preparing for a political process, in order to implement HAP in a pilot country

Everyday life experiences are a part of natural human transformation.

  • HAP accelerates this process and focuses on contexts that optimize individual wisdom, beneficial for both the individual and the local, regional, national and global community.

Developing wisdom is a very complex process including both edifying and degenerative phases.

  • The human mind requires many years of conscious, iterative and gradual education, training, experiences, reflection, etc. to reach high wisdom.
  • From a HAP factor perspective different sub-processes can be identified in the transformation process.

Some of these sub-processes are:

Positive Social Values and Virtues

  • Understanding the meaning of various social values and virtues
  • Understanding long-term consequences of different social values and virtues
  • Understanding social values and virtues in different contexts
  • Understanding how social values and virtues function in practice
  • Putting social values and virtues into practice
Ability to Understand Wholeness of Self, Others, Groups, Society, Nature, and Systems

  • Integrating fragmented knowledge into a greater whole
  • Understanding how self, others, groups, society, nature and systems interact
  • Understanding how changes in fragments can change the wholeness
  • Understanding subjectivity
  • Understanding context
  • Understanding history
Enhanced Leadership Capacity of Self, Others, Organizations and Society

  • Understanding self, others, organizations and society
  • Understanding human motivation
  • Understanding different modes of decision making
  • Understanding body, soul, and mind
  • Creating internal and external stability
  • Understanding and implementing different kinds of coaching
  • Understanding the effects of uncertainty
Increased Creativity and Problem Solving Capability

  • Finding hidden patterns
  • Making connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena
  • Generating new ideas
  • Finding relevant facts
  • Using intuition and emotions
  • Understanding logic barriers
  • Questioning
Critical Thinking

  • Recognizing problems
  • Understanding importance of facts
  • Gathering and arranging relevant information
  • Recognizing unstated assumptions and values
  • Comprehending and using language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment
  • Interpreting data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments
  • Recognizing the existence of logical relationships between propositions
  • Drawing adequate warranted conclusions and making relevant generalizations
  • Putting to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives
  • Reconstructing one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience
  • Rendering accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life
Emotional References

  • Feeling the emotions of other humans and animals
  • Understanding how other people’s emotions affect their behavior
  • Understanding how my behavior affects other people
  • Understanding how other people’s behavior affects other people
Practical Skills

  • Understanding practical skills
  • Exercising relevant practical skills
  • Understanding implications of practical skills
  • Understanding how to develop practical skills
Theoretical Knowledge

  • Understanding relevant theoretical knowledge
  • Understanding theoretical knowledge in practical terms
  • Understanding how to develop theoretical knowledge
  • Understanding the history behind theoretical knowledge
  • Understanding the implications of theoretical knowledge
Conflict Resolution Abilities

  • Understanding the causes of conflict
  • Listening actively
  • Understanding how the other views the conflict based on their belief, perspective and attitude
  • Understanding the feelings of the other person
  • Understanding how the other person experiences my behavior
  • Understanding and employing different resolution techniques
Human Needs

Human needs can be understood as a system, which means that they are interrelated, interactive and complementary.

When human needs are not satisfied or unbalanced it may result in hostile and destructive behavior, for example in:
     a) a fear based society
     b) a society with widespread shortages or
     c) when individuals lack wisdom.

In a well functioning society with higher levels of wisdom, people hold life affirming values, express themselves and act in ways that promote an environment where human needs are satisfied.

  • When implementing HAP this goal will be gradually accomplished.

Human needs and motivational factors include a wide spectrum of physical and psychological factors such as:

acceptance appreciation authenticity autonomy beauty belonging
celebration freedom of choice clarity community compassion connection
consideration contribution creativity diversity ease empathy
equality expression food freedom fun harmony
health water humor independence initiative inspiration
integration integrity interdependence joy learning love
meaning mourning mutuality nurturance order peace
exercise play presence protection purpose privacy
respect rest security serenity service to others sexual expression
shelter spiritual expression stability support touch trust
understanding warmth well-being      
Chapter 4 ♦ Future Society
Future Society

The degree of change in society will be mirrored by the collective wisdom of the population. We can expect:

(A) An Evolved State and Welfare System

A continuously increased collective wisdom will change people’s thoughts and actions concerning many areas.

  • People will be healthier due to diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, drugs, etc.
  • This will reduce welfare costs of medicine, health care, absence from work due to illness, non-institutional care, sickness allowance, rehabilitation, etc
  • People will reduce wastage of energy, food, and consumables.
  • Politicians will invest more in long-term sustainable infrastructure and transportation.
  • As people get more and more “upgraded”, administration, laws and regulations may be decreased and simplified.
(B) An Evolved Earth System Governance

When major countries have implemented HAP for some years, conditions for global co-operation will improve, for example:
     ■ Within environment
     ■ Climate
     ■ Food
     ■ Fresh water
     ■ Conflicts
     ■ Justice
     ■ Migration
     ■ Aid

This will open up more stable and trustworthy international agreements in various areas, and reduce geopolitical conflicts.

  • There will be more focus on solving regional challenges to reduce forced migration, and measures will be taken to achieve a just and equalistic world.
  • This will not happen in the short term but increasingly over many decades.
(C) An Evolved Education System

With a new core subject in school based on the nine HAP factors, and their integration with all other subjects, the global education system will be transformed.

  • Novel teaching tools, including advanced virtual reality will substantially shorten the learning process and facilitate individually designed education programs.
  • This will enhance motivation, increase creativity, raise capacity for empathy, create a positive working environment, etc.
(D) An Evolved Business and Production System

As people get upgraded within the nine HAP factors industry will benefit in multiple ways, for example:
     ■ Leadership abilities
     ■ Innovation
     ■ Adaptability
     ■ Comprehensive view
     ■ Re-education
     ■ Creativity and problem solving abilities.

When a new generation HAP adolescents enters the business community, their leadership ability and wisdom will be highly advanced when it comes to emotional intelligence, creativity, ethics and co-operation capability, which will continuously alter global research and development, innovation, production and distribution strategies.

  • People will act more long-term and accelerate the transformation into a sustainable society.
(E) Increased Meaningfulness, Health and Happiness among the Whole Population

As people get wiser they will realize that it is possible to transform our earth into a diamond in the Universe.

  • This will create a deep collective meaningfulness, which will stimulate people to become actively engaged in various ways in developing society.

General health will increase as well as happiness.

  • This does not mean that humanity will be free of setbacks or social problems, but these will not dominate people’s consciousness and everyday life.
HAP Outcomes

As the Human Advancement Program is implemented and the collective wisdom increases, many things will happen in society.
     ■ They may be described in diverse ways.

One way is to depict some characteristics of human behavior that will grow more dominant, such as:

■ Pro-active instead of reactive action
■ Co-operation instead of competition
■ Decreasing instead of increasing class differences          
■ Long-sightedness instead of short-sightedness
■ With nature instead of against
■ Trust instead of mistrust
■ Compassion instead of indifference
■ Well-being instead of hardship
■ Health instead of ill-health
■ Meaningfulness instead of meaninglessness
■ Calmness instead of stress
■ Positivism instead of negativism
■ Love instead of hate
■ Holistic perspective instead of fragmented view
■ Trust instead of fear
■ Gratitude instead of ungratefulness
■ Peace instead of conflict
■ Creativity instead of unimaginativeness
■ Engagement instead of idleness
■ Non-acquisitiveness instead of overspending
■ Quality instead of quantity
■ Joy instead of sorrow
■ Patience instead of anger
■ Forgiveness instead of hate
■ Honesty instead of deceit
■ Curiosity instead of indifference
■ Intimacy instead of lust
■ Generosity instead of greed
■ Humbleness instead of arrogance
■ Security instead of insecurity
■ Gratification instead of dissatisfaction
■ Politeness instead of rudeness
■ Integrity instead of hypocrisy
■ Self-esteem instead of shame
■ Openness instead of secrecy
■ Friendship instead of hostility
■ Goodness instead of malevolence
Changes within Fifty Years

Within half a century our society will most certainly look very different from today.

  • When people talk about the following areas in about fifty years they will most certainly compare them in the same way as we do when we look back 100-150 years.
  • The main drivers will be an exponential development of technology and science in combination with scarce natural resources, environmental concern and increased collective wisdom.

Areas with extraordinary changes will most certainly be:
     ■ Agriculture and food consumption
     ■ Building techniques
     ■ Corporate enterprising
     ■ Education systems
     ■ Energy sources and distribution
     ■ Engineering materials
     ■ Financial systems
     ■ Geriatric nursing
     ■ Health and medical treatments
     ■ Infrastructure
     ■ Laws and administration
     ■ Military
     ■ Production systems
     ■ Transportation

Chapter 5 ♦ Scientific Support

When proposing a global human advancement program leading to trillion dollar investments worldwide, and implications for all humanity and the planet, it is decisive to gather and evaluate existing research that may support, contradict or have implications for the Human Advancement Program.

  • At the same time one must be aware that global human advancement programs are a new phenomenon and that only parts of the necessary support can be found in science.

The following areas have been identified as especially important to investigate:

1. Global Systemic Risks

Many universities, global institutions, governments, and corporations around the planet, are involved in global systemic risk projects and research.

  • Without doubt systemic risks have become a high priority issue during recent years and the scientific community has a frontline position.

A small selection of universities and institutions working with systemic risks are listed below.

  1. Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford (http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/)
  2. Future of Humanity Institute, FHI, University of Oxford (http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/)
  3. The Cambridge Risk Framework Project (http://cambridgeriskframework.com/)
  4. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (http://cser.org/)
  5. Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction (IRDR) (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr/)
  6. Global Risks 2014, World Economic Forum (http://www.weforum.org/)
  7. Global Systemic Risk Project, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), Princeton University
  8. Systemic Risks-Systemic Solutions, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule eth Zurich (http://www.riskcenter.ethz.ch/)
  9. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR (http://www.unisdr.org/)
  10. Africa-Asia drought risk management peer assistance network (http://www.undp.org)
  11. World Risk Report 2014 (WRR), United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
  12. Prevention web, UNISDR (http://www.preventionweb.net/)
  13. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIA-SA) (http://www.iiasa.ac.at/)
2. National Social Problems

There are hundreds of universities, institutions, governments, etc. on the planet that are involved in researching social problems.

  • Most subjects within humanities are relevant, as for example anthropology, sociology, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics, genetics, political science, psychology, philosophy, religion, history, law, and many more.
  • Moreover, all credible national and international statistical databases provide significant input into the research of social problems.

A broad picture of social problems can be found in Encyclopedia of Social Problems (2008) with 632 articles on different social problems.

  • More than 500 contributors from 18 countries have participated in the book (see Appendices).
  • What people define as social problems may differ as may their standpoint, but there is solid scientific backing for their existence.
  • However, there are relatively few examples of how the scientific community handles social problems as an aggregate complex of problems.
3. Global System Error

Scientific material pointing to some type of “global system error” as responsible for global systemic risks and national social problems are hard to find.

  • Search strings on Google like “global systemic error”, “global system failure”, or “earth system error” do not give any significant results.
  • This indicates that the scientific community has not yet started to think in these terms or perhaps describes it in other ways.
4. Definition of Collective and Individual Wisdom
The Usual Definition

Collective wisdom is usually defined as shared knowledge arrived at by individuals, groups, organizations and society (Wikipedia).

  • Dr. B. Legesse argues that “wisdom represents a demonstrated superior ability to understand the nature and behavior of things, people, or events”.
  • He states “this results in an increased ability to predict behavior or events which then may be used to benefit self or others”.
  • He furthermore adds “there is more often a desire to share the accrued benefits with a larger group for the purpose of promoting survival, cohesion, or well-being of that group.
  • The benefits do not result from malicious or antisocial intents or inequitable behavior”.

Collective wisdom has been discussed for millenia in, for example:
     ■ The Torah
     ■ The Bible
     ■ The Koran
     ■ The works of Plato, Confucius, Buddha
     ■ The Bhagavad Gita
     ■ The many myths and legends from all cultures.

Today collective wisdom is becoming a cutting edge research area, partly because knowledge-based decision-making cannot solve global problems.

  • It is only in recent years that research into the human quality of wisdom has increased substantially.
  • Wisdom is difficult to conceive, expensive and time-consuming to study, and there is still no generally agreed upon definition of the concept.
  • Up to now different researchers have defined wisdom according to their academic orientation or work focus.
  • Some of the main contributors are, for example, Labouvie-Vief, 1990; Sternberg, 2004; Baltes & Staudinger, 2000; Ardelt, 2003.
Wisdom is Likely to Require the Following Steps

According to Sternberg wisdom is likely to require the following steps:

  1. Recognizing that there is an event to which to react
  2. Defining the event as having an ethical dimension
  3. Deciding that the ethical dimension is significant
  4. Taking responsibility for generating an ethical solution to the problem
  5. Figuring out what abstract ethical rule(s) might apply to the problem
  6. Deciding how these abstract ethical rules actually apply to the problem so as to suggest a concrete solution
  7. Enacting the ethical solution, meanwhile possibly counteracting contextual forces that might lead one not to act in an ethical manner
  8. Dealing with possible repercussions of having acted in what one considers an ethical manner
Wisdom Criteria

Wisdom criteria according to Berlin Wisdom Paradigm (BWP) are based on:

  1. Rich factual knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life
  2. Rich procedural knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life
  3. Lifespan contextualism, i.e. consideration of the historical and social context of development
  4. Value relativism, i.e. acknowledgement and tolerance for value differences
  5. Awareness and management of the uncertainty and limitation inherent in the human condition (Baltes & Staudinger, 2000)

For the highest levels of wisdom-related knowledge to develop, it was found that a complex coalition of enhancing factors must coalesce.

  • Further research using the BWP found that personality-related factors such as openness, creativity, or a judicial cognitive style were more predictive of wisdom-related knowledge than intelligence was (Staudinger, Lopez, & Baltes, 1997, cited in Baltes & Kunzmann, 2003).
Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale

Ardelt has developed the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS), comprised of 14 cognitive, 12 reflective, and 13 affective items.

  • Ardelt proposed a three dimension view where wisdom is defined as a personal quality that reflects an integration of cognitive, reflective, and affective personality characteristics, each of which must be present for a person to be considered ‘wise’ (Ardelt, 2003).
  • The three dimension view is more consistent with Eastern philosophical and religious traditions that regard wisdom as the integration of mind and virtue at the personal level of the sage (Ardelt, 2004).

One example of wisdom that Ardelt mentions is when Jesus was asked what should be done to the woman who committed adultery he said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” [John 8:7]. This reply took into account:

  • The perspective of the law that required adulterers be stoned
  • The desire of the people to punish a woman who had committed a crime
  • A test of the law-obedience of the prophet who proclaimed a philosophy of love and forgiveness, and
  • The anguish and fear of the woman who had broken the law.

Jesus’ answer revealed not only knowledge of the whole situation but also love and compassion for the accused woman as well as for her accusers.

  • He did not criticize the people for their behavior but helped them to perceive the event from a different perspective, thereby allowing them to grow through the experience. (Ardelt, 2004).

Ardelt argues that “the Berlin group’s current definition, operationalization, and measurement of wisdom might be unable to distinguish between intellectual or expert knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life and wisdom itself”.

  • Ardelt argues that her model is as much a theoretical construct as the Berlin model, with the exception that it combines both implicit and explicit theories of wisdom and focuses on an ideal type of wise person rather than the ideal type of wisdom-related knowledge.
Other Measurements

Examples of other measurements are:

  • A 40-item Likert-type questionnaire, by Jeffrey Webster.
  • Scott Brown created a 79-item Wisdom Development Scale, in the form of a Likert-type questionnaire.
  • Wink & Helson tested both practical and transcendent wisdom, defining the latter as transcending ego boundaries.
  • A number of other qualitative studies have been performed by Ahmadi, Levitt, Barber Montgomery & McKee, Yang and Kevin Rathunde.

According to Richard Hawley there have been no studies on effective cultivation of wisdom in empirical psychology, other than for some short-term strategies.

  • Sternberg proposed teaching for wisdom derived from his own balance theory, which focuses on dialogue and reflection.
  • Positive coping with difficulties and loss has been suggested as contributing to the development of wisdom.
  • Monika Ardelt favors cognition, reflection, and compassion for developing wisdom.

Today there is no clear distinction between a secular, dianoetic, phronetic, practical wisdom, and a spiritual, noetic, sophian, transcendent model of wisdom.

In the article "Expert Consensus on Characteristics of Wisdom" (2010) by Jeste, Ardelt, Blazer, Kraemer, Vaillant, Meeks, most experts agreed on many of the suggested characteristics of wisdom — that is,

  • It is uniquely human
  • A form of advanced cognitive and emotional development that is experience driven
  • And a personal quality, albeit a rare one, which can be learned, increases with age, can be measured, and is not likely to be enhanced by taking medication.
Broad and Congruent with Different Contexts

Galileo Galilei said “You cannot teach people anything. You can only help them discover it within themselves.”

Lombardo (2010) argues that wisdom is:

  • “dynamic, open-ended, and growing”
  • “a synthesis of both belief and doubt; it is humble and receptive to transformation and further enlightenment”
  • “both a cognitive state and an emotional-motivational state”
  • “involves understanding but also a desire to seek out and know”
  • “a curiosity, a sense of wonder and fascination in the face of existence”
  • “dimension of compassion - of emotional resonance with others and their well being as well as suffering”
  • “unites heart and mind”
  • “broadest sense to include multiple modes of knowledge and experience”
  • “from the logical to the intuitive and the scientific to the mystical”
  • “expansive and integrative”
  • “reaches out toward a global, ecological, and cosmic perspective on reality”
  • “expansive in space and time”
  • “informs judgment and action, identifies value and meaning in the world”
  • “it is not simply factual or theoretical knowledge, it is practical knowledge”
  • “capacity to apply knowledge to concrete and personal challenges and problems of human life”
  • “Wisdom is knowledge in action, toward the “good” both for oneself and others (including the world at large)”
  • “founded upon ethical judgment, decision making, and action”
  • “needs to be a desire (or motivation) to realize the good in life”
  • “strives toward the realization of value, human well-being, and the good in both practical judgments and actions”
  • “In summary, wisdom is a holistic capacity”

I believe that a definition of individual and collective wisdom must be very broad and congruent with different contexts.

  • Wisdom is part of everything we think, say and do, and is truly holistic in nature.
  • My definition of wisdom is the ability to predict, understand and respond to an event in an ethical way that is long-term and beneficial for all involved.
5. Wisdom Literature

There is a lot of literature, articles and even dissertations that deals exclusively with wisdom, and when including material that partly and indirectly discusses the subject, the list is almost endless.

  • In one way or another almost all literature deals with aspects of wisdom. For more information see Appendices.
6. Importance of Global Collective Wisdom

One way of describing the importance of collective wisdom is by quoting others.

Peter Russell

  • quote small leftAt present, humanity has vast amounts of knowledge but still very little wisdom. Buckminster Fuller called this time our “final evolutionary exam.” Is our species fit to survive? Can we develop the wisdom that will allow us to use our prodigious powers for our own good and for the good of many generations to come?quote small right
    – Peter Russell
Deepak Chopra

  • quote small leftHuman existence will never change until we realize that wisdom offers the best way to live, because reconnecting with inner awareness is the key to every other transformation that is necessary – indeed, to every other transformation that is possible.quote small right
    – Deepak Chopra, 2014
Nick Maxwell

  • quote small leftAll these global problems have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act without acquiring the capacity to act wisely. We urgently need to bring about a revolution in universities so that the basic intellectual aim becomes, not knowledge merely, but rather wisdom – wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides.quote small right
    – Nick Maxwell, 2013
Tom Lombardo

  • quote small leftThe venerated virtue of wisdom, revitalized and informed by contemporary research and theory, provides an inspiring central ideal for both higher education and futurist visions of a collective “New Enlightenment”quote small right
    – Tom Lombardo, 2010
Stephen Hall

  • quote small leftAt times of challenge and uncertainty, nothing seems more important than wisdom.quote small right
    – Stephen Hall, 2010
Roger Walsh

  • quote small leftOne of the great challenges of our time will be how to reform education and media in order to create wiser societies. Education can potentially help people to make a good living and also to make a wise life. Media can not only entertain, but must also uplift.quote small right
    – Roger Walsh, 2014
Richard Bernstein

  • quote small leftAt a time when the threat of total annihilation no longer seems to be an abstract possibility but the most imminent and real potentiality, it becomes all the more imperative to try again and again to foster and nurture those forms of communal life in which dialogue, conversation, phronesis, practical discourse and judgment are concretely embodied in our everyday practicesquote small right
    – Richard Bernstein, 1983
Copthorne Macdonald

  • quote small leftWe will become either a wisdom-based society, a footnote in the history books of some future culture, or worse yet, a totally forgotten failed experiment on a dead planet.quote small right
    – Copthorne Macdonald, 2001
Robert Sternberg

  • quote small leftWe are replete with smart people and agencies working in unwise ways and directions.quote small right
    – Robert Sternberg, 2004
Ulrich Beck

Quote from a study by Wisdom Research Network of the University of Chicago named Wisdom, management and organization (2014):

  • quote small leftWisdom has enjoyed an inverted history; while it seemed to have been preeminent in ancient thought, it has, as civilization has ‘progressed’, slipped away from the collective consciousness and been replaced by more technical concerns with objectivities, control, prediction and outcomes. Recently, however, perhaps in the wake of repeated warnings about the limits of experts and their expertise, coupled to our continuing experience of social, economic and environmental uncertainties and upheavals, wisdom has begun to enjoy a revival as a subject of scholarly concern, at least in management and organization studies.quote small right
    – Ulrich Beck, 2009
Wisdom Research

Wisdom Research at the University of Chicago is a unique project consisting of six research initiatives that explore big questions in the fields that have the greatest potential of influencing research, education, policy and professions.

As stated by Rooney and McKenna (2008) in their plea for multi-method research designs:

  • quote small leftResearchers involved in wisdom research must get their hands dirty in the field, standing shoulder to shoulder with practitioners, and they must do their research as wise research practitioners who are able to operationalize their imaginations, emotions, ethical sensitivities, and logics simultaneously to produce excellent research that can be transformational.quote small right

From "Wisdom as Orchestration of Mind and Virtue", Baltes (2004) In sum:

  • quote small leftResearch on subjective beliefs about wisdom and wise persons has provided us with empirical findings that demonstrate that the wisdom construct has a place in everyday reality and the minds of most people. In everyday life, wisdom is not utopian, but down to earth. In a way, these data show that the historical Aristotelian endeavor, of taking wisdom from heaven to earth, has taken a further step. Wisdom has become part of the lives of everyday people. At the same time, the research is in its infancy. The territory is far from being identified. This applies especially to the role of wisdom and wise persons in producing the kind of behavior that wisdom is intended to signify: the goals (ends) and means (ways) of becoming and being wise, of being excellent at living a good and meaningful life.quote small right

It seems evident that an unconscious knowledge-driven society is no longer possible when complexity and systemic risks are increasing rapidly.

  • It will require a conscious wisdom-driven transformation to a sustainable and life-affirming society.
  • Some prominent academics convey this message as shown above, but they still seem to be a minority in the scientific community.
7. Importance of Proposed HAP Factors

When analyzing the nine HAP factors from a scientific point of view there are two vital perspectives.

  • The first concerns the individual potential of each HAP factor to create wisdom,
  • The other, which is believed even more important, is the synergy effect of using them together in various HAP activities.
  • A few of the HAP factors are usually included in existing educational activities, but there is no known scientific compilation of them and few discussions on their synergistic effects.
  • This may be an effect of my limited survey.

Thus, even if it is difficult to claim scientific evidence for their importance, I draw the conclusion from the general literature on the subject, that the nine HAP factors are important.

  • Obviously, it is even more important what each item means in practice.
  • Maybe the list should be expanded, but most probably not shortened.
8. Results from Wisdom Advancing Activities around the Globe

All education systems on the planet use one or more HAP factors simultaneously.

  • What HAP aims at is activities that truly give the wisdom needed for managing individual lives and our planet successfully.
  • By using all HAP factors concurrently in every learning situation, the wisdom effect is maximized.
  • Since there are hundreds of thousands of different education “activities” going on every day on earth, it is impossible to value them individually, even if some of them stand out as more visionary.
  • Many of those initiatives show very good results, especially in some areas, but I have found that none of these have been designed in the same way as HAP.
  • Thus, there are ample possibilities to use existing education activities with some adjustments, but there is still much work to be done in developing new ones.

One example on how difficult it is to shape wisdom comes from R.J. Sternberg (Morality, Ethics, and Gifted Minds, 2009).

  • After several months of education in ethical leadership, Sternberg happened to tell his students about him being able to get double reimbursement for travel costs from an external lecture event.
  • This was not true! Sternberg said that he thought he was entitled to this as he had worked very hard.
  • Despite several months of ethical education none of the students raised their voice.
  • This experience reminds us of how hard it is to translate theories of ethics, and even case studies, into one’s own practice.
9. Potential for National Human Advancement Programs

No explicit scientific support for national human advancement programs can be found, and none similar to HAP has so far been implemented on a national scale. However, there are a number of elements that point to a growing potential, namely:

  1. Many universities are researching systemic risks and com- municate the severe situation, but have modest recommendations to offer
  2. There are hundreds of good examples of wisdom enhancing education activities worldwide that indicate a growing awareness
  3. Wisdom as a research and management subject is experiencing a renaissance
  4. Governments stand almost paralyzed without knowing how to proceed in solving global and national social problems, and therefore search for remedies
  5. An increasing number of faculty members try to emphasize the need of a shift from an unconscious knowledge-driven to a consciously wisdom-driven society
  6. Due to the accelerating complexity of society and technological threats, it has become more and more obvious that “business as usual” is no longer viable
  7. Global institutions do not make much progress despite will and hard efforts
  8. A slowly advancing insight that humanity suffers from a system error

All these indications and very well planned preparations may open a window of opportunity for HAP to materialize.

Chapter 6 ♦ Political Process
Political Process

The Human Advancement Program is an international initiative with the goal to activate all countries on earth, beginning with one country as a pilot case.

  • Not by force, but by showing the outstanding advantages it may bring.

The HAP is a long-running multi-billion dollar program that affects the whole society, and extensive preparations are necessary before implementation.

  • These can only be initiated by Parliaments.
  • To visualize a possible political process in order to begin HAP in a country I have outlined some main phases that I believe may be necessary.
  • However, there are certainly several other scenarios that may achieve the goal.

First, I would like to describe a few circumstances that shape my views.

  • Even though civil movements are present in every country on earth within different social issues, they represent a relatively small number of the population.
  • Mostly, they lack the ability to cooperate, and their impact is consequently limited.

Hence, I believe it is difficult to create a joint understanding and a national civil movement that supports a novel and far-reaching concept as the Human Advancement Program.

  • The alternative is to gather a small group a very influential opinion builders supported by major international NGOs, experts, corporations, power centers, and religious leaders, and exert direct influence on political leaders.
  • This will be a much faster process if it succeeds, and it provides opportunities for a national democratic process before implementation.

In order to facilitate the preparations of the HAP before and after approaching Parliaments, an international HAP center should be established.

  • This would make it easier to attract universities and institutions to get involved and initiate necessary research and development projects, that should result in a viable design of the program.
  • The HAP center would increase possibilities to attract working capital and build support networks.

HAP International is also supposed to be a hub with responsibility to:

  • a) Promote and assist in the spreading of HAP to other countries
  • b) Assist in pre-implementation and implementation work
  • c) Stimulate development and exchange of various HAP off-the-shelf activities, etc.

Humanity has reached a critical point in history where it either destroys its civilization and perhaps the planet, or embarks on a journey towards increased wisdom.

  • It is not a question whether it is possible to implement it or not, but if humanity is collectively mature to make this decision.
Political Process (PDF)

HAP is an international initiative with the goal to activate all countries on earth, beginning with Sweden as a pilot country.

Not by force, but by showing the outstanding advantages it may bring.

Our civilization is experiencing a uniquely rapid development phase, where our collective wisdom must keep pace with the complexity of society.

In order to begin the HAP in Sweden there are a number of steps to be taken. The main phases will be:

  • a) establishment of HAP international, HAP sweden and necessary preparations before approaching the Swedish Parliament
  • b) approval of HAP and pre-implementation work
  • c) implementation.

Taking into account the overall situation in the Swedish Parliament, a very strong support will be required from the global scientific community, major organizations, power elite, charismatic people and the citizens, to get the HAP through Parliament.

  • The politicians must be intelligently pushed and pulled to first agree to investigate HAP and then approve it.
  • It will take convincing scientific backing, an international urge, a sensible and viable design and a critical amount of international and national opinion to make it happen.
Why Sweden as Pilot Country

Sweden has been selected as a pilot country for implementing the Human Advancement Program for the following reasons:

    1. Stable economy
    2. Relatively high and even education level
    3. Many and complex social problems that are statistically proven
    4. Small country
    5. Former role model in several areas
    6. Politically stable
    7. Minor degree of corruption
    8. Fairly high global awareness
    9. High and even use of information technology

This does not mean that Sweden is a perfect candidate. Why would a country that is considered to be one of the most developed on earth want to start a human advancement program? Some of the pros and cons may be:


  • + If you already are among the most developed nations you know how important it is to stay in the frontline with all the benefits that follow
  • + Even if Sweden is relatively privileged in many ways, a major part of the population realizes that “business as usual” is no longer feasible for any country on earth
  • + Despite being a rich country Sweden struggles with many serious social problems that affect almost all citizens directly or indirectly, which create an urge for change


  • - Swedes, like many other nationalities, are in general complacent and fairly indifferent
  • - The Swedish political system has reached a stage when few radical changes are implemented despite obvious needs
HAP International

HAP international will be the hub for the coming pilot and global implementations.

  • The most effective way of establishing HAP international is to plant the idea in a trustworthy university with competence in global issues and systemic risks.

By doing this HAP international will get:

    1. Best possible conditions for a proper and viable design
    2. Excellent prerequisites for necessary research projects
    3. Strong potential to attract other universities and institutions to get involved in HAP
    4. Good possibilities to attract working capital to HAP
    5. Favorable position when building support networks
    6. Great opportunities to spread HAP in the international community

Exactly how HAP international will be organized will depend on the interested university, but it seems probable that there will be a kind of step up process with an independent international institution created later on.

In the long run HAP international will be responsible for:

    1. Promoting and assisting in the spreading of HAP to other countries
    2. Creating an international HAP hub including documentation, feedback, exchange of HAP activities, co-operation, forums, assistance, etc.
    3. Continued coordination and collection of research within the area
    4. Measuring and circulating various statistics related to HAP
    5. Initiating, stimulating and coordinating development of various HAP virtual reality software
HAP Sweden

Since Sweden will be a pilot country without reference to an earlier implementation of a human advancement program, it is necessary to build a stable support network, before approaching the Parliament.

HAP sweden would have the following mission:

    1. Together with HAP International adapt the material and preparations of HAP to Swedish conditions
    2. Complement the international support group with a national ditto
    3. Propel the opinion building in favor of HAP
    4. Together with HAP International prepare for a HAP presentation to the Swedish Parliament

Who will constitute HAP Sweden is unknown, but most certainly there will be representation from the scientific community, major organizations, industry, and the power elite.


One way of building up the international organization, step by step, would be to first establish a multidisciplinary team at a suitable university, and initiate necessary preparatory work covering different parts of the HAP, such as:

  • a) the overall global situation including systemic risks and social problems
  • b) discussion and analysis of the stated system error
  • c) review of literature and articles within the wisdom area to verify the scientific support for a wisdom driven society and a possible system solution
  • d) study of the proposed HAP and its pros and cons including the possibilities to realize the HAP.

After having compiled the material, made necessary adjustments, discussed its viability and taken a decision to support HAP it might be appropriate to write one or more scientific articles.

  • When these are reviewed and published, the right thing to do would be to contact other universities to present the findings and the Human Advancement Program.
  • Some universities and institutions will show interest in collaborating, thereby starting more research, which will result in more articles.
  • At some point it will be adequate to establish an international institution with participants from, for example, universities, industry, power centers, churches and other major organizations that truly support the initiative.

Together they have the potential to

  • a) attract required working capital
  • b) survey existing high quality wisdom-based education projects
  • c) initiate preparatory R&D projects around new virtual reality software
  • d) develop a more detailed design of HAP and
  • e) commence building conditions for international formation of opinion.

At a point when there is enough international momentum and support for HAP, the full support group will be formed including hundreds of experts, universities, organizations, corporations, power centers, charismatic people and finally a grassroot movement will evolve.

  • Simultaneously, HAP Sweden will be established with Swedish participants from universities, organizations, power centers, churches, etc., which will constitute a national support group.
  • HAP International and HAP Sweden will prepare and give presentations to the Swedish Parliament and various meetings with goverment agencies.
  • When Parliament approves an investigation into the Human Advancement Program, HAP International will assist in this work.
  • Hopefully, this will end with a decision to implement HAP in Sweden.
  • If not, another country will be approached.

When the Parliament has approved HAP, a pre-implementation phase starts that will create the necessary setup for full implementation.

  • his will probably include forming a new governmental institution responsible for HAP that will plan, initiate, coordinate, monitor, manage, and measure the implementation process.
  • They will co-operate with HAP international and their network.

Their work will include for example:

    1. Adapting the original HAP design to Swedish conditions
    2. Planning and preparing the sub-processes for all HAP activities and HAP tools
    3. Initiating development of new material and software for hub, virtual reality activities, apps, games, etc.
    4. Planning all activities to educate educators
    5. Leading necessary change of the judiciary system
    6. Planning the establishment of a new core subject in school
    7. Coordinating all activities with related ministries, authorities, and municipalities
    8. Planning and executing mass information campaigns using multiple media channels and opinion polls
    9. Starting a collaboration with all big media companies in Sweden to align them with HAP
    10. Designing a plan to enroll unemployed and senior citizens to participate in HAP
    11. Initiating a specially designed HAP for the government, to raise wisdom in ditto
    12. Designing incentive plans for industry to engage in HAP

When the opinion polls show satisfactory results, implementation of HAP begins. This means (see also Chapter “HAP Activities”):

YEAR 1 – These activities start earlier to facilitate activities in year 2, but continue thereafter:
  1. Education and training of “educators”, i.e. teachers, consultants, leaders, politicians, journalists, etc.
  2. Launching of balancing program of advertising
  3. Showing regular TV programs about HAP
  4. Continuing mass information campaigns
  5. Convincing media to align with HAP
  1. Introducing new core subject in elementary and secondary school
  2. Starting face-to-face and virtual reality HAP activities for everybody within categories such as the environment, economy, geopolitics, society, technology, etc.
  3. Starting face-to-face and virtual reality long-term leadership courses for leaders, occupational groups, politicians, etc.
  4. Supporting study circles, lectures, workshops, parental courses, community meetings, and a lot of other general public HAP activities
  5. Introducing computer games with HAP themes
  6. Initiating and supporting cultural activities
  1. Implementing a direct democratic system

In the third year it is considered adequate to launch direct democracy, since HAP then is supposed to have generated a slight increase in collective wisdom.

  • HAP methodology will be integrated in direct democracy to assist in wise decision making.
  • All systemic risks and social problems may be on the agenda to be discussed and voted on.
  • Naturally, collective decisions will increase in wisdom as years pass by.
  • Most of the HAP activities above will continue for many decades and probably forever.

International Diffusion
Before, during, or after successful implementation of HAP in Sweden, other countries will show interest. HAP International will assist these nations, in the best possible way, in preparations, pre-implementation, and implementation of the Human Advancement Program.

Humanity has reached a critical point in history where it either destroys its civilization and perhaps the planet, or embarks on a journey towards increased wisdom.

  • It is not a question whether it is possible to implement it or not, but if humanity is collectively mature to make this decision.
Social Problems |  Found in Encyclopedia of social problems (2008)
Aging and the Life Course
Activity Theory Ageism Anomie Baby Boomers Dependency Ratio Disengagement Theory
Elderly Socioeconomic Status Life Course Graying of Population Pensions and Social Security Retirement
Sandwich Generation Stereotyping Age Stratification Stressors Suicide Widowhood
Community, Culture, and Change
Communitarianism Community Cults Cultural Capital Cultural Diffusion Cultural Imperialism
Cultural Lag Cultural Relativism Cultural Values Culture of Dependency Culture of Poverty Culture Shock
Culture Wars Cyberspace Digital Divide Faith-Based Social Initiatives Focus Groups Fundamentalism
Gambling Gangsta Rap Institutional Ethnography Islam and Modernity Latent Functions Manifest Functions
Mass Media Media Norms Obscenity Prestige Privacy
Role Conflict Role Strain Secularization Social Change Social Conflict Social Disorganization
Social Institutions Social Mobility Social Networks Subcultures Values
Crime and Deviance
Child Sexual Abuse Elderly Abuse Intimate Partner Abuse Sibling Abuse Addiction Alcoholism
Arson Assault Binge Drinking Bullying Capital Punishment Child Abduction
Community Corrections Community Crime Control Community Service Corporate Crime Corruption Crime
Fear of Crime Rates Crime Waves Cultural Criminology Decriminalization Deviance Differential Association
Domestic Violence Drug Abuse Prescription Drug Abuse Narcotics Sports Drug Abuse Drunk Driving
Eating Disorders Entrapment Environmental Crime Environmental Justice Ethnic Cleansing Extramarital Sex
Felony Female Genital Cutting Gangs Genocide Gun Control Hate Crimes
Hate Groups Hate Speech Holocaust Human Trafficking Identity Theft
Illegitimate Opportunity Structures Societal Incarceration Incest Innocence Project Judicial Discretion
Justice Juvenile Delinquency Effects of Juvenile Institutionalization Juvenile Justice System Labor Racketeering
Lynching Mass Murder Misdemeanor Murder Neighborhood Watch Obscenity
Organized Crime Parole PATRIOT Act Pedophilia Intellectual Property Piracy Plagiarism
Plea Bargaining Police Police Stress Community Policing Strategic Policing Pornography
Child Pornography Pornography and the Internet Prison Prison-Convict Criminology Prisons-Gangs Prisons-Overcrowding
Prisons-Pregnancy and Parenting Prisons-Privatization Prisons-Riots Prisons-Violence Probation
Property Crime Prostitution Child Prostitution Psychopath Racial Profiling Rape
Acquaintance or Date Rape Marital Rape Statutory Rape Reasonable Suspicion Recidivism Restorative Justice
Riots Road Rage School Violence Sentencing Disparities Serial Murder Sex Trafficking
Shoplifting Sociopath Stalking State Crimes Status Offenses
Subculture of Violence Hypothesis Sweatshop, Terrorism Counterterrorism Approaches Terrorism Domestic Spying
Theft Three Strikes Laws Torture Total Institution Twelve-Step Programs Uniform Crime Report
Victimization Victimless Crimes Victim–Offender Mediation Model Vigilantism Violence
Collective Violence Sexual Violence Violent Crime War Crimes Zero-Tolerance Policies
Economics and Work
Alienation Anomie Anti-Globalization Movement Automation Business Bankruptcy
Personal Bankruptcy Budget Deficits Bureaucracy Burnout Capital Flight Conglomerates
Conspicuous Consumption Contingent Work Corporate State Culture of Dependency Culture of Poverty Current Account Deficit
Debt Service Deindustrialization Dependency Ratio Deregulation Downsizing Economic Development
Economic Restructuring Evaluation Research Gini Coefficient Global Economy Globalization Income Disparity
Inflation Intergenerational Mobility Interlocking Directorates Job Satisfaction
Child Labor Division of Labor Labor Force Participation Rate Labor Market Labor Movement
Labor Sectors Labor Unions Economic Literacy Living Wage Megamergers
Military-Industrial Complex Mixed Economy Mommy Track Monopolies Multinational Corporations
Occupational Safety and Health Oligarchy Oligopoly Outsourcing Pensions and Social Security
Pink-Collar Occupations Postindustrialism Scientific Management Second Shift Occupational Segregation Service Economy
Skills Mismatch Social Capital Socialism Split Labor Market Sweatshop Taylorism
Trickle-Down Economics Underclass Debate Underemployment Underground Economy Unemployment Wage Gap
U.S. Consumer Wealth Wealth Disparities World-Systems Analysis
Ability Grouping Academic Standards Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Basic Skills Testing
Bilingual Education Brown v. Board of Education Bullying Charter Schools Class
Digital Divide Disability and Disabled Academic Education Performance Education-Inner-City Schools
Education-Policy and Politics Education-School Privatization Education-Silencing
Education-Special Needs Children Educational Equity English as a Second Language
Evaluation Research Grade Inflation Hidden Curriculum Illiteracy-Adult in Developed Nations IQ Testing
Labeling Theory Learning Disorders Life Chances Adult Literacy Magnet Schools Minimum Competency Test
Nature–Nurture Debate No Child Left Behind Act Oppositional Culture Theory Plagiarism Redistricting
School Districts School Dropouts School Funding School Prayer School Segregation School Violence
School Vouchers De Facto Segregation Sex Education Social Promotions Standardized Testing Stereotyping
Adoption Adoption-Gay and Lesbian Adoption-Transracial Bisexuality Body Image Boomerang Generation
Child Care Safety Child Neglect Cohabitation Comparable Worth Divorce Domestic Partnerships
Domestic Violence Dual-Income Families Extramarital Sex Family Family Leave Act Family Reunification
Family-Blended Family-Dysfunctional Family-Extended Family-Nuclear Fathers’ Rights Movement Feminism
Feminist Theory Feminization of Poverty Foster Care Aging Out Foster Children Gender Identity and Socialization
Gender Inequality and Sexual Orientation Gini Coefficient Glass Ceiling Homophobia Homosexuality
Hostile Environment Income Disparity Inequality Intermarriage Missing Children Mommy Track
Premarital Sex Runaways Same-Sex Marriage Sandwich Generation Second Shift Gender Segregation
Single Mothers Standpoint Theory Gender Stratification Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting
Transgender and Transsexuality Transition Living Transnational Families Wage Gap Women’s Rights Movement
Automobile Accidents Alcoholism Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Bioethics Chronic Diseases
Codependency Dementia Deinstitutionalization Disability and Disabled Eating Disorders Management of Epidemics
Eugenics Euthanasia Famine Genetic Engineering Genetic Theories Genetically Altered Foods
Health Care-Access Health Care-Costs Health Care-Ideological Barriers to Change Health Care-Insurance Hospices
Learning Disorders Life Expectancy Managed Care Medicaid Medical-Industrial Complex Medicalization
Medical Malpractice Medicare Mental Depression Mental Health Neuroses Nursing Home Care
Obesity Pandemics Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Psychopath Psychoses
Secondhand Smoke Sexually Transmitted Diseases Smoking Socialized Medicine Sociopath
Stressors Suicide Total Institution Twelve-Step Programs Vegetarian Movement
Housing and Urbanization
Capital Flight Economic Restructuring Edge Cities Gentrification Housing Inner City
Inner-Ring Suburb Invasion-Succession Mass Transit Megacities Megalopolis Political Fragmentation
Postindustrialism Segregation Residential Service Economy Traffic Congestion Urban Decline
Urban Infrastructure Urbanization Urban Renewal Urban Sprawl Urban Underclass White Flight
Politics, Power, and War
Arms Control Citizen Militias Citizenship Civil Rights Claims Making Collateral Damage
Collective Consciousness Colonialism Conflict Resolution Conservative Approaches Corruption Culture Wars
Demilitarization Democracy Eminent Domain False Consciousness Gerrymandering Group Think
Hegemony Human Rights Identity Politics Imperialism MediationXXX Militarism
Moral Entrepreneurs Nation Building Nuclear Proliferation Patriot Act Peacekeeping Political Action Committees
Political Fragmentation Politics and Christianity Power Power Elite Propaganda Public Opinion
Public–Private Dichotomy Redistricting Congressional Districts De Jure Segregation Situation Ethics Social Control
Special Interest Groups Surveillance Terrorism Terrorism-Counterterrorism Approaches
Terrorism-Domestic Spying Think Tanks Totalitarianism Voter Apathy War War Crimes
Population and Environment
Acid Rain Baby Boomers Birth Rate Contraception Deforestation
Demographic Transition Theory Desertification Disasters Ecosystem Environment-Eco-Warriors
Environment-Hazardous Waste Environment-Pollution Environment-Runoff and Eutrophication Environment-Sewage Disposal
Environmental Crime Environmental Degradation Environmental Hazards Environmental Justice Environmental Movement Environmental Racism
Erosion Extinction Fertility Global Warming Infant Mortality Mortality Rate
NIMBYism Neo-Malthusians Nonrenewable Resources Ozone Graying of Population Population Growth
Social Movements Sustainable Development Total Fertility Rate Toxic Waste Urbanization Water Organization
Water Quality Water Resources Zero Population Growth
Poverty and Social Class
Aid to Families with Dependent Children Class Class Consciousness Codependency Evaluation Research
Feminization of Poverty Food Insecurity and Hunger Gini Coefficient Hierarchy of Needs Homelessness Homelessness-Youth
Housing Income Disparity Inequality Living Wage Means-Tested Programs Medicaid
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act Poverty Children Worldwide Poverty Relative Deprivation
Single Mothers Socioeconomic Status Social Stratification Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Trickle-Down Economics
Underclass Debate Underemployment Unemployment Wealth Disparities Welfare Welfare Capitalism
Welfare States Working Poor
Race and Ethnic Relations
Acculturation Adoption-Transracial Affirmative Action Afrocentricity American Dream
Americanization Anti-Semitism Apartheid Assimilation Asylum Backlash
Bereavement-Effect by Race Bilingual Education Biracial Black Codes Black Nationalism
Black Power Movement Blaming the Victim Bootstrap Theory Bracero Program Brown v. Board of Education
Chicano Movement Cultural Capital Cultural Diffusion Cultural Imperialism Cultural Relativism Cultural Values
Culture Shock Deportation Dillingham Flaw Discrimination Discrimination-Institutional
English as a Second Language English-Only Movement Equal Protection Ethnic Cleansing Ethnic Group
Ethnicity Ethnocentrism Ethnomethodology Genocide Hate Crimes Hate Groups
Hate Speech HIV/AIDS Reaching High-Risk Populations Holocaust Hypersegregation
Identity Politics Immigration Immigration-United States Income Disparity Index of Dissimilarity Inequality
Infant Mortality Intermarriage Internal Colonialism Islam and Modernity Jim Crow Labeling Theory
Migrant Labor Life Chances Lynching Marginality Melting Pot Middleman
Minority Migration-Global Minority Group Miscegenation Multiculturalism Multiracial Identity
Native Americans-Cultural Degradation Native Americans-Reservation Life Nativism Nature–Nurture Debate
One-Drop Rule Oppositional Culture Theory Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
Evolving Notions of Personhood Plessy v. Ferguson Pluralism Politics and Christianity Prejudice
Race Race-Blind Policies Racial Formation Theory Racial Profiling Racism Redlining
Refugees Religion-Civil Religion and Conflict Religion and Politics Religious Extremism
Religious Holidays as Social Problems Religious Prejudice Reparations Repatriation Resettlement
Sanctuary Movement Scapegoating Segmented Assimilation Segregation Segregation-De Facto Segregation-De Jure
Segregation-Residential Slavery Social Distance Social Exclusion Split Labor Market Stereotyping
Stratification-Gender Stratification-Race Stratification-Social
Transnational Families Underground Economy Undocumented Immigrants White Flight White Supremacy Xenophobia
Social Movements
Anti-Globalization Movement Black Power Movement Chicano Movement Countermovements Environmental Movement Fathers’ Rights Movement
Labor Movement Prohibition Resource Mobilization Sanctuary Movement Social Movements Social Revolutions
Temperance Movement Transnational Activism Transnational Social Movement Vegetarian Movement Women’s Rights Movement
Social Theory
Activity Theory Bootstrap Theory Conflict Perspective Demographic Transition Theory Differential Association
Disengagement Theory False Consciousness Feminist Theory Labeling Theory Modernization Theory Oppositional Culture Theory
Postmodernism Queer Theory Racial Formation Theory Rational Choice Theory Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Social Bond Theory
Social Constructionist Theory Split Labor Market Standpoint Theory Strain Theory
Substance Abuse
Automobile Accidents Addiction Alcoholism Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 Binge Drinking Club Drugs
Cocaine and Crack Codependency Decriminalization Deterrence Programs Deviance Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse-Crime Drug Abuse-Prescription Narcotics Drug Abuse-Sports Drug Subculture Drunk Driving
Evaluation Research Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fetal Narcotic Syndrome Gateway Drugs Harm Reduction Drug Policy Heroin
Labeling Theory Marijuana Methadone Prohibition Psychoactive Drugs Heroin
Stigma Temperance Movement Therapeutic Communities Twelve-Step Programs Zero-Tolerance Policies
Wisdom Literature and Links


Richard Hawley Trowbridge, The Scientific Approach of Wisdom, (2005)

Juan Francisco Suarez, Wise by Design: A Wisdom-Based Framework for Innovation and Organizational Design and its Potential Application in the Future of Higher Education. (2014)

Don D. Arispe, Encounters with wisdom: A case study of community worker reflection circles in San Antonio, tx (2013)

Lyster, Tracy L. A Nomination Approach to the Study of Wisdom in Old Age (1996)


Historic contributions to the study of wisdom

Contemporary literature within wisdom area (2010)

Wisdom literature after 2010
Since wisdom is such a broad subject from a HAP perspective it was found difficult to assemble an appropriate list.


The following links are only a few of many wisdom sources on internet:

Wisdom and the Future






Exploring meaningful futures together

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