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29 · 11 · 2019

The Nordics: Trust as the basis for wealth & happiness

We are launching the new project on trust. Specifically: ’Trust as a cultural code, way of life and social value of the Nordics’.

The project is initiated by the Danish Cultural Institute with support of the Consulates General of Norway, Finland and Sweden, the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg and with the participation of the communication agency ‘Neva’, the research company WorkLine, the Higher School of Economics and RANERA (Russian Academy of National Economy & Public Administration). The project is financed by The Nordics – branding initiative of the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Trust is seen as the ‘gold’ of the Nordic countries, because of the economic and social gain it gives to society. When we talk about trust as the ‘gold’ of the Nordic countries, we mean the social trust, that is, not the trust given to friends and family, but to strangers, and the Nordic countries have some of the highest rates of social trust in the world.


There are many scientific works, dealing with the phenomenon of high level of social trust in the Nordic countries. One of the main indicators of the prosperity of the Nordic countries is trust – trust in the state, the administrative organs, the police, firefighters, insurance companies and state institutions. The research shows, that the level of trust affects the economic growth and innovation – the ’happiness index’ and levels of creativity and tolerance are directly affected by it. Here the experience of the Nordic countries is evident, and it clearly makes sense to carefully study this issue. But we believe it is far more important to understand how trust is formed between people in everyday life. Because at first, trust begins with simple conversation. The social character of trust as a phenomenon is, of course, determined by the customs of a specific culture of a specific territory – the history, traditions, way of life and values.


The study of trust as a fundamental social value, as a basic factor in understanding the culture and traditions of the Nordics countries is the goal of this project. Why? Because the more we know and the more we understand our neighbours, the more we trust them, the more common ground we can find, the higher are our chances of finding resolutions to common problems, the more of an interesting and constructive dialogue we can achieve, the simpler it is to build good neighbourly relations.


First of all, this project is aimed at young people. As a young person you are at the beginning of your journey and live in a world united by information. You learn to trust and to show trust, to build your relationships based on trust, not only in your own close circle, but also to the outside world. We do this, so that we may better learn and understand one another, and so that we may consciously choose the best form of communication based on trust – trust as a cultural code, way of life, social value of the Nordic people and as a starting point to create a sustainable future.


The project will include round table talks, discussions with young people and Nordic specialists, student research and self-study games under the guidance of experienced mentors, the study of cultural and historical events, work will be done to create a visual information campaign about the experience of community organizations, and the opinion of regular people – both in the Nordic countries and Russia, on the importance of trust.