The Lika Olika method is based on a unique study carried out by its founder, Mary Juusela, who investigated how intolerance creates exclusion. Exclusion directly affects the general skills, potential and health of individuals, groups and, ultimately, nations. That’s why Lika Olika helps individuals and groups in companies, schools, municipalities and associations find each other by improving tolerance and togetherness.

The Study

The study, Stolen Identity, is based on the work carried out by the founder of Lika Olika, Mary Juusela, who, over a period of ten years, lived with and interviewed more than seven hundred families across Sweden for the purpose of investigating the importance to human wellbeing of being part of a wider context.

Mary studied the families based on child, parent and family perspectives, both individually and in relation to each other. They are representative of more than forty Swedish towns, villages and communities.

The study was put forward at the Organisation Mondiale Pour l’Éducation Préscolaires world conference for children’s health and development. It was presented in July 2015 in Washington D.C., USA, together with Lena Åkesson, Professor of Child Psychology at the University of Kristianstad. It has also been published in two separate books (Banden som gör oss till familj, 2010, Norstedts and Den stora återresan, 2014, Miller & Books).

The results of the study form the basis of the Lika Olika method for improving tolerance for differences and minorities of every kind.

The Method

The Lika Olika method is responsive in that it takes into account both society’s developments and the specific challenges and needs of each client. This concerns improving tolerance for differences of every kind, with a focus on taking individuals and groups from point A to point B in a sustainable and efficient manner.

The method is based on fostering unity and encouraging tolerance. Every day we meet people at work, at school, on the street, in the store and in social contexts which challenge the way we see both the world and ourselves. By learning to overcome prejudice, we as individuals and a society can create a happier, healthier and more sustainable life. However you want to look it, we humans are all unique and should be able to live side by side.

Our work at Lika Olika is based on a four-stage process:
1. INSIGHT – into differences and similarities
2. KNOWLEDGE – about exclusion and its effects
3. TOOLS – for handling friction where it exists between people
4. ACTION! – the will to act

Agents for change

Lika Olika trains social enablers or, as we call them, ‘agents for change’. From our perspective, an agent for change is an individual who is curious about differences. It’s someone who dares to say ‘stop’ or simply offers a hand and says ‘come on, you’re with me’ when nobody else will. Agents for change stand up for their fellow human beings and for themselves.

For us, it’s about changing negative social patterns whilst realising that change happens on an individual level. It’s about recognising that we need to work on an individual basis to make people want to ‘give a damn’ about others. Our aim is to foster empathy, moral courage and togetherness.

Nobody can do everything or be everywhere. But everyone can do something, and someone is always somewhere. The most important change is the one that happens inside yourself. It starts with you!

Interested to know more?

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