Student Spotlight: Meet Our American ChangeMaker

“I kind of realized that I was missing something, that I was unprepared, and that I couldn’t make the changes I wanted to make.”

This year, KaosPilots Switzerland (KP SUI) welcomed its first American student–Sydney Hayes from St. Paul, Minnesota. We sat down with Sydney to learn about why she chose to study at our alternative change-maker education, the differences she sees between her American university experiences and the ones she is having at KP SUI, and the kinds of eye-opening experiences she is having with her international team mates and new lifestyle in Bern.

By Natalie MJ Orozco

Tell us about yourself.
Well, my name is Sydney Hayes. I am a 25 year old American girl in my first year at the KaosPilots Switzerland. I was born and raised in St. Paul Minnesota. I spent the first 18 years of my life there. When I was graduating from high school, I chose to go to the University of Wisconsin in Madison where I got an undergraduate degree in international relations and Spanish. I had SO much fun in Madison! It was really cool and a really different experience that what I had growing up. When I graduated from university, I had a really clear vision of what I wanted to do which was work in the nonprofit sector. After graduating in 2014, I moved out to Washington DC, got a job with a nonprofit called the Arc of The United States doing disability work. I was working in fundraising and development and this was what I wanted to do, and that was to do work that’s meaningful and mission-driven. And I kind of realized that I was missing something, that I was unprepared, and that I couldn’t make the changes I wanted to make. I did a lot of research. I did a lot of soul searching. And now I’m here at KaosPilots SUI since September!

How did you hear about KP?
Washington DC is a very international city. Where I was living and working, I had a lot of different girlfriends and guy friends who were going abroad and coming back from living abroad. They had international degrees and would be involved with the Peace Corps and things like that. I really explored a lot of different options, whether it was going into the Peace Corps and volunteering in South or Central America. Then this idea of a further education; a masters in international development or something like that.

When I fixated on getting another degree, I was looking on Google one day for “alternative business schools in Europe” or something like “schools for change-makers”. I found out about the KaosPilots, and I found an opinion article about a girl who went to the Danish school. So I did a lot of talking with different people and a lot of online research. I went to several meetings at the Peace Corps headquarters in DC. I talked to different people who had done different things and tried to figure out “where can I possibly learn the most?”

How does it feel to be the first American student at KP SUI?
You know, when I hear this question– it’s so funny because it’s not something that I’m super conscious of all the time. It’s kind of something that exists in my subconscious. Because KP SUI is so international, and there are people from all over the world, it doesn’t really feel crazy. But it also is very fun, like I’m bringing the American perspective in a lot of conversations. It’s also a culture people are very curious about. In many ways, it definitely diversifies the circle that I sit in.

What’s an example of a time you felt that it was relevant to bring your “American” perspective?
The most interesting thing is that in America, when you’re 18, you move away from your family and go to university. We have this time-crunch in America to stick to the mold and stick to a career. And that’s not the experience the people in my (cohort) team had, or most people have! In other countries and other parts of the world, they really think about “what do I want to do” and “how can I know myself?” and then they make a decision about where they want to go to university.

What are three things that you see make the KP SUI education different than a traditional American university setting?
The first biggest thing is that it’s a team-based education, so i’m being educated as Sydney Hayes, team member of SUI 6. All of my classes, all of my lectures, most of my projects, client works, etc. is being done in a very close-knit team of individuals. And I think that is extremely different, even if you’re majoring in the same thing as other people. At the University of Wisconsin, there were 40,000 kids. That’s mind blowing! All of my learning and training ground is built upon this team setting, and that’s big.

The second one is checking in and checking out every day. And it’s like my favorite thing ever. At KP, you start every day with a morning practice and a check in, and at the end of every day at 4 pm we all check out together. This is done in the circle with someone leading it. This is such a mindful way of beginning the day and ending the day. We answer different questions, we speak our intentions, and we just touch base with each other. We just speak the truth. We didn’t have this at Wisconsin, and some people don’t even have this with their families. It’s revolutionary!

The third one… We all sit down and have lunch together every single day. There’s a kitchen at the school. Yeah, people run out but they run out to the market and get food to come back and cook it. An hour is a long time to eat, and I can’t remember, when I was in DC, that I took an hour for lunch. Here, we consciously stop at 12pm and we start again at 1pm. People cook huge meals, they eat really slowly, they have conversations, drink coffee, take naps, etc. It breaks up morning and afternoon lectures. It’s big. The culture around food and exchanges are a huge thing, too.

It’s this huge long table with benches we all sit at, the mountains are in the background, there are flags blowing in the wind… That’s KaosPilots SUI. Everyone’s welcomed; little kids [from the kindergarten school downstairs], coworkers, everyone.

What skills have you learned in your first year that you see yourself applying already?
There are so many! My first semester, I just learned to really build a tool box of different project management skills, but also projects in general; I really built this beautiful toolbox of things I can pull out when I’m working in a team, with a client, on a project. They’re invaluable, since they range from so many different areas and studies. It kind of feels like you have something to fall back on, those tool when you’re working in different settings and situations. Every time I learned a new skill, I was like, “Why didn’t I have this at work? Where were these? I needed these!” Whether it was holding an agenda for a meeting, or holding a research question, and the Golden Circle… There are so many of them.

What is the Golden Circle, for people who don’t know the concept?
The Golden Circle is amazing, so if you don’t know it, Google it now. It was created by, Simon Sinek and it’s based off of his own experience of losing passion for the work that he was doing. There are three layers to the circle; the outermost is “what”, and that is to say that almost 100% of people know “what” they do. The next layer is “how”, and you’ll find that less and less people know the “how”. The last circle is the “why”, and that is the hardest. It’s asking yourself a tough question. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, at a nonprofit, or a business man, it’s so important to know who do you wake up in the morning to be. We learned this as a tool last semester, and this semester we actually did this as an assignment. This was really important to creating our own businesses and getting in the entrepreneurial mindset.

What do you hope to do with your certificate when you leave?
The small things change on a weekly basis, but I still see myself doing a lot of mission- driven work; floating around the nonprofit sector or organization that are doing good in the world. Right now, i’m really thinking I want to help organizations who are mission- driven get realigned with their mission, and help individuals like myself who are working in those organization to be sure that they’re in the right place and find their own “why”.

What are you enjoying about Bern and Swiss living so far?
I love everything about living in Bern. It’s so funny because being an American in Switzerland, a lot of people ask “Isn’t Bern like living in some small village?” For those of you who don’t know, Bern is the capital of Switzerland, and its about an hour outside of Zurich. It is quite small, but it’s beautiful. This city is stinkin’ gorgeous! There’s an old town, an enormous blue river that intertwines throughout the city, and it truly feels magical. It’s also super international. So it’s small, but at the same time, it’s big. Because I’m not from here, everything is new. I’m exploring and meeting new people. Yesterday, I was at the park and I met two Americans! What I love most is being in a place that I’m unfamiliar with! It’s a little out of my comfort zone, but I’m really okay with that. That’s why I came here.

Getting to know Swiss culture is challenging, but you also feel really proud of yourself when you accomplish things like figuring out how to buy stuff at the grocery store, eating some Swiss chocolate, or going to eat fondue with the locals.

What advice do you have for American students considering studying in Europe, or considering getting a non-traditional certificate like the ones KP SUI offers?
If it’s something that you’re really thinking about, and you’re just sitting behind the computer doing research, take ACTION! Reach out to people who have done it! Don’t be afraid. I remember reading this article and feeling like it was a dream school, but that I would never get there. Eight months later, I was applying to the school, I was coming to the assessment workshop, and a month after that, I was moving here. I think when you and your mind are telling you that this is something that you’re interested in, follow that curiosity. Look deeper and uncover what’s there. It opens so many doors, you learn about yourself, and you meet so many new people. There is nothing really like this in the US, and it’s amazing.


Sydney Hayes is our first but hopefully not last American student at KP SUI. If you or someone you know is looking to learn more about our education, or apply to our school, send us an email at fly@kaospilots.ch. We look forward to growing our international student body and sharing more student spotlights with you.

KaosPilots Switzerland Team SUI 6 Berlin invasion

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Berlin, do as the… Germans, Turkish, Polish, Italians, Serbians, Russians, Bulgarians, Franks, Americans, Vietnamese, Britons, Spanish, Greeks, Indonesians, etc. do. You can do whatever you want to do in Berlin.”

Written by KaosPilot Switzerland team SUI 6

Berlin, the land of milk and honey. For citizens, immigrants, tourists, businessman, and entrepreneurs alike, Berlin is well known as the land of freedom and opportunities, the city where literally everything can happen and be realized. You could find something that is in your wildest dreams or even that you never would believe to exist in the first place. From European to African restaurants, Turkish to Indochina markets, Berlin has it all and due to this cultural diversity, one might say that you can see the whole of Europe, or even the world, in Berlin. As witness of a rather complicated and unfortunate history of mankind, this city bursts out from its wall and amazes the world with its charms.

Urban Safari on rental bikes

We, the creatures of Team SUI 6, were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to explore this wondrous city in May 2018. We, as creative entrepreneurs, summoned ourselves to the heart of Berlin to see, learn, and be inspired by the creativity, possibility, and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in each nook and cranny of this European mecca. For us to be able to better look through our magnifying glasses, we were guided and hosted by Berliners Helle Marietta Pedersen and Jørgen Smidstrup from Lower East Lab, who have lived in Berlin for 6 years and have themselves a very cool creative lab down in the Kreuzberg district.

Lower East Lab and the heart of it: the Kitchen
Tempelhof

On our expedition in Berlin, we saw an old airport that has been transformed into a public park and community sanctuary now used for sports, gardening, barbecuing, cycling, and hosting events. We saw an urban garden project that is realized by the neighborhood occupying a public space in protest against the authorities and investors who would rather put expensive buildings in its place. We saw an old, unused building that has grown into a bustling and crowded street food market. We saw entrepreneurs who call Berlin their home and work passionately to realize their projects in this city.

We also worked with one of the members of Team SUI 4, Melilizwe Gqopo, who is working on his final year project in creating a think tank to realize Berlin’s strength and weaknesses and devising a way of how we as creative entrepreneur can best make an impact in the city. We saw a unique, bizarre, and passionate art exhibition about a couple who have the same look and outfit every day of their lives while claiming to come from the future. We saw a lot of things, a lot more than what has been included here, and from everything that we saw, we see inspiration, creativity, unique expression of identity, passion, fighting spirit, and most important of all, the exuberant courage and drive towards the realization of dreams.

StartUp Guide Store – product of a former KaosPilot

Here are some insights from the members of team SUI 6:

“Full of history and mystery, cut, destroyed and rebuilt, seems to be the place of creation and inspiration. The streets are sometimes dirty, sometimes clean. Anarchists are loudly discussing, families play on the playground, a Porsche stopped to let me cross the street. Start-ups are popping up in every corner, with a beautiful branding or just a name painted on the wall. Huge green area are let to people and they use it for any sort of outdoor activity, welcome to Tempelhof.

Co-working places where machine and place are shared appear in old industry areas. Parks are used for gardening and growing vegetable. The crowded U Bahn is full of depressed people looking at their phone…as in any other city. A big black man helps a young mom with a chadar veil pulling a baby trolley and a couple speaks French.

Welcome to Berlin, huge and somehow quiet, which proposes a journey around the world in a few U Bahn stops. Enjoy the diversity, let yourself be inspired!”Didier Picamoles

 

“Berlin – I fell in love, short and crisp. It doesn’t always smell like after spring time when you’re in the city, but you can smell different things everywhere in the city. I need more green in the city, more flowers, more jungle, and wilderness. Welcome more creative green chaos! Elke Kalt

 

“Berlin is the expression of life that can resurface in the territories after the wars, walk the streets and nights of this city is so exciting, that it is inevitable to dream that we can live and build there, together with people from all over the world, projects, relationships and communities that are sustainable and innovative. It is important to know and learn from the constructive dynamics that take place in Berlin, where people come together to carry out different projects around culture, politics, human rights and, of course, productive projects that are born mainly from dreams. All of which people in Berlin seems to have in common.
Visiting Berlin is the opportunity to face what we dream of, to recognize the importance of our ideas and above all, the opportunity to understand that we can make them real and get good results if we continuously work on them with others, in a creative, fun and constant way.“Francisco Javier Acosta

 

“A bustling city in which one could say holds the value of (mostly) the entire world in one vast urban area. Berlin feels more like a diverse city in a developing country pretty much like my hometown, Jakarta, Indonesia. An unique expression in the midst of sophisticated Europe, Berlin is one of the movement, the force, which could lead Europe to a more creative entrepreneurial future.” – Afif Muhammad Fatchurrahman

 

“Berlin is an interesting city with many contrasts. But only when you take enough time to see behind the facades one can recognize this. The first two days the houses and streets looked pretty much the same, but after one week safari I see why so many young people are attracted to Berlin. The city offers much space to design, to be creative, to try out and realize visions.”Andrea Jenny

 

From sun up to sun down, my days in Berlin were marked by fascinating encounters and conversations with people from around the world who call themselves Berliners. Most Berliner’s seemed to share a broadly accepted mentality that anything is possible and therefore nothing is impossible. This city is alive and overflowing with potential, and I would argue that it’s merely impossible to be unaffected by its spunky vibe, contagious energy, and all around intoxicating culture. As I traveled around the city by bicycle, I couldn’t help but feel deeply connected to this mentality. Berlin is a place of exploration, of discovery, and of becoming. And the people living there just might be on to something with this crazy notion that we can all do whatever the fuck we want to do.”Sydney Hayes

All in all, Berlin has impacted all of us on many levels. But one thing is for sure, we as a team will utilize what we have learned for our self-development and creative entrepreneurship learnings, whether for our individual journey or for the team adventures.

MEET KAOSPILOTS’ ALUMNI: 3 QUESTIONS FOR YOU!

Meet Lebo Tlali (graduated KaosPilot team SUI 3)

 

1. What are you up to at the moment?

At the moment I’m working for the 10th Berlin Biennale as part of the artistic team coordinating its public program (http://www.berlinbiennale.de/about). This will be a multiple venue event featuring diverse artists from many parts of the world.

2. What have you learnt at the KP that is vital for you now?

This is an event where a lot of people, ideas, perspectives will converge, cross paths..it is something that inspires and challenges me. At the KP it was almost daily practice to listen, see and explore how diverse people experience life from their own perspective, yet still managing to attain common goals. To be able to do this while simultaneously being at ease and recognizing the bigger picture remains a vitally significant experience I can draw from in any environment I may be.

 

3. Why is the KP relevant? 

It is hard to deny the importance of education and learning, developing new skills today. One of the essential parts of this at KP is practice, repetition and evaluating outcomes. there aren’t many educational spaces that offer it in such a way KP does, where one is encouraged to build on what is often already present – perhaps an undervalued ability or passion that yearns to come out.

Become a KaosPilot – why does it take three years to really make a change?

Are you part of the many people these days who want to make immediate changes in your lives, in your team and your organization? What are you experiencing on this journey? What does it take to create sustainable new structures in your life and your work? The KaosPilots study program of enterprising leadership is offered in Aarhus, Denmark and Bern, Switzerland as a 3 year full-time training program. We often get the question: why does it take 3 years to create and live into the changes we want to be?

by Matthias (Matti) Straub-Fischer, Headmaster of the KaosPilots Switzerland and a KaosPilot alumni from team 3 in Denmark

What is needed to grow ourselves and create the transformation and changes we want to see in this world? For sure it takes a hunger to grow, a yearning to change and bring ourselves to a next level in our awareness and consciousness to approach things differently. That is why we want to see this hunger to learn and the courage to step out of our known comfort zones in our KaosPilot applicants.

Do you have the hunger to grow and change yourself?

Great, that is a powerful foundation to getting to know and explore your talents, gifts and strengths, so you unfold who you truly are and what dreams you want to live into.

Once we know what our dreams are and what our purpose is in this life time, we can start moving towards this goal. And while we have learnt in project management to move as directly as possible towards the goal, we will often experience set backs and frustration. Why is that?

While in our brains we usually think that we have “gotten” and understood clearly what needs to happen very quickly, we experience that changes are not something that is happening fast enough. We fall back into the long trained older routines and patterns, and it takes consistent self-discipline, connecting to our enthusiasm and desire, trust, support and challenge to really live into the new paradigm with attitudes, beliefs and values. These inner transformation is a process that takes time. As we need to look into and learn to distinguish whether the things we believe in are still life-growing and allowing for new ideas to be born today – or whether we are hanging onto older beliefs that are maybe not ours, images, attitudes, opinions or beliefs that we have picked up from our family upbringing, our peers, our schools or organizations we have been active in and the media.

Does a belief still serve me? Each of us needs to do this inner work on his or her own, we can not do this examination and discerning for others.

As part of our training program of the Inner Pilot – the personal leadership and transformational work we are doing with the ancient wisdom of the Delicate Lodge Teachings from the Northern Americas, we have learnt that we first need to build our strengths and talents, to create a strong plattform for ourselves. And then it is crucial to look into our patterns and weaknesses, as they will again and again get us out of balance from our desired paths towards our goals. Creating the change inside of us, takes daily practice and effort. And while it may not look like spectacular work from the outside, it will suddenly show very inspiring results and changes.

This inner work usually takes about 2-3 years of daily practice, both as an individual and as a group and team to get mirrors from each other on the impact we are having and where we may still need to practice more to get to the desired outcomes. We need other human beings in this work, as individually we will not be able to tackle our blind spots. That is why our KaosPilot training and the Council Guide Training that we have integrated into our Inner Pilot curriculum is a team education. We need different mirrors from each other. And it is often from people that we like the least that we can learn the most.

While personal development in the first year is a stretch, and while in the 2nd year it is often a turbulent up and down, being in our center and then again falling out of it, climbing back up until the next wave hits us. It is here where some of our students give up despite the extensive support we offer them – either because they believe they “have” to do this work for us or for somebody else or because they are not using their tools. The ones who pull thru, will experience break thru’s on many levels of their lives – be that improved private relationships among family and friends, or changed relationships in our working world. These shifts and changes show powerfully in their final exam projects, transforming their initiatives and life-designs onto next levels. And they know that when life will bring a next (sometimes unexpected) wave, they will either know how to surf it, or to take it as a learning, exploring how they had co-created the situation, and to move on with a smile.

Things take the time they take. WhiteEagle Woman, Teacher of the Delicate Lodge Teachings

Personally, 20 years after I completed my KaosPilot training in Denmark, I feel like a true KaosPilot. And while I felt well prepared for the coming projects when I graduated, it took me the last 2 decades to strengthen myself, my inner ground to stay in my center and to learn how I am part of this amazing Universe. Today, when something unexpected happens, I can move very differently with it. And when I see our graduate students here receiving their diplomas as KaosPilots every year, I know that another group of inspiring people has built this inner ground. They have done the needed healing work in our relationships to move freely towards our dreams. And I can see in their eyes that a 3 year training journey of transformational growth is a gift to one self with no short cuts, but rich curves and small roads less travelled by. And that is an amazing thing to experience as a Guide, Mentor and as a Headmaster of a school.

More information about the KaosPilots Switzerland can be found on www.kaospilotswitzerland.com

The Council Guide Training (CGT) is consisting of 10 x 5 days training over almost 3 years. The training is open for KaosPilots and participants from outside the school. More information on the CGT: www.cgt.mono.net

Shape-Shifting during our first week in Cape Town

Us (Team SUI 5) in Cape Town

The thrill of this outpost lies in setting up our home base and creating our association while finding ease in the unknown. We want to learn by doing. Despite the cultural change and the unknown in the adventure, we want to keep our energy high and our hearts bright. We invite you to travel with us, and we will mirror some questions, we are asking ourselves, to create more affinity in the sharing of our story.

By Doménica Toro

We landed on the February 20th, 2018 in Cape Town (CT) South Africa. Once we started to explore the new lands, different individual needs surfaced. I will share some examples: David mentioned a feeling of tension since Cape Town is known to be as save as candies in a kid’s pocket. We were advised to be alert and aware of the places we entered specially at night. Feeling save and trusting the people while being vigilant was a dance between fear of thievery and curiosity for the new environment.

Half of our team was going to share an apartment in the city centre, but they still needed to sign their contract and needed to buy furniture for their place. You can imagine that living in a noisy hostel and eating out for an entire week made our navigation time stormy. For example, it was essential for Melina, one of us, to cook her own food to her life quality. When we travel or stay in another place we all need key aspects of our ‘normal’ life that make us come alive. We wonder,

‘’What adds to your life quality?‘’

We are also eager to use the outpost as an opportunity to redesign our life and cultivate our passions. Ulrik was going to start piano lessons; Steve (South African and local to Cape Town) wanted to come back as a person that is new to CT, Doménica went for healing her back, and Mandisa was working on becoming clearer on her purpose for the next years.

Home base in Ava Gallery

In the meantime, we were also working on our team space that is located at the Ava gallery. Since the space is in a art gallery, we were motivated and hands-on on designing a creative residence. Each of us voiced one need and one want, which were collected by the decoration team. Buying material and prototyping the room with what we had in the fridge from the previous outpost was intense, but enjoyable work.

We are all part of each other’s memories

The same way we own our space we want to take ownership of the outpost and make it our own. Therefore, we are curious about:

’’How do you manage and design your working space for it to be life-growing?’’

Outside of our team space, we immersed ourselves into a colorful culture. The stereotype of the South African time is relaxing and challenging at the same time. People can tell you ‘’you will get it just now…’’. Which means in about half an hour. We learned about cultural intelligence before traveling to the outpost but remembering how things are different here was a matter of practice.

For moving around the city for example you have 4 options. 1) With your own or rented car, which could be hard to park. 2) By foot, which allows you to enjoy the weather. 3) With an Uber which is fast, precise, but more expensive compared to the public transport. 4) Public transport buses, which one out of three tend to be on time, if they even come. If you happened to come to Cape Town, remember, if you don’t make the driver a hand sign he will not stop.

We also saw some newness in the ‘’minivan Taxis’’- competitive, loud, hurried and packed with people. They are an alternative transport system which has more of a street-wise market culture. Luckily, these noisy fellows, beside being quite an experience on its own, were faster than the normal buses.

Adventure rides in minivan taxis

At the end of our first week, we are feeling a change in our energy. At the beginning it was hard to feel grounded, but the energy slowly shifted into more purposeful, enthusiastic action. Now that we have completed the small basket (name of our assignment bundle given by the school) with tasks such as creating the communication structure, pre-paring our networking event to connect to Cape Town, interior designing our home base, etc. we move into setting up our organization. During three days we will be in Rocherpan Nature Reserve at the West Coast, creating our organizational structure, vision, and time line.

Our home in Rocherpan Nature Reserve

After sharing about how we started our life in CT on an individual and team level, we will leave you for now with the following question:

’Where is home?’’

If you feel like connecting with us or sharing your insights on the questions, please write us: outpost-capetown@kaospilots.ch

 

The Global Change Leaders Summit

In the beginning of February I had the pleasure to travel to beautiful Lyon in France to attend the Global Change Leaders (GCL) gathering. A get together, organized by Ashoka, of people who are at the forefront of transforming education systems and, specifically, building learning ecosystems that empower young people to live for the greater good.

By Jonas Beer

The GCL community is describing themselves as following:

To create empowering learning ecosystems, everyone must play their part, but a few people will always lead the way: Change Leaders are those who pioneer systemic innovations and transformations and who establish new norms. Change Leaders around the world are now organizing themselves into vibrant communities, and collaborating in teams to bring about empowering learning ecosystems everywhere.

Some Change Leaders specialize as Weavers, helping other Change Leaders align, collaborate and increase their systemic impact. Weaving is a complex role that involves nurturing communities and organizing teams; building capacity and curating knowledge; catalyzing conversations and growing demand. Weavers and weaving are essential to creating learning ecosystems.

The GCL is committed to helping Weavers and Change Leaders become more aligned, collaborative and systemic. We do this by:

1. Building communities and teams of Weavers and Change Leaders.

2. Building capacity for effecting ecosystemic change through learning journeys, exchanges, and knowledge co-curation.

3. Building conversations and demand for ecosystemic change.

By helping each other in these ways, the GCL aims to foster the worldwide emergence of learning ecosystems that empower everyone to live for the greater good.

Ross Hall – Director of Ashoka’s education strategy

In Lyon we started with a 2-day Weaver Workshop to discuss the importance of collaboration and how we can become more aligned and systemic. The 50 participants from all around the world had the chance to get to know each other on a deep level and to receive inputs around collaboration and our inner wellbeing.

Richard Watkins shared his very useful Let’s Go Model – www.letsgo.so

Renske van Grinsven and Walter Link talked about inner wellbeing and the 8 dimensions that impact our well-being – www.globalleadership.tv

The main part of the workshop was dedicated to create an understanding about what weaving is. In short a weaver can be described as somebody who is creating sustainable structures for teams, building communities, curate capacity and knowledge, starting conversations, strengthens partnerships and keeps projects flowing. I strongly believe that the world needs Weavers who are bringing people together to work on solutions for the greater good. Strengthening the understanding of this role had a great impact on me and sharing experiences as well as best practices helped to identify the success factors of Weaving.

After those 2 days of learning about Weaving the actual Change Leaders Gathering with around 250 participants from all over the world started. I was impressed about the inspiring people who gathered in Lyon and the wisdom and expertise that was present.

During the gathering in Lyon we started to collaborate with other participants to work on creating those valuable ecosystems.

I learned so much during this time. For example how beneficial it is to focus on your inner balance and well-being and also how important it is to reflect and be conscious about your role in a team and how those roles impact the flow of working together. I am looking forward to the next gatherings in the Netherlands, Russia and in Switzerland.

Are you also a Weaver?

Or how could you integrate more weaving into your work and daily life?

 

Alumni Spotlight: Rowan Simonsen, peace process consultant

On January 26, 2018, Natalie Mj Orozco (former team leader and current student coach for KP SUI) met with Rowan Francis Simonsen, a KaosPilot alumnus who graduated from the Denmark school in 2008 (team 7). He currently lives in Bogota, Colombia as a peace process consultant and educator, with his wife, another KaosPilot graduate (team 12).

by Natalie MJ Orozco

We met at a coffeeshop in Bogota, but chose to drink fresh pressed juices served in long carafe’s instead of Colombia’s classic “tinto” or cup of coffee, because it had been a relatively warm day. We sat down to discuss the KaosPilot education, life after graduation, living and working in Latin America, and his advice for current students and alumni. Read below to see his insights on the KP’s controversial education.

Standout Quote:

Advice to students: Don’t take yourself too fucking seriously. We get very often lodged in “me”, being right, and the rest of the world needs to be living up to my expectations. The other thing is take what it is that you like and nurture that and give that attention. You may only see results after several years.”

N: What are you working on today?

R: I am working with education at different universities. I work in consultancy trainings and work with programs around peace and how to contribute to the peace process from a participant orient method and from a perspective on sustainable development, innovation, and creativity.

N: How long have you lived in Colombia? And what made you move here?

R: Seven years. My wife, whose also a KaosPilot from Team 12, is a native Colombian and we lived together 3 years in Denmark, 2 years in the UK, then came to live here.

N: What’s the difference between working in Europe and here in Colombia?

R: There’s much more to do here. Much more need, much more possibility to engage in really meaningful and impactful work. And it’s not as overpopulated with consultants as you’ll find in some places in Europe.

N: What has been one of the most significant projects you’ve worked on here? And what was the outcome?

R: During the second outpost here for the KaosPilots. One of the projects that we asked the KaosPilots to do, was to create urban interventions; six urban interventions which turned into what is now called “Cien en un via” or “100 in a Day”, which is creating urban interventions inviting the citizens to create the city and the culture that they dream of for the city. That has now spread to more than 40 cities and 16 countries.

N: How many people were involved in that?

R: That was the second outpost here in Colombia and there were about thirty-five people and a small group of KaosPilots working on it, together with the local team, that I think, really had a lot of the credit for that; spreading and replicating [the program]. They’ve been sticking to it and moving it forward; it’s still happening and just a few months ago we had, in Colombia, the biggest event of that happening in more than 10 cities all at the same time, inviting citizens to take active citizenship, initiative, and responsibility for their cities and engage.  

N: So that project has continued on?

R: The project has continued now for more than 6 years.

N: Wow, its lived on beyond the time the kaospilots were here. 

R: Yes!

N: So, KP Switzerland is still pretty new. Our school started five years ago, our first three teams are now alumni, and a lot of our current students and even some alumni are still figuring out what does it look like to live life outside of school as a KaosPilot? Do you remember what your first year was like when you graduated? What kind of work did you start getting into?

R: So I had a relatively atypical first year after KP as my final project was having a baby. (Laughs) So we moved away from Denmark to the UK and I was actually at home looking after the baby while at the same time organizing projects and trainings.

N: Projects and trainings for what?

R: Basically anything I could get my hands on, which were maybe three areas: leadership development in nature or nature retreats in the Swedish mountains working with some of the pioneers within Theory U. I was working with graphic recording and consultation, and starting the first trainings of that in Europe outside of Denmark. Connecting some of the best graphic recorders in Europe and organizing the trainings for them. The last training was working with the Discipline of Peace [A medicine wheel from the Delicate Lodge Teachings, the KP Switzerland’s current inner pilot partner] to develop a new guide training for it, taking what my institute and Rainbow Hawk and WindEagle saw how we could translate that to a younger type of group.

N: So I noticed the things you were training around are themes we still teach at KaosPilots Switzerland today- leadership, development, medicine wheels (the Discipline of Peace is a medicine wheel from the Delicate Lodge Teachings) and graphic recording. Were those skills you learned while you were at KP Denmark that you were able to market and sell yourself?

R: No. Many of the seeds were planted at KaosPilots but never deepened. The connections were made at KaosPilots, but I think between the hundreds of seeds that were planted, I picked a few I liked and nurtured them and deepened them.

N: What does it look like to nurture them and deepen them [the seeds]?

R: I think it’s choosing a few areas of work. Then, for me, it’s seeing what are the things I really want to commit to over time and develop in myself, and also [share] to the world. I’ve been seeing that these three threads and a few others around participatory leadership have kind of marked my journey. I think I can track back a few key decision points. [I ask myself], what are the things I really want to focus on and really deepen and engage with? I think that engagement and commitment is now leading to more work, more projects and to much more impact. I started with a lot of hard work volunteer engagement and getting to know the system, getting to know the communities, the networks, and seeing what I could offer them; creating a bit of recognition and people feeling there was a commitment [from me]. They saw there was somebody serious about what they were doing. So then being able to develop that and turn that into some kind of profit over time, as well.

N: It sounds like it was very organic.

R: Yeah, it was very organic, but it was also a clear recognition of what were the important topics for me.

N: How long did it take to get that recognition?

R: I think that recognition was pretty much there instantly, but I kept getting to a point where I wanted to see more harvest from those seeds. Because creating that ground for more things to grow—that happened immediately. Actually seeing the results of the harvest took several years to see.

N: So, I’m curios, what was your first paid job after graduating with a KP Certificate? Who first paid you and how much?

R: For a long time I was doing open courses and so I think maybe the first open course I did was a training at the Impact Hub in Berlin for like 50 people, that I organized and led. And that connection to the Impact Hub has also been something that has been helpful ever since. For that to happen, I used a lot of the network that I had gained at the KaosPilots. Whatever I was paid for that, it was not enough. (Laughs)

N: My plan is to show this interview to current students and alumni who may be frustrated, who may want to make a lot of money now, who don’t know what it takes to cultivate yourself before you really shine as an entrepreneur; also to anyone in our community who is undercharging and expecting a lot of themselves. What was your third year- life design project and does it still live today?

R: It was a business model or a business plan for my consultancy that I have been using as my business platform for the last 10 years.

N: So it still lives!

R: It still lives! I have closed the official registration in Denmark a few years ago but I am still invoicing to that. I’m rethinking and redeveloping it now. But it has served me as a good platform for what I did. It wasn’t as ambitious as it could have, I think in the light of have becoming a guide and organizing logistics, family, and a future, I think priorities shifted a little bit. But it has been very good and practical.

N: What advice would you give to current KaosPilot students or recent alumni who find themselves in that love-hate tug-of-war with KaosPilots?

R: Don’t take yourself too fucking seriously. We get very often lodged in “me”, being right, and the rest of the world needs to be living up to my expectations. The other thing is take what it is that you like and nurture that and give that attention. Know that there will always be things that frustrate you and that are useless. You may only see results after several years. And in the end it’s really up to you what you make of this. I think the greatest value is really the connections and the people that you connect with while you are at KP.


To learn more about Rowan, visit http://www.beehive-productions.net/ or email him directly at rowan@kaospilot.dk.

Student’s guide a three-day ceremony this January, showcase the inner pilot curriculum at KP SUI

ceremony council guide training Kaospilots
Alpine Permakultur Schweibenalp, Schweizer Berghilfe

By David Plenderleith

KaosPilots SUI Team 4 are sharing tools and teachings that they have learned over their two years in the Council Guide Training (CGT), the inner leadership or inner pilot training that happens parallel to the KaosPilot curriculum. The aim of the three-day ceremony is to teach people about ways to move from states of human doings to human beings.

The Teachings of the Delicate Lodge are a body of teachings that moved through ancient cultures indigenous to the Americas. A handful of those teachings have been converted into a spiritual leadership training program called the Council Guide Training, or CGT. It’s an ancient cosmology or lineage which we explore at KaosPilots to bring awareness to our inner pilot, or our personal development work.

In January 2018, team SUI 4 will offer a ceremony called “BACK TO BASICS”. A ceremony is a ritualistic experience and also the manner in which Delicate Lodge teachings are traditionally shared. The students will share tools and teachings that they have learned over their two years in CGT.

What is CEREMONY?

As I’ve come to know it, to be in ceremony means to be immersing oneself in a sacred space; to respond intentionally with one’s thoughts, feelings, movements and interactions. Team 4 will create a sacred space for participants to experience something different and profound within themselves.

They will be teaching a few tools from this deep well of wisdom (the lineage) that can be easily incorporated into your life. Members of team 4 have found a way to benefit from the simplicity and profoundness of these tools and believe that you can to. This is a great opportunity to find out for yourself what these teachings offer, without committing to the whole CGT journey just yet.

WHAT WE SEE

Standing in observation of who we are, where we were, and what we are becoming as a collective being in the world right now, we acknowledge with grace and gratitude the amazing progress we have made with our evolution as people. For example, in a way the world has become smaller due to globalisation, in that we are connected in knowledge. At the same time, to arrive to where we are, we also see that we as living beings have forgotten a few basic things along the way that contribute to our humanity. For example: our connection to our selves and bodies, our connection to the earth and nature, and maybe the importance of slowing down and reviewing what is of real meaning to us and how we can consciously be more in the being of ourselves rather than the doing of things.

INVITE

We would like to invite you to a ceremonial space where– through earth-based wisdom teachings and facilitation– we can support you in focusing and working on the parts of yourselves that need to remember you are whole and complete—and what it means to be a human BEING.

WE WILL EXPLORE

  • Eight different energies that flow through each of us and around us.
  • Practical tools to harness our emotions, to choose the way we respond to situations.
  • Introspection–getting to know yourselves better
  • Time for self-reflection and exercises in nature

The Teachings of the Delicate Lodge (and therefore the Council Guide Training) are deeply rooted in the ancient native cultures of the Americas. According to their mythology the teachings have been evolving for 35’000 years.

Join us in Schweibenalp from the 8th to 11th of January 2018 for a profound, exciting and powerful time in rediscovering and reinforcing innate parts of yourself or share this with a friend you think would be interested. Please take into consideration that this ceremony will be held in English.

LOCATION

The ceremony will take place in the tranquil and inspiring setting on the Swiss Alps. The peaceful environment of Schweibenalp has been our learning ground for the past two years. www.schweibenalp.ch

PRICE

Price for the ceremony is CHF 350.-

Student price is CHF 250.-

We ask you to book your accommodation directly with Schweibenalp (http://tiny.cc/schweib). The accommodation fee includes lodging and delicious vegetarian buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please note that the prices are in Swiss Francs (CHF).

Room options are (price per night):

Shared bedroom (3-4 people): 115.-

Twin bedroom: 125.-

Single bedroom: 140.-

You can REGISTER FOR BACK TO BASICS HERE: https://goo.gl/RMegYc

For further information or questions, please contact Sverre at: sverre@kaospilots.ch

For more information around the Delicate Lodge Teachings, please visit: www.cgt.mono.net

*** PLEASE NOTE: INSIGHTS is taking a winter break and will return in January when students return from holiday break. Happy Holidays!***

Student Project Spotlight: Clean Ocean

by Gideon Nielsen.

Some student projects start and finish at the Kaospilots, but some also continue beyond the school. During student exams especially, students are exposed to local companies and organizations because that’s the time when companies can submit proposals for KaosPilots students to help them with a project task or organizational challenge.

Clean Ocean, an organization started by the Klammer family (mom, dad, and 11-year old son) dedicated to make a difference in the area of trash and plastic pollution in and around the oceans of the world, submitted a project task in the beginning of June 2017 during the business semester exam. 

Four students partnered with the family in the end of the second semester and Doménica, Mandisa, Steve and Gideon took on this project, that essentially revolved around an app that makes it possible to report trash and plastic and enable people to start and join cleanup events all over the world, and all of it being visible on an interactive map as the main and most important features. 

Spot, Share, Clean, Repeat – is the Clean Ocean mantra

The students passed the semester exam and Clean Ocean and the collaboration continued for one student in particular– MYSELF, Gideon Nielsen.

I continue to work with Clean Ocean today because I realized how big of a problem trash and plastic are in the world. My interest in networking and making a difference in the world made sense to both the Klammer family and me to see how we could help this move forward in a positive way.

Since September I have played a big part in developing the crowdfunding campaign that Clean Ocean is running to establish the project both in awareness — getting people involved and aware AND attracting funding support to keep it going and growing.

A software company with the name Afca from Bern in Switzerland has basically donated their work to finish this app with regards to how you compare what the normal price for an app really is, which has been quite a commitment on their part.

The seed of the project started as a school project where the focus was the environment and Aidan, who at the time was 11 years old picked the ocean as the area of focus and interest, as that is an integrate passion for him and his parents.

They all went to Sardinia in Italy to a turtle rescue center, where Aidan got to release a turtle into the ocean and the three of them then also started to clean the local beach from trash, which inspired locals, as they saw this going on.

That sparked an idea with Aidan, that if more people know about this problem of trash and plastic on beaches and anywhere else, there would be a bigger chance in making a difference if more people knew about it, hence inspired the idea of an app.

Kaospilot student projects
The Klammer Family Cleaning Beaches in Sardinia

A software company with the name Afca from Bern in Switzerland has basically donated their work to finish this app with regards to how you compare what the normal price for an app really is, which has been quite a commitment on their part.

Clean Ocean is in the final stages of their crowdfunding campaign (When is the cut off date or completion date?) and you can help and support them in a few ways: Follow our Facebook Page

  1. Feeling Charitable: Make a donation to keep clean ocean alive and doing good work for the years to come:
    – International crowdfunding campaign: https://chuffed.org/project/cleanoceanapp
  2. Are you an organization or company looking for support on a challenge or want to offer suitable student projects? Fill out this form here and submit a proposal, we’ll match you with a student or a group of students to make this dream of yours a reality!
  3. Download the CleanApp tool and help this organization clean up our worlds oceans (rivers, lakes, streams) or like them on facebook or social media. (Ready this December).
  4. Send this article to a friend who cares deeply about clean oceans and water on our planet. Connect them with CleanOcean:
    gideon.nielsen@cleanocean.eu
     
  5. Think our curriculum sounds fun? Know anyone interested in being a Kaospilot Student in Switzerland? If you think this school is for you or someone you know, apply now by clicking here and we’ll connect to see if this is the right fit for you.

KP SPOTLIGHT: WORLDWORK

By: David Plenderleith, from team SUI 4

The KP Spotlight series sheds light on some of the people, stories, and experiences that we learn from at KP Switzerland

On Monday, October 23,  Lukas Hohler, a teacher and practitioner of Conflict Resolution taught us for a whole week on the the paradigm of WorldWork,a framework for building the capability of people, teams, and organizations to create and enjoy relationships.Lukas describes himself as a sensitive, energetic earthling, living with a wild mind. He’s also an entrepreneur, having built two organizations over the last eight years. I sat down with Lukas to discuss diversity, rules in conflict mediations, nationalism and process leadership. Read our interview below.

worldwork
Lukas Hohler – Expert in WorldWork

KP: What attracted you to WorldWork?

LH: It happened 23 years ago. My mother invited me to come to one of the Worldwork seminars in Stupava, Slovakia. I was 23 at the time and in quite a severe crisis, finding it hard to focus on anything other than my inner pandemonium. Walking into this seminar, this large, international group that got into heated conflict around all the bis “-isms” of our times, really caught my attention and I realized that I am very well able to focus, but only if something is emotionally intense enough to capture my attention. I was blown away by the intensity and depth of human interaction I saw. I decided to study Process Work, the mother paradigm of Worldwork.

KP: What makes it different from other forms of conflict resolution?

LH: It’s an approach to conflict that is inclusive of intense emotions. We believe in the importance of people expressing themselves in various states of consciousness. A lot of conflict resolution paradigms begin by laying out “rules of behavior” or “how to’s” of communication. At Worldwork we prefer to build a vessel that allows for all levels of human experience and expression to come forward. That requires an openness towards powerful emotions and ways of expression. We also have a facilitation paradigm that considers the role, or the capacity of the facilitator, as a potential in every field of conflict. We [also] believe in the wisdom of conflict, we are using a field perspective which implies that every conflict is “field made”. This includes a teleological perspective where we ask: What is trying to unfold here? Which kind of awareness is trying to emerge from this? Rather than,‘what went wrong here and how can we find a compromise that works for the majority of stake-holders?’.

KP: You recently gave a three-day workshop exploring the WorldWork paradigm at KaosPilots, how was the experience?

LH: I really enjoyed working with the Kaospilots Switzerland. I have always been a fan of the Kaospilot school and was very excited to seeing it start in Switzerland. Last year, I had the pleasure to teach an introduction day for team 4 and I was excited when I was asked back for a deeper and longer introduction. Having three days allowed me to cover more material and to focus on what’s in the field, the group at hand. That was very interesting and informative. It is always much more interesting if you actually get the chance to start working with a field instead of just teaching a few bits and pieces. I hope that my three days could contribute something to the overall flow of how you are developing as teams, students and staff at the Kaospilot school.

worldwork
“Believe in the importance of what it is that you are doing.”

KP: How would you describe the diversity at KaosPilots?

LH: I have a lot of respect for the Kaspilot school Switzerland and how they are deliberately working towards a diverse body of students and staff. The southern scholarship is one way of doing that. As a result, you do have a much wider range of diversity at the Kaospilot school than many other schools. What I see as the challenge is that tapping into the resource of diversity is something that needs a lot of work on how our experiences of the world are very different from one another.

The powers and skills of people that come from economically  disenfranchised parts of the world and did grow up without access to ressources that are a given to us, for instance, have to be approached carefully. Inviting someone to speak, or to share their viewpoints is a first step. But as soomeone from an economically disenfranchised part of the world, the more different my perception of the world is, compared to the contextual mainstream that I am a surrounded by, the less safe it feels for me to come forward. I need a lot of framing and transparency about what the surrounding mainstream has on its mind when asking me to step forward. Otherwise I may be worried about being misunderstood, projected upon, being used as a token, feeding into stereotypes and assumptions, or being romantizised because of my different background, to just mention a few possible reservations.

 That’s why I think that the big challenge that comes with diversity is to create room and vessels to actually host the conversations and the framing that is needed in order to tap into the unbelievably creative resource of diversity in a way that benefits all. It requires a lot of work.

KP: The WorldWork paradigm believes in the importance of dreams and their influence on our reality. What have you been dreaming about?

LH: Recently, I have been dreaming a lot about the world and where we are headed these days. I am very concerned about nationalism and a general tendency towards segregative ideas, symbolized by the popularity of walls. The possibility of War and stocking up on weapons and rockets is very popular again. I am dreaming of a world, where our relationships, the way we are dealing with one another and with conflict is much more juicier than fighter jets taking off on a mission to war. Arnold Mindell once said about Worldwork, “We are looking for something that is more exciting than war and more sustainable than peace.” I am still fully behind this statement. Steering into conflicts face to face and working on our differences is a good way to begin.

KP: What advice would you give to an aspiring process leader?

LH: Believe in the importance of what it is that you are doing. It took me many years to actually understand, that what I was doing had an impact on people and the world. I always thought everybody else was amazing and when I listened to them and followed them it seemed to be so far from what I was doing. But it’s not! It never was. We are all much more powerful than we think we are. And a good way to build on this is to identify as a learner. If you are willing to learn, you cannot fail. There is a beautiful sentence on the wall of your school: Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Don’t be too shy to try something! You will learn. From what goes well, and from what goes less well. Start to embark and believe in yourself as someone that has a right to be here and has some great ideas and intuitions about how to do things.

Having Lukas teach the WorldWork Process was an incredible experience for both students and staff. We learned to facilitate the WorldWork process but also participated as a whole school to understand our roles, ranks, and differences in our community. This process helped us recognize and respect everyone´s uniqueness. We offer a special thank you to Lukas Hohler for taking the time to conduct this interview.

To learn more about Lukas, visit  http://www.changefacilitation.ch/en

To learn what it´s like to be a Kaospilot for a day, register for our Kaosday November 18th, HERE!