Lab 10 – Social Model

Millennials are frontrunners of change because they create change through action. By doing so they have made the sharing economy flourish. They have also changed the way we shop and travel, changed the way the media perceives them, changed businesses and created new business models. They have changed our view of consumption, recycling, environment and food. But will they also want to change the Danish social model? This was the question we posed to them in Millennial Lab # 11

 The North rules

Generally there is great satisfaction with the Nordic social model. Millennials are both well educated and well traveled and therefore have a good perspective on both our society and the world around them, and they certainly have a grounded opinion on both. They have also grown up during a period where the Nordic social model has shown that it can withstand financial turbulence better than other countries. Therefore, for the Millennials we talked to there were no better alternatives to the Nordic model, but that isn’t to say that there can still be room for improvement…

100% found the Nordic model the best of all society models

The Socialist (100% state)

The American (100% on your own)

The Nordic 50/50)

Our strength is our weakness

Millennials primarily regard the Danish social model as a safety net. However, equality, opportunities and basic rights are also important values. Millennials are willing to share and to contribute towards a fair and well-functioning society. They see security and safety as a huge strength, but at the same time they also consider it demotivating. Millennials are a generation with a great deal of courage and desire for change and so they tend to regard welfare security as a hammock more than a safety net that results in a lack of motivation to do things better. And while seemingly not the ideal match for a generation who wants to take responsibility for their own lives, Millennia’s typically use society’s safety net to create more freedom and more opportunities.

“Safety can easily become a comfort zone”

“No matter how much I fuck up, I will never really hit the bottom”

What defines best the Danish society model?

The generation that takes responsibility for itself

Millennials have trust in society, but they are not waiting for society to provide everything for them. They act themselves and are prepared to set goals for their actions. For example, they do not expect to receive a state pension in the future that they can live on. Millennials are a generation that lives in the present without big plans for the future. This is partly because they are young, but also because they approach life differently to former generations. Materialism in in decline, they do not own expensive property. They prefer a subscription economy, and to be tenants without the burden of debt, meaning that they can more easily decide how they wish to live. And if they do fail, they are in no danger of going under because they live in DK. Nobody thinks they are alone if things goes wrong, and therefore most willingly pay their taxes. Contradictorily, over half of Millenials believe that it is reasonable that people themselves contribute to maintaining a reasonable standard of living, for example with unemployment or illness.

75% do NOT expect to receive a state pension they can live on.

Quote: “I don’t need social security myself. But those who do, should have it.”

2/3 believe the balance between tax and public service is OK

33% believe that individuals should take on more personal responsibility than they do now

Quote: “How privileged should we be?”

Guardians of the global environment

Climate, environment and nature are extremely important issues for Millenials. They see it as their role to correct the mistakes, greed and carelessness of past generations. They are very dissatisfied with those who they perceive as having been sitting on their hands or turning both a deaf ear and blind eye to environmental issues. They expect action from politicians and corporations – and at the same time they take action themselves as conscious consumers. Our survey showed that climate and environment are two of the most important political issues for Millennials. The figures are backed up by voter polls and by the 2015 election when The Alternative, a completely new party, strode directly into the Parliament with their green agenda.

Free and equal education

Education is very important to Millennials. A lot of them are students, or have recently completed their studies, or are parents of students. It is a very present and important issue seen both from their own and society’s perspective. The majority believes that there is a strong correlation between tax and public services. But they are calling for more quality in both education and institutions. However, the solution is not necessarily seen as an increase in privately funded education. More than half of those we spoke to think that the current balance between public and private education is fine. One third believe that private schools create inequality. What is important for our Millennials is that everyone has free and unlimited access to education, while also saying that it is quite reasonable that there is a ceiling for how much SU (salary for studying) one can get.

Figures: 92% believe we should have free access to education

1/3 believes that private schools create greater inequality

Quote: “We should not have unlimited access to salary when studying (SU). But always unlimited access to education ”

 Own responsibility for health

Health is also a key issue for Millennials, despite the fact that they are not yet large users of the health services. They have very strong opinions about health and in Denmark it is a basic right to receive free healthcare. Millenials believe that there is too much bureaucracy, poor management and public stress in the public health sector. It needs to be more efficient, with less red tape and documentation, and more time spent on the real job of treating patients. Millennials are an impatient generation and demand immediate change. They are also a generation that takes greater responsibility for their own health. More than half believe that one must take responsibility and use their own abilities to maintain an acceptable standard of living if one becomes long-term ill due to stress or the like.

They also think it is reasonable for people to pay for the treatment of lifestyle diseases for which they themselves are responsible.

75% believe that health must be paid for by taxation and be equally available to everyone

42% believe that private health insurance creates greater inequality.

75% believe that we should continue to legislate on harmful lifestyles such as drugs, alcohol and smoking.

The alienation towards politicians is on the rise

The Millennials we spoke to showed great interest in politics. They were very aware of their democratic rights and voted consistently in both parliamentary and municipal elections. They tend to vote for political parties of change, which is young typical for younger voters. But Millennials differ in that they are not falling for words and promises…they expect to see immediate action and change. This is because they have grown up in a world where just about anything can be fixed immediately with a technical solution and/or an app. They have little regard for the established politicians who, according to our Millennials, have too much focus on their own interests. However, they think there are enough parties to cover every opinion and feel that the minority does get heard. Almost everyone believes that it helps to vote.

“The politicians kick the same ball back and forth instead of coming up with new solutions.”

75% think there is a big difference between the parties

80% of those we talked to are in the middle or left of the center

75% feel much, or to some extent an alienation from politicians