Don’t underestimate the power of change and the speed at which it can happen.

This spring I listened to Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason talk about his relationship with computers from Apple. He described how he had moved from the Apple Plus to the iMacs etc. He then held aloft the MacBook Air and said how he would never have imagined this computer ten years ago. And he challenged us to think about what kind of computers Apple would produce in ten years, even twenty.

A year ago, would you have predicted that Lehman Brothers would not exist within 12 months.

Don’t take anything for granted. Except Iceland voting the same parties and the same people to power over and over again.

Independent Party leader and prime minister Geir Haarde has been in parliament since 1987. Reagan was US president and Everton were English Champions. Progressive Party leader Gudni Agustsson also entered the parliament that year.

Left/Green leader Steingrimur J. Sigfusson has been there since 1983. There was only one TV channel in Iceland and it did not operate in the whole month of July.

Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, leader of Samfylkingin first came to Althingi in 1991. As an MP she did not get an email adress or a cell-phone.

The newcomer is Gudjon Arnar Kristinsson of the Liberal Party who did get an email adress in 1999.

Many young people I have talked to lately have said they are disillusioned with democracy. The choices are always the same. But amazingly and unexpectedly, in some places it really works.

When George W. Bush won the 2004 election, could you have imagined a black man named Barack Hussain Obama being next up only four years later?

It is now opportunity for Iceland to say goodbye to the past. To challenge the rule of the political parties and special interest. To challenge way things are and have been. To say they don’t have to be that way anymore. And if the US can shake itself from the political manipulation of the GOP, then there is plenty of hope for people anywhere.

Even in Iceland.


1 Response to “Change”

  1. 1 Roy November 10, 2008 at 8:21 am

    How many Icelanders have made the following statements or asked any or all of the following questions while driving around Reykjavík and the suburbs over the last 4 years?

    “Wow, whose going to move into all these apartments?”
    “Where are they getting the people to build these?”
    “Man, look at all the cranes!”
    “Is that going to be another mall?”
    “How are these things being financed?”
    “Are there enough consumers here to support this?”

    If you haven´t asked any of these questions then you are more than likely
    a high government official or a banker.

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