I’m a visionary strategic thinker with a curious mind. I love to get shit done with passionate people committed to conscious leadership and sustainability.
My Mission in life:
Doing my bit to make this planet a nicer, safer and more sustainable place to live. In more concrete terms I work towards a sustainable world based on a circular economy where people thrive and do business consciously.
My goals for 2017:
- Write my book - a blueprint designed to inspire the next generation of world leaders
- Co-create action-focused projects and initiatives
- Give talks and keynotes on topics I'm passionate about - see here
- Start a conversation on how to create a new thriving paradigm for people, planet and profit on the Cracks of Light Podcast
- Enjoy life. Prioritize stillness and creativity
A little rant about the kind of world I DREAM OF:
I want a world where people are treated equal. Where leaders dare lead with compassion for people and planet and understand that this is the foundation for flourishing businesses and societies. I want a world based on a circular economy. Where sharing, reusing and recycling is the only way. Where design is inspired by the intelligence of nature. Oil-based plastic is a thing of the past and ALL products are made by sustainable bio-degradable materials, our energy comes from renewable sources and produce is grown without harming chemicals.
And I think the starting point for all this is a world where people dare to slow down and create space for silence. With themselves. No tv, podcast, iPad, Instagram feed to fill that space. We need to reclaim our inner guidance and reconnect with nature. I believe that the quality of our work and the difference we can make depends on the quality of our inner-being.
Broken souls in broken bodies leads to broken systems and ultimately; a broken planet.
Collaboration across nations, sectors and generations are key to succeed building the kind of world I dream of. With compassion and collaboration in the driver's seat (ego, fear and greed in the back-seat) we can go so very far.
3 things I’m passionate about
- Working with bright minds and dynamic souls on changing the way we run this planet for the better.
- Collaborating across sectors, age, gender, nations to learn from those who walked the path before me while blazing uncharted territory.
- Inspiring people by showcasing the amazing things that are happening around the world and proving that a new way of doing things is possible.
3 things I want to see change in the next 10 years
- The way we run corporations. I want to see respect for people and the resources used in production and consumption.
- Gender-balance. Please. I can’t take one more all-male panel debate and conferences dominated by men in suits. Seriously?
- Big egos getting in the way of progressive and positive change. Get over yourself. We don’t have time for bullshit like that.
3 personality traits I’m proud of:
- When shit hits the fan – trouble, trauma, or crisis – I get focused on tackling the challenge. I don’t whine or complain, bitch or place blame. I don’t expect something or someone to come save me. I get shit done. I deal with it. I breathe with it. And I grow.
- I’m an empath who truly cares about people. Sometimes too much for my own good. (I'm also extremely introvert and reception chit-chat is not my favourite thing).
- My mindset and attitude towards creating and developing projects and ideas is a combination of visionary, practical, and optimistic. I love to go big and bold yet be solution-oriented about getting it done -- or else it’s just a waste of time.
If you’re interested in my journey in life so far – here goes:
I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark (later we moved to the suburbs (Albertslund)), with parents who always instilled in me that we need to take care of our environment. They were very politically active (on the left-wing) in their 20s and although organic produce was not a ‘thing’ in the 1980s, my dad took his bicycle (we didn’t have a car) to the nearest farm to buy the greens we needed. They signed me up for Greenpeace early on, raised my brother and I to contribute and pay back to society, and our holidays were spent camping in the Mediterranean or Scandinavia on a very low budget. I loved collecting rocks, being in nature, running (I did athletics for many years), playing soccer, daydreaming in my room by myself (being the introvert that I am), practicing the saxophone, and acting in various amateur plays.
After finishing high-school, I went to the Ecuadorian part of the Amazon to work as a volunteer (through the same organization Nepenthes that I had bought a piece of the rainforest when I was 10 years old). When I returned, I took a business degree in London to apply those skills to the fields of sustainability and environment. Fast-forward several years and after a few jobs within advertising, marketing, and public affairs, I was finally back on my life path when a lucky turn of events made me the Project Director of the Copenhagen Climate Council. An organization I helped create that was dedicated to engaging the business world in the climate policy negotiations leading up to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen December 2009 (the COP15).
The COP15, in itself, was a political collapse of absurd proportions. The negotiations broke down (ruined by huge egos, in my opinion) and 190 Heads of State fled the scene, leaving behind utter chaos and desperation. And many depressed people, myself included.
After that, I took a long break from climate policy and instead I finished my Master Thesis focused on how business leaders could successfully transform their business-strategy to a low-carbon economy. I interviewed global CEO’s and Chief Sustainability Officers to get first-hand knowledge of the successes and failures, challenges and opportunities in the strategy and implementation process. I wanted to know how we could scale action more quickly than in the political arena.
After completing my academic work, I moved to San Francisco and threw myself into developing a project that had a clear goal of revitalizing the momentum that had been built in the lead-up to COP15 by changing the way we communicate and involve people. I wanted to make the agenda exciting by focusing on the amazing lifestyle that sustainability has to offer, the solutions, the potential. While writing a book for the project on how to communicate about a sustainable future (The Guide to Sustainia) an idea began to grow in my head. I wanted to turn this approach into a solutions-focused organization that made sustainability exciting and tangible for people – not just the elite. With great partners and the help of the Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning (which had also been the birthing place for my other projects), the result was that Sustainia was born.
Fast-forward 5 years of heading Sustainia while also becoming a mother to my amazing girl Roxie born in 2013. Giving birth to both an organization and a real-life-baby within a year was equally exciting, empowering and challenging. Motherhood gave my work a deeper sense of purpose (and the meaning of love all wrapped up into a tiny human being). Meanwhile creating Sustainia has definitely been the most exciting experience of my career to date. It was a huge privilege to create a global platform that gave voice to thousands of sustainability entrepreneurs around the world while also revitalizing the sustainability agenda. Personally Sustainia provided me an incredibly steep learning curve, the courage to embrace feminine leadership, an amazing team and colleagues, a chance to speak on world-class stages and interesting partnerships and projects (read more in my portfolio).
Then a severe concussion, whiplash, and sprained neck in 2015 demanded that I took more than a year completely off to heal. For the first 6 months I was living in an emotional and physical hell - not being able to cope with any sounds, lights, or moving objects yet alone play with my daugther. I was constantly dizzy, had double-vision, and was extremely fatigued. I couldn’t read, write, watch TV or even listen to audio-books. All I could cope with was silence. It was a crazy and challenging time, but also created the space and the silence that ended up becoming a cherished and fascinating inner journey.
A year of almost total solitude and stillness with no input does something to you. It has made me incredibly focused on what my mission in life is and what I spend my time on. It has developed a deep sense of inner satisfaction that I’ve never felt before as I’ve always rushed towards the next big goal, never really slowed down. When you neglect yourself in the process you’ll miss out on a sense of joy, flow, creativity and happiness to your work. And I’ve come to realize that they are the most important drivers and ingredients to build and shape the kind of world I believe in. We cannot build more sustainable societies if we withdraw our wellbeing from the equation.
I now know the importance of being in balance and catering to your soul’s true calling - that inner voice that many people numb or silence in their hectic day-to-day life. The voice I could suddenly hear loud and clear when my world became completely silent for months on end.
[If I’ve made that sound like a completely blissful experience, trust me it really wasn’t. It was full of anxiety, fear, worry – losing yourself and all your abilities and skills for such a long time is a pretty scary and messy thing. But I decided to make the best of it and see how much I could possibly grow as a person during such a challenging time. I started to find excitement and pleasure in the smallest things and turned the challenge around to a positive experience.]
And here we are. Today I am writing a book, I will soon be launching a podcast on all my favorite topics (the podcast I longed for during my recovery) and I'm working with good people across the world on exciting action-oriented projects. But most importantly, I do my best to be here now and fully enjoy life. To me that entails spending time with those I love, going on adventures, meditating, running, jumping the trampoline, being out in nature, and doing my best to get things done that fit into my mission in life.
Check out my blog or Podcast to get inspired by new ideas for a thriving paradigm, see the kind of projects I have brought to life so far, book me as your next speaker, or sign up below to get notified when new exciting things happen.