I have always been driven by a feeling that we can do better. Together. That life can be so much more than what our families, educations, workplaces, and media present to us. That we deserve a much more interesting, free, dynamic, fair, and democratic society.
This is one of the reasons why I lived in communes when I was young and far into my adult life. It is also the reason I spent the 1970s being active on the far left of Danish politics, in my opinion the most visionary place to be: Kommunistisk Forbund (Communist Forum) and later on the Venstresocialisterne (Leftwing Socialists).
I wanted to see the utopian dream of a better and richer life turned into actual everyday life today – and not have to wait several decades first.
I have always had greater confidence in things coming from inside and below, than in things coming from outside and above.
This view of life informed and sustained me as I started and headed the youth organisation Frontløberne (The Frontrunners) in Aarhus in the 1980s, and the same philosophy was behind it all, when I later joined in the initiative to start the entrepreneur and leadership education the KaosPilots, of which I was the principal from 1991 to 2006.
I still have the same philosophy.
In a sentence: You get what you give.
While still working at the KaosPilots, I joined traditional party politics in the 1990s. At first locally in Aarhus and later nationally with a Copenhagen base.
During my tenure as an elected politician I took on a variety of posts: head of the schools and culture committee in Aarhus, minister for culture in Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s first government and instigator of a new, green party, which I fronted in two election campaigns before stepping down as party leader for the Alternative in December 2019.
But a life is much more than politics and work.
It is everyday life with children, grandchildren and close friends. It is love, grief, sex, parties, and running marathons. It is conflict, falling in love, jealousy, lack of confidence and finding one’s self.
It is also meeting the one and only.
I have written about all these things in my autobiography Et Liv (A Life, 2022, not translated).