New Work New Culture A Manifesto by Frithjof Bergman

New Work

New Culture

A Manifesto

by Frithjof Bergman

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From the first day we took the view that the Job System was only one and a problematic and passing way to organize and structure work. We emphasized that the vast majority of people did not work in jobs for thousands of years, but that they worked on farms. The peculiar form of work that we call “jobs” is roughly only two hundred years old, as old as the Industrial Revolution, and even when that system was first introduced many were skeptical and announced ominous predictions. By now the Job System suffers from a manifold and virulent pathology, and the time has therefore come to organize work anew, from the ground up: the Job System is now dying and the next system, New Work has to be created. 4

What is New Work? This book is a long and complex answer to this question. But, here, by way of introduction is a very short reply. Central to New Work is a reversal. You can express it first in the language of means and ends. In much of the past the task to be performed, was the goal, the end, the purpose. The human being was used by others, or also by himself, as the tool, the instrument, the mere means for the achieving of this end. We, human beings, subordinated ourselves. We placed ourselves into the service of work that needed to be done.

New Work is an effort, that has now gone on for over twenty years, to reverse this: we should not be serving work, but work should serve us. The work we do should not drain and exhaust us, it should give us more strength and more energy, it should develop us into fuller human beings.