Technical progress, the advance of information and communications technology (ICT), modern transport and logistics, medical research, institutional change, welfare systems, and so forth, have contributed to a vastly enhanced standard of living for people in most parts of the world. The average lifespan has increased, many people take food for the day and security as given, and the level of material well-being has rocketed upwards, compared to the conditions that applied for previous generations.

Still, it is clear, the societies of our time are far from doing as well as they could and should. For one, the global environment, the living ecosystems that are responsible for securing water supplies, the oxygen we breathe, a stable climate, productive lands, and so forth, are under relentless pressure. The global financial crisis and growing public indebtedness with resulting reduced investment in areas that are critical for our long-term well-being, such as basic infrastructure, education and public research in many countries, demonstrate that the macro economy is off balance.

Further, in a number of areas it is clear that we, as human beings, engage in behaviours that are destructive for our own long-term well being. Examples include the explosion of obesity-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, the continued increased burdening of smoking notably on the populations of developing and emerging economies, driving behaviours that cause unnecessary deaths and suffering on our roads, exploitation of rare environmental treasures which even intensify when entire species are driven towards extinction, such as the Tiger or the Rhinoceros, which have roamed the world since long before humans arrived, and so forth.

Massive investments are put into counter-actions to fight the consequences of some of these ills. An example is the explosion of health and welfare costs. In the United States, where these costs are now approaching 20 per cent of GDP, twice as much as in any other country, the problems are exacerbated by regulatory and institutional deficiencies that basically remove the incentive for any actors to reduce costs. Throughout, however, there is a remarkable imbalance between the costs spent on coping with the consequences of self-destructive behaviour, and the costs of providing the tools and the incentives that can enable people to avoid those problems in the first place.

The LearnforLife programmes aim to close that gap. The effort is led and coordinated by PCS Ltd, headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, and is backed by an alliance of experts as well as partner firms and institutions from different spheres and countries. Through LearnforLife, ICT is put to use so as to reach out to millions, and potentially billions, of people with messages motivating action.

Back to "Home"