The Mireja Institute focuses on a key, but forgotten, aspect of the Western welfare system: Close relationships, often synonymous with family in the widest sense – all constellations where people live together in close intimate relationships.
In Sweden many families find that they lack the power to make their own decisions about their close relationships, especially when children arrive. The symptoms are visible in the national statistics: High levels of stress-related sick leave, ambitious but insecure parents, increasing psychological ill heath among youth, plummeting learning results and more disorder in schools.
The impediments are often well-intentioned: The everyone-to-work policy, gender equality, high subsidised day care, pre- and after-school care and school. But rather than create more welfare, these are in effect often hindrances to the close relationships which are so important to human health, learning and development.
The Mireja Institute is politically and religiously unaffiliated and is neither based on any specific ideology, apart from democracy and human rights. The purpose of The Mireja Institute is to present the knowledge available today about health, learning and personal growth through attachment and relationships, to the political level.
This knowledge is lacking today in the political debate in many countries, Sweden being no exception. When this knowledge is publicly known family policies in most political camps will look different, even though the solutions may vary.
The goal is to make available the knowledge about the potential in close relationships to build welfare, development and democracy.
Founder of The Mireja Institute
Mireja founder Jonas Himmelstrand has been a consultant in business for nearly 30 years focusing on leadership, education and personal development.
Meeting a great number of Swedes in business life during many years raised some concerns about how well the Swedish people were actually doing in the world's best well-fare system.
Jonas spent five years working on a book to explain the phenomena. The problems seemed to boil down to a social system not acknowledging the key importance of family and close relationships to health, personal growth and self-fulfilment.
With The Mireja Institute Jonas wants to spread the knowledge on this subject.
Jonas lives outside Uppsala, Sweden, with his wife Tamara and their three children. He mostly works from a home office.