1. The Icelandic opportunity: Inspiration for a new world model
31st March, 2009
To the Leaders at the G20 London Summit,
A people's movement in Iceland, the Ministry of Ideas hereby outlines to the G20 leaders an
opportunity for prototyping a sustainable world.
What level of growth is sustainable in the long term? The answer is not clear, but it is
imperative that we find out. Our behavior is and has been unsustainable. The key to
understanding is to earnestly admit that we all share but one ultimate resource, our fragile
The crash of the Icelandic financial system was a clear early indicator of an unsustainable
economy and democracy. It demonstrated the vulnerability of modern political systems and
the need for clear values.
Solving the current challenges by adding new policies to an already fractured framework,
as well as injecting economic stimulants, should merely be a short-term fix, to keep the
wheels turning while getting to the root of the problem. We now know that long-term
problems are not solved with short-term solutions. The very foundations of liberty and
democracy must be revisited.
At this significant moment in time we do not just stand as nations, alliances or empires but
as citizens of a global village. We all share a dream to create and sustain prosperity for
generations to come. United by our common resources, we need a shared vision.
Iceland has a longstanding democratic and entrepreneurial heritage, with a parliament
dating back to 930. It has no military and a highly educated population of just 300
thousand. After its recent rise and fall, Iceland offers a unique opportunity in history as the
laboratory for prototyping the development of a sustainable model society in all areas,
including democracy, economy, currency and energy.
The time for action is now, while Iceland's infrastructure and financial system are being
rebooted. We invite you to take part in this exciting venture.
On behalf of the Ministry of Ideas in Iceland
The people's movement