The French Revolution and today’s Digital REvolution

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The power of words, both its aesthetics, spirit and influence are often mentioned. To borrow a few words from the short story collection Bordertraveller Stories by LarsGoran Bostrom (that will be published within the coming weeks):

“Outside the arena ruling a relative calm. Some kind of lecture is going on. This is where the well-formed phrases get air and will travel through decades, centuries, and even millennials. The spectators do not know that. They do not know that the wisdom of this man will survive all the faces of inhumanity. The tooth of time cannot bite geniality.”

The short story deals with timeless human phenomena, as the struggle between good and evil, and the ability to identify what is what. The words above could be linked to many people throughout history and how they influenced development. In this spirit, interdisciplinary research from Indiana University that focuses on analyzing scripts from 40,000 speeches during the French Revolution brings new insights into the rise of democracy and the modern state.

New Research of the French RevolutionThe French Revolution and today's Digital REvolution

The project combines expertise from historical research, cognitive and informatics. Where data collection techniques have been passed on the use of words and phrases in the National Assembly that ruled France during the revolution and found underlying patterns that came to guide development into the future. For example, the first seeds of differences in the rhetoric between right and left were sown, a distinction that today, however, is increasingly losing its importance. Rebecca Spang, co-author of the study and professor of history at IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences comments as follows:

“At the beginning of the revolution, there’s just a whole lot of newness going on. Eventually, some of it sticks, and people gravitate to it and keep working with it. And that’s what we call the revolution.”

Today’s Digital REvolution

Such a development can also be identified during the pioneering years of the digital revolution in connection with the web’s breakthrough. In the first 1000 days of the Web, 100,000 users produced 450,000 websites and 150 million web pages visited by 30 million users globally. As in the first euphoric years of the French Revolution, this was an open forum with enormous ideas and creativity and then, after a few years, to fall hard. Though both movements continued to evolve with an underlying force that gradually began to break down traditional boundaries in terms of social structures, geographical boundaries, and economic and political systems. The 19th Century author Karl Kullberg describes the opposing side, which for some time can hold back development in the following ways:

“I was told that at the House of Nobility there will be a multitude of young men who blindly have been under the command of the leaders of conservatism, who follow them in life and death, who, silently in the debate, loudly express their thought when voting, who shudder, when talking about liberalism, and close their ears, when talking about reason and evidence.”

Then Kullberg gives his own judgment on this backwards-looking crowd of men:

“For me at least, it seems almost impossible to think of a youth whose hearts do not beat higher for the magic word: freedom. Freedom is and will always be the ransom of the young.”


The book will be published within the coming weeks,

click to learn more about it

Bordertraveller Stories by LarsGoran Bostrom

Leonardo Da Vinci’s sixteen design codes

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Leonardo Da Vinci is most famous for his work as an artist and the so-called central perspective in this visual art form. In addition, his scientific experimentation with exciting discoveries and descriptions for the future is also widely known. Besides this, he was a distinguished musician, which was an area where he gained a lot of inspiration, not least to give his writing a new dimension and sides. In total, five thousand written pages are preserved from his hand. There are five thousand pages of visions of especially art, science and life in general. Five thousand pages that confirm Leonardo’s ingenious and super-creative mind.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s sixteen design codes

In the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody, this has been boiled down to sixteen design codes for the development of education and learning applications. But additionally, these design codes serve as an excellent foundation for all forms of projects where creativity is the driving force. This foundation also acts as a driving force for the 6iModel, a flexible modern project management model, where purpose, development and performance are the engines. Unlike traditional models, which usually tend to result in administration at the expense of creativity and innovation. Leonardo’s sixteen design codes do not just form the basis of the model. But they also serve as a guide to the reader. Because design today can be applied to almost all areas that concern life, thus basically the art of designing your own reality.


Learning Design in Practice for Everybody by LG BostromLearning Design in Practice for Everybody by LG Bostrom

The book is available both as an ebook and a hardcover printed edition, click here to buy directly from the publisher or a reseller

The idea of creating the 6iModel started from 16 of da Vinci’s Design Codes that manufactured with modern technology where also 13 years of the author’s experience of learning design was added. You can see the outcome in the third part of the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody by LarsGoran Bostrom. And more importantly, to use the model to optimize the work process and the result of your own creative projects.


IN>D:Valley and 360 degrees comics

IN>D:Valley and 360 degrees comics

Meet Leo and his life in the adventurous tech-intensive society IN>D:Valley. His family and neighbourhood, his school, and his creative mind. The first episode will be published soon in the form of a 360 degrees comics, a format that is an adventure in itself.

360 degrees comics are developed in the SOE PublishingLab, does it look interesting? Please, contact us for more information.

Return of the Republic of Scholars – From Erasmus until now

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Return of the Republic of Scholars – From Erasmus until now

Studies of Erasmus hands by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/1498–1543)

During the Renaissance, academics and students walked between the growing number of universities. This roving academic life still existed to some extent in the 19th century, as the author Karl Kullberg testifies in a travelogue from Europe 1842 (only available in Swedish). There he encounters, among other things, some English students along his path. In their search for knowledge and engaging learning environments of their choice. As the centuries passed, however, this goal and perspective were gradually abandoned. It was a transformation from learning as a personal educational journey to an education based on the requirements of the nation of birth. Especially from the second half of the 19th century and onwards, the goal was to build national state hegemony from a collective knowledge base.

This unit, the nation-state, which in the 20th century developed into war machines, both against other nations and against its own population. Later this unit also became welfare producers, which developed its own ideology.  In this spirit, the equation of education over the past 150 years has been that the national state has identified different needs and then localized its educational resources to meet these demands. Now we live in an age when the pendulum is swinging back where the equation of the 21st century consists of a return to the boundless mobility of the Renaissance, and a journey of education for the student’s personal and social development. This is shown, among other things, by a study from the British Council. However, besides the similarities of the renaissance, the borderless mobility today has another dimension, namely learning and skills development in the digital world.

Four main trends

The british council’s “The shape of things to come: higher education global trends and emerging opportunities”  identifies four key trends in the development of higher education.

1. Increasing student mobility across national borders

2. The existence of new models for global collaborations in higher education

3. Patterns in research results and its growing internationalization

4. Commercial research activities.

The results show the rapid growth of internationally mobile students with an increase from 800 000 in the mid-1970s to over 3.5 million in 2009. This trend is expected to strengthen further in the coming years. In addition, this trend includes the fact that the Nobel Prize has been won more often by researchers working in a country other than the one in which they were born. For example, more than 60% of the winners in 2010 and 2011 had studied and/or conducted research outside the country in which they were born. It is clear that new environments provide new perspectives and ideas to achieve the greatest innovations for the benefit of humanity. This is also one of the pillars that Alfred Nobel thought the prize should support. And in this spirit, the new version of the Republic of Scholars is now gradually taking shape.

Return of Erasmus

In the short story collection Gränsfarare that will be published in English in August or September 2020 with the title Bordertraveller Stories one of the short stories is titled “The Night Butterfly”. Here the reader meets Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Renaissance man, and his correspondence with Martin Luther, the disillusioned revolutionary. And the subsequent development that ultimately brought down the renaissance with the outcome that Europe once again was overshadowed by the claims of demagogues. Today, even the short story turns into the present day, the spirit of Erasmus has returned and this man lends his name to one of the European Union’s student exchange programmes established in 1987. That’s about when the foundation of the new borderless scholar’s republic began to be built.

The Renaissance humanism and academic vagabonds are also one of the main sources of inspiration for the birth of the Bordertraveller series. More interesting books, both from then and now, will enrich this series in the future.


360 Degree Comics – interactive storytelling

Creativity bridges in the world of books

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“Let your work be in tune with your purpose,” Leonardo Da Vinci wrote.

This can be seen as obvious, but in practice, it should nevertheless be seen as a guide, an objective. This is what the theory of reflexivity among other things proclaims. A theory based on the real circumstances of participating people. Creativity is in this perspective the bridge over which one crosses the river of uncertainty.

Unconscious consequences

In a transformative time, creativity is the very bridge that leads to the new and away from the old. One can borrow the terminology from George Soros’ theory of reflexivity, which he describes in detail in the book “The Alchemy of Finance“. The concept of the theory is basically quite simple and can be transferred to as well as economic and social contexts, or rather it brings them together. Where, on the one hand, the participants try to understand reality and, on the other, try to achieve their aims. Nevertheless, these two functions affect each other and that is what Soros calls reflexivity. It can be seen as a “feedback loop” between participants’ understanding and reality.

Because the participants’ understanding is incomplete, not least in transformative times and environments like the one we now live in. This causes the participants’ actions to achieve unconscious consequences. Because they act not in their own interest, but on their own view of their own interest. The gap between reality and the incomplete interpretation of it creates uncertainty that participants try to bridge with creativity. It can be said a lot about reflexivity and its usefulness, and it is described in “The Alchemy of Finance” by George Soros.

Step-by-step bridges of creativity


A completely different form of creativity bridge is described in the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody in the form of 6iModellen. This is a model that focuses on guiding creative projects of all forms. To optimize the result so that it is as far as possible consistent with the purpose. The model is developed based on the author’s many years of experience in implementing various forms of creative projects and Leonardo Da Vinci’s sixteen design codes. In addition to the six stages or stations contained in the model, Da Vinci’s general advice is something to consider in order to reduce uncertainty. He writes: “The painter has the whole universe in his mind and hand. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Creativity bridges in the world of books


360 Degree Comics – interactive storytelling

A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This is the beginning of Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of two Cities” from 1859. This masterpiece came out in the same year as the philosophical reflection “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill which had such a profound impact on the further development of society. Where Mill describes a vision for a prosperous humanistic social development based on the individual. Dickens focuses on the problem that where many see opportunities, others only find risks. In such a perspective, the degree of well-being is very unequally distributed. Because when fear is the driving force, you like to turn your back on the future and all too often look back to the colourable security of nostalgia. An ambition that all too often tends to end up in one of history’s darkest rooms.

Charles Dickens’ beginning of “A Tale of Two Cities” is truly a timeless masterpiece, and could be a reflection from our own time:

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,


it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,


it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,


it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,


it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,


we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,


we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way—


in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

All this in a world where all research shows that the world’s population is generally getting better and better. And that development has really taken significant leaps forward. At the same time, there are those who want to push technology, environmental, social and other development forward at an ever-faster speed without putting people at the heart of the development. The author Karl Kullberg describes the same phenomenon from his 19th century perspective with the following words in his travelogue from Europe in 1842 (the book is only available in Swedish):

The general spirit of societal fermentation, which is undergoing Europe at this moment, increasingly is gaining air, for it is in the nature of things that the aspirations of an entire zeitgeist should be opposed either by those who are in the gateway and cry out for the rottenness of time, nor by those “third parties”, these amphibians, who want all and cannot do anything.

Karl Kullberg

Dickens, Mill and Kullberg identified these problems in a progressive transformation and also found the starting point for the solution. Today, this management method is called Design Thinking. More about this method can be read in the book “Learning Design in Practice for Everybody“.


360 degrees comics

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Mark Twain’s essay on the art of telling a story

Mark Twain’s essay on the art of telling a storyMark Twain’s authorship is timeless as the words weigh heavy and find new nourishment through decades and centuries. For example, the short story collection Gränsfarare (in Swedish) and with the translated title Bordertraveller stories that will be published in August 2020, which is the starting point for this blog, begins with words from his inspiring pen. Below Mark Twain’s essay “How to tell a story” is published in a complete version.



The Humorous Story an American Development.–Its difference from Comic and Witty Stories.


I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years.

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind–the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.

The humorous story may be spun out to great length and may wander around as much as it pleases, and arrive nowhere in particular, but the comic and witty stories must be brief and end with a point. The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst.

The humorous story is strictly a work of art–high and delicate art–and only an artist can tell it, but no art is necessary for telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story–understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print–was created in America, and has remained at home.

The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it, but the teller of the comic story tells you beforehand that it is one of the funniest things he has ever heard, then tells it with eager delight, and is the first person to laugh when he gets through. And sometimes, if he has had good success, he is so glad and happy that he will repeat the “nub” of it and glance around from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see.

Very often, of course, the rambling and disjointed humorous story finishes with a nub, point, snapper, or whatever you like to call it. Then the listener must be alert, for in many cases the teller will divert attention from that nub by dropping it in a carefully casual and indifferent way, with the pretence that he does not know it is a nub.

Artemus Ward used that trick a good deal; then when the belated audience presently caught the joke he would look up with innocent surprise as if wondering what they had found to laugh at. Dan Setchell used it before him, Nye and Riley and others use it today.

But the teller of the comic story does not slur the nub; he shouts it at you–every time. And when he prints it, in England, France, Germany, and Italy, he italicizes it, puts some whooping exclamation-points after it, and sometimes explains it in a parenthesis. All of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.


360 degrees comics

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Bordertraveller blog opens with 360-degree comics and text-audio stories

Very welcome to the Bordertraveller blog. It is focusing on books, publishing and the society in general, and it is the English version of Gränsfararebloggen (in Swedish) that has been around for a while. Besides publishing stories to read and listen to, the blog also will include more interactive experiences like the 360-degree comics that we are launching now, see below, there is much more to come.

Using 360-degree comics

To use a 360-degree comics strip experience you drag the strip clockwise. As you follow the comics strip you will find additional integrated features like audio, video, text, links and quizzes. See our 360-degree comics story with the title: The Development of the book and freedom of expression, see below.

Features in 360-degree comics


Click to open text, image or video in a 360-degree comics.


Click to open audio in a 360-degree comics

Quiz and summary

Click to open quiz or summary in a 360-degree comics

Next 360 degree comics strip

Go to the next 360-degree comics strip

 information about the 360 degree comics strip

Click for information about the 360-degree comics strip

360-degree comics on Bordertraveller blog

Europe before the misery of nationalism

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When the author Karl Kullberg travelled through a fairly peaceful Europe in 1842, the map looked much different than today. Germany, for example, had about thirty years to go until its final unification and Italy for about twenty years. Both before and after the upheavals of the mid-19th century, Europe’s internal borders have been in constant motion, and almost exclusively because of victories and losses on the battlefield. A fact that led the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to designate national borders as the worst invention ever created by politicians. Especially in the way they have most often were created. But also because they gave birth to an ideology that has created and creating so much misery in Europe, namely nationalism. This ism, which in addition to both nazism/fascism, communism is based on in its practical implementation.

Europe before the misery of nationalism

“Nationalism is war”

A prominent philosopher, Ernest Renan, described 1882, 40 years after Kullberg’s journey, the nation as a daily plebiscite, and writes further in his famous essay “What is a nation?”:

“A province means to us its inhabitants; (…) The people’s wish is after all the only justifiable criterion, to which we must always come back.”

This was now at a time when the walls of nationalism were built ever higher within which the modern national state was born and brought together different provinces into one entity. The many brutal and long-lasting wars of the 20th century reveal its shortcomings.

These shortcomings that the former French President Francois Mitterrand made a glowing speech against in the European Parliament in 1995, please look at this, the speech is in French and subtitled in English, and should be a natural part of school history teaching. Mitterrand himself was one of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps, and he concludes the speech with the words; “nationalism is war”. His own evidence in the speech and the entire history of the 20th century provides solid evidence that he was telling the truth.

Europe before nationalism

Nevertheless, in 1842, the European continent is open to Karl Kullberg’s insightful gaze and talented writing. The journey goes through the States of the German Community, such as Saxony, Prussia and Bavaria, and on to Switzerland. Some of his insights are well in line with today’s research and beliefs. While others produce a different and sometimes more insightful view. One of the reasons for this is that Kullberg as an eyewitness experienced the events on the spot and through the news agency of the time. While contemporary scientists and writers make interpretations from a distance. Another difference is that today’s historians often consciously or unconsciously write from a national perspective. This was not the case in Kullberg’s time. Especially not for him, whose humanism shines through in all his writing.

The book is available in Swedish

After television and the book’s renaissance

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Each age has its own innovative format for stories. The oral tradition turned into innovations such as the texts and illustrations of the printed book. To then turn into moving image and sound in the form of film, radio, and TV. What is significant, however, is that the power of a good story regardless of format can conquer mountains and break through walls. The energy that drives groundbreaking stories is an engaging mix of aesthetics, logic, and dreams that are achievable or not. Today, in the digital age, the innovation is that the user takes another step into the story by interacting within it. Mass communication thus turns to personalised formats and content, and to making the user a co-creator of the content.

After television and the book's renaissance

After television

Nevertheless, mass communication media like television still have a significant influence on society. A media form that can be defined as force-fed information to passive receivers. This is in sharp contrast to other forms of media where the activity is required and the user is given time to reflect and act. For example, a book here can be defined in comparison as a friend and guide to reflect upon. In comparison to the authoritarian command centre that the TV medium can be. Or an interactive book that is both a friend and an activating guide to improving your personal development,  both skills, and knowledge etc. Where the format is characterized by reflection, development of personal solutions with feedback and active engagement.

After the TV and the medium is the message

The medium remains an important part of the message that Marshall MacLuhan explained in his 1964 book: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. This idea is probably more truthful today than in 1964. Especially since there are a lot more different formats with different characteristics and abilities to engage different audiences. In this spirit, the book appears, both in its traditional form as well as in its innovative interactive format, timeless. Among other things, thanks to its activating properties. But even as we are now leaving the industrial society with its one-way communication to the masses behind us. The book will strengthen its position.

Storyteller On Demand - create interactive books

Storyteller On Demand – create interactive books – click for more information

360 degree comics