This blog is intended to be a participatory exploration of social democracies, the connection with countries rated high in surveys studying how happy people are and the connection with the folk school movement which originated in Denmark but spread across Scandinavian and to other places in Europe and around the world, including the U.S. I see this as a think tank so that many can share and think together through the blog format. I hope to include some songs from the folk school movement to encourage yet another dimension of understanding for how the folk school movement and other forms of popular education contribute to models of societies that look out for the needs of many, contributing to a better quality of life across all classes.

MARILYN JACKSON. BA, Augustana College, 1981, Religion. M.A., Holy Names College, Institute in Creation Spirituality and Culture, 1989. PhD, WISR, Higher Education and Social Change, 2004. In her dissertation, Dr. Jackson contrasted popular spirituality movements in Western society to traditional religion, by relating Creation Spirituality to Lutheranism. Two of her recent articles were published: “The Life of the People: The Legacy of N.F.S. Grundtvig and Nonviolent Social Change Through Popular Education in Denmark” and “Education for Life at Danish Folk Schools and Highlander.” Marilyn continues to study and work on unlearning racism and building multicultural society through dialogue, education, cultural expression and community based celebrations. She is also interested in women’s and career development issues, as well as lifestyles, health and environment. She has organized education activities about indigenous people and has been extensive involved with Scandinavian music and other cultural activities, including translating Swedish songs. As part of her commitment to egalitarian values, she educates others about socialism and social democratic values. She is on the Board and staff of the Ecumenical Peace Institute, and organizes monthly forums at the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. In addition to serving as a member of WISR’s core faculty, she is Executive Assistant to WISR’s President. marilynejackson@sbcglobal.net

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