A possible future?
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Back in the 1980s, Finland's major industry was paper and pulp. 

Helsinki-based Nokia, the country's largest company, was known more for its rubber boots than tiny phones. "But when the economy took a nosedive in the early 1990s, Finland turned to high tech for salvation. 

The Government decided to put 2.9 percent of the gross domestic product into technology research and development. Companies turned to international partners to start electronic ventures, and Nokia discovered a seemingly endless market for cellphones."1 

Soon Nokia was pulling in $32 billion a year from this new phenomenon, and its success fuelled Finland's technology boom. As the company grew, it also invested in science parks at universities around the country, which were funded by government-venture capital groups. 

Today Finland has 400 high-tech firms. It has only five million people, but nearly 2.5 million of them carry cell-phones. And the land of lakes and saunas also boasts the highest number of Internet connections in Europe. 

Excerpted from the best-selling book, "The Learning Revolution", by Gordon Dryden and Dr Jeannette Vos.
1Wired Is a Way of Life, part of the cover story in Newsweek (November 9, 1998).

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