STORY

STORY

STORY

Kaospilot was founded in 1991 by Uffe Elbæk. It grew out of the cultural and social youth organization the Frontrunners (www.frontloberne.dk) in response to the emerging need for a new type of education that could help young people navigate the changing reality of the late 20th century. Its roots are in activism culture and its inspirations come from the Bauhaus, the cooperative movement, beatnik culture and the folk high school tradition.

Kaospilot was to become an arena in which people could bring their ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, and find unique support for their professional and personal development. In its early years, it focused on project management and the cultural sector. Today, it has evolved to focus more broadly on leadership and entrepreneurship. Kaospilot’s unique and individual concept gained international attention early on and soon after starting up, was attracting students and collaborators from across Scandinavia and beyond.

 

  • 1991: August 5: The first students – an all-Danish team – walk through Kaospilot’s doors.
  • 1992: The school launches its first slogan: The Best School for the World.
  • 1992: In conjunction with the UN Decade of Culture the school is awarded the UNESCO prize for an especially noticeable educational initiative.
  • 1992: Team 1 takes over the centre of Aarhus during the annual Aarhus Festival. Their Street Agenda project sets new standards for how art and culture can engage the average citizen.
  • 1993: First graduation! Team 1 receive their graduation certificates in the Aarhus Music Hall.
  • 1993: Team 2 starts – the team includes students from all of Scandinavia, with the aim of reflecting the school’s Scandinavian ambitions, cultural roots and values.
  • 1994: Søren Langager of the Danish University of Education presents an evaluation of the Kaospilots at an event in Rundetårn, Copenhagen.
  • 1994: Half of the school is lost to a fire started by a stray New Year’s Eve firework.
  • 1994: Travelling on the Kronborg ferry, Team 2 dock at Copenhagen, Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm and elsewhere to promote Copenhagen as the 1996 City of Culture.
  • 1996: CNN interviews the school’s principal, Uffe Elbæk.
  • 1996: The school opens its first outpost in San Francisco (1996–2000). Team 3 complete their entire second year there.
  • 1997: Education is transferred from the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Education.
  • 1997: POP1, our first strategy and vision seminar, featuring all students, staff and board members. Basic perspectives on the organization and life in general are identified.
  • 1997: Team 3 complete their USA project, whose customer is the founder and CEO Emeritus of VISA International, Dee Hock.
  • 1998: Uffe Elbæk’s account of the school, its educational programme and its environment is published.
  • 1999: Team 5 complete a Scandinavian PR-campaign for Apple’s Mac Powerbooks in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
  • 2000: The Kaospilots set up the business club Inspiration Lounge for leading Scandinavian companies.
  • 2000: The school establishes its second outpost (2000–2002), this time in Durban, South Africa.
  • 2000: The new slogan Change the Game is chosen, underlining the school’s desire to contribute to a more culturally, environmentally and humanly sustainable world.
  • 2001: The Danish edition of Uffe Elbæk’s book Kaospilot A–Z is published by the school’s own press, Kaos Communication.
  • 2001: Tenth anniversary party in Ridehuset, Aarhus, featuring guests from five continents.
  • 2001: Our second strategy and vision seminar, POP2, identifies the school’s six basic values: playful, real-world, streetwise, risk-taking, balanced and compassionate.
  • 2001: Thanks to a graduation project by a Kaospilot student Tibet’s national soccer team come to Scandinavia to play their first ever international match.
  • 2002: Kaospilots awarded the regional entrepreneurial prize Janteknuserprisen.
  • 2003: The Danish government stops funding the Kaospilots. The Tuborg Foundation steps in with a grant that covers Kaospilot’s finances up to summer 2005.
  • 2004: The Danish Government restores its support for the Kaospilots.
  • 2004: Team 11 – the first team to be financed exclusively with private money – begins their education.
  • 2005: The Norwegian company Synnøve Finden ASA sponsors the Kaospilots, securing the financing of the school until January 2006.
  • 2006: Uffe Elbæk resign as principal to become the new chairman of the international board. A new principal and a new CEO take over the day-to-day running of the school.
  • 2006: Our willingness to change and take risks and our ability to predict trends means that the Kaospilots is named as one of the most innovative public institutions in Denmark at the 2006 Innovation Cup.
  • 2006: As part of a new strategic agenda, Kaospilots introduces a new name, a new logo, new focus areas and a new, international board.
  • 2007: A new board and management is installed. Ulrik Merrild replaces Uffe Elbæk as Chairman and Christer Lidzélius is appointed Director of the Kaospilots.
  • 2007: Kaospilot International is one of the top nominated designs for the 2007 INDEX:AWARD, the world’s biggest design award.
  • 2007: The first Creative Leadership Fundamentals course – a course for leading yourself and others in creative processes.
  • 2008: Team 1 begins at Kaospilots Stockholm.
  • 2008: The new modular curriculum is put into action with Team 15.
  • 2009: Christer Windeløw-Lidzélius and 3rd-year student Nana Dall go to Korea to work with the Korean Arts and Culture Education Service (KACES).
  • 2009: Nine Kaospilots put together a conference at the Danish parliament.
  • 2010: Kaospilots arrives on Wikipedia.
  • 2011: Kaospilot students act as process leaders, working with 100 students from VIA University College to design an education for the future.
  • 2011: 20th anniversary! Two decades of Kaospilots history is celebrated in a new book, 20/20.
  • 2012: Team 17 set off for their outpost in Bogotá.
  • 2012: A new Kaospilot school is opened in Bern, Switzerland.
  • 2016: Kaospilot celebrates the 25th anniversary.