Anne Eggebrecht and Laura Grool is two girls with a passion for skateboarding, entrepreneurship and the empowerment of girls -and well on their way to completing their final year at the Kaospilot.The dynamic duo, known as SKATEDUCATE, has created a new program for girls of all ages where they learn to skate, are challenged to take calculated risks and become part of a supportive community.


KP:  First of all thank you for meeting up with us. You are working on a very unique project, could you tell us a little about it?


LG: As the name “SKATEDUCATE” indicates, the project is equally centred on skating and education. SKATEDUCATE is a project where we arrange skate-camps for girls, with the aim of strengthening their competencies, their interests, their sense of empowerment as well as their social interaction.


AE: The aim is to bring girls confidence through skateboarding and especially by inviting them to become co-creators of common communities. Skateboarding is very much about community, it is also about taking calculated risks in order to push yourself forward and become a more accomplished practitioner of the sport. The point being that risks are necessary in order to develop and inherent in the paradigm of taking risks, is the fact that you will fall.. or fail.. but that’s also when learning occurs. Falling is about learning – it’s about getting up and trying again and then learn from the experience.


LG: We target girls because it’s still a very male dominated world, as is this sport by the way, and in our experience girls often observe instead of being participants- we want to change that. We want to show that skateboarding is also for girls – and to give an alternative to the existing types of female role models.


AE: The skate-culture is quite closed, or at the very least it can be perceived that way. So the idea is that to do camps and letting the girls learn in a safe environment will open the door to the entire culture.


LG: The statistics show that a lot of girls drop out of organized sports once they hit puberty. We want to “catch” them before that happens- and it’s a sport that’s easily accessible in the way that it doesn’t require you to pay for lessons and a coach or that you must practice five times per week.  The main reason for girls not being physically active in the puberty is that they miss the sense of community, which is something skateboarding offer when conducted well.


AE: Furthermore we hope that the older girls can become role models for the younger ones; we hope to teach them to become good role models in order for the community to live on once we stop or the camp ends.


KP: As you said before, its quite a male dominated sport- so is it even possible to find female instructors?


AE: Yes for sure, but there are a limited number and I would love to teach myself but I have a knee injury -so if you, dear reader, are out there and a female skater – please call us! In Sweden and in Copenhagen there are several amazing female skaters and we approached some of them so it’s a work in progress (laughs).


KP: From where does this passion for skating originate?


AE: I started when I was 18, I got a board for my birthday and then I meet my boyfriend who pushed me into taking more risks with the board. You could say that via skateboarding he taught me how to not overthink things, and simply to act – and what I have realized is that this kind of paradigm translates into a part of your identity. It’s about trusting your own abilities and taking calculated risks in order to move forward and reach your potential.


KP: Only one of you practice skating – so why this partnership between the two of you? – and how does it manifest itself?


LG: I do not skate but I’m very interested in the pedagogical aspects of this project. For instance: how do you use skating to open up for a learning process, and how to do you create a creative learning space? Internationally there is a new tendency within the educational sector, centring on how to use creativity in a learning space or as a method. I am intrigued by how we can inspire learning in a self-motivated way.


AE: Some of the competencies essential for learning are also essential in skateboarding, like personal strength, perseverance and confidence –these are skills the girls can use in other situations as well. We have mentioned a lot of soft values but there’s also a lot of practical things we can teach the girls; graphic design, personal leadership, visual recording and event management but it very much depends upon where we are and who we teach. We can adjust the content according to the age of the girls – thus it could also be about developing SKATEDUCATE into some kind of “after-school-programme”.


LG: I’m amazed how open Anne is when it comes to delegating ownership of this project. It’s her dream project, a project she has had in mind for years, but still she includes me without hesitation as well as new members of the association.


AE: I’m very pleased about how much theoretical knowledge Laura brings in this, she also provides structure which makes me work more steadily and she is great at keeping the long term perspective in mind; creating and maintaining a vision – and staying true to that vision.… and also she reminds me that we are in fact still in school (laughs).


LG: We are so different! I easily stress about practical details for the skate-camps but Anne is very good a keeping me grounded and at forcing me to take one step at a time – and of course she is my guide into the skate-community.


KP: What tools or knowledge from the KP- education have you brought with you into this project – if any?


LG: So much! A lot of knowledge from classes such as project management, business development, organizational structure and much more!


AE: For me the most important thing is that we have learned about managing and maintaining meaningful relationships- this is something that comes in very handy and it’s a practice I could not live without because we have so many stakeholders now. For instance we just formed an association with members that provide practical help and an advisory board with people who inspire us and challenge our theoretical foundation.


LG: The Kaospilot has taught me how to develop an idea into a tangible project. The KP-skills are inked into our backbones by now, its part of our DNA- and I think we use the KP-competencies even without doing it consciously. The tools are just ingrained into us.


AE: I agree. They are a part of our mindset by now. One thing that we have learned during our education – a sort of “practice” -that we have become aware is extremely important, is to reflect. We continuously need to make sure we are on track and that our relationship, also our personal friendship, is doing well. The faster the project develops, the less you feel inclined to take time off and reflect- but in reality we believe it’s a necessity.


LG: You often hear that people who start-up a business don’t take time off to reflect in that respect we are blessed that we have teachers who remind us to do just that. In fact we are fortunate to have the support of our teammates and to still be in school and have the opportunity to receive guidance.


KP: You are at the starting point of your final semester – how do you fell about graduation approaching?


AE: I look forward to the awesome party! (laughs).


LG: I’m lucky I guess, because contrary to many graduates, I do not fear the future. I feel ready. Action learning is part of the school philosophy which translate into us, the students, completing projects in the real world with real-time clients thus I feel prepared and I just want to start the next phase.


AE: The third year is a nice transition, we are still at school -but we have a lot of freedom and our team has been all over the world. For me it has become clear that I really want to become an independent entrepreneur and the school has given me a safe environment for trying it out. I’m going to miss the school and the daily contact with my team.. but I think I’m ready to stand on my own feet.