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A New Beginning: Örn Bárður Jónsson

Minister and avid writer Örn Bárður Jónsson immediately got involved when he saw Iceland’s finances getting out of control. In an effort to address country’s obsession with money, Jónsson wrote a fable called “Export Mountains Inc.”, telling the story of entrepreneur Peter Glacierson, and published it in the daily Reykjavik newspaper Morgunbladid. In the story, Peter decides to sell Iceland’s iconic Mt. Esja, an idea fully supported by Icelanders, but disaster strikes when the mountain sinks in the North Atlantic and Peter losses all of his investments. This thinly veiled criticism of Iceland’s government and financial system did not go unnoticed and Jónsson lost his position at the national office of the Church of Iceland, though he found another position at a small church in the city.

After the banks collapsed in 2008, a new constitution was created to replace the one Iceland had inherited from Denmark decades earlier. Crowd sourced with input from Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, the constitution represents Iceland’s changed world view and return to its roots in the Earth. In the preamble, written by Jónsson, it states that Iceland wishes to “…promote harmony, security and happiness amongst us and coming generations.” These ambitions are both traditionally feminine and classically Icelandic, tying together humanity and the power of nature. 

 

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