Pink Is the New Punk


We work and manage according to hard values. This is devastating for both nature and people. What we need is a soft rebellion.

I call it Pink Punk!

This is a painful roar from an economist trained in a culture where taking care of people has the lowest status, while taking care of finance trumps all.

I roar over the absence of soft and caring principles in our fundamental economic and political structures, and I am ashamed to have contributed to this culture for many years: I mistook soft for weak and feminine for submissive.

Never again!

Soft values
Nobody taught us to take care of people and nature while studying economics in the 1980s. Now we see the results in terms of global warming, human burnout, conflicts, perfectionism and loneliness.

"We have to call back an entire generation of economists. They must install new software, "says Arne Selvik, Communications Director at the Norwegian School of Economics.

Indeed, we need new software -- in the most literal and softest of ways. We need to learn consideration, trust, empathy and self-awareness. We know how to compete. Now we must learn to cooperate. We know how to make harsh arguments. Now we must learn to listen. Non-judging, curious and open-minded.

Human Liberation
Soft values are by no means reserved for women. It is easy to forget what the fear of feminine values is stealing from boys and men, says the Norwegian psychologist Eva Tryti.

She points out that we live with an ancient terror that all soft is dangerous for men. It stains them. Boys and men therefore have a tighter social corset than girls and women. They become socially punished for sensitivity and empathy, and they suffer from it.

"If boys and men need to avoid soft values and principles, there is actually less and less they can do. Girls and women have a lot more social leeway," Tryti says.

Therefore the Pink Punk Project is not about women's liberation. This is human liberation.

Soft power
We need this liberation to be brave. Challenge existing cultures and dogmas. To be gutsy and become badasses on behalf of a better world, as professor Brené Brown stated at the Emerging Women Conference in New York.

Many companies and organizations have started the softening work. Forbes Magazine now publishes a list of the Most Admired and Most Inspiring Companies. This is a step in the right direction, away from the 500 most powerful companies, traditionally measured in money and power.

"We need to let love out of the corporate closet," CEO and founder of Wholefoods, John Mackey, says. He ranks high on Forbes list of inspirational leaders, and he claims that emotional and social intelligence is as important in his company as analytical intelligence.

What about Volkswagen and the rigging of emission tests? We will probably see a lot of these revelations as the world opens up and gets more transparent.

On the other side of the ethical scale we find the telecompany Telenor and their decision to give six months maternity leave for all their female employees, worldwide. We're going to see more of this as well.

Who wants to work for companies who cheat with fake emissions? Fewer and fewer. Who wants to work for the people who make the world a better place? Increasingly more. New generations expect a lot from managers and employers. Thank goodness! They will help us transform our economy from black to green.

Pink Punk
Why insist of the color pink? Why write a totally pink book about economics, academics, spirituality and psychology? Because this is a soft rebellion, and pink is a dangerous color, concludes researcher Fanny Ambjörnsson at the University of Stockholm.

Pink as a color has low prestige and the power-people prefer to be black and closed. Why?

"The time has come to unleash our sacred feminine soul," the Texas-based author and activist Sera Beek claimed at Emerging Women in 2014.

Indeed the time has come.
Pink is the new Punk!