Meet Ellen Eriksson
Please introduce yourself
My name is Ellen! I’m a 30-year-old Swedish gal. My path so far has not been very linear. Before starting the Kaospilot I was working as a professional chef on a two-star Michelin restaurant. I was challenged by a lot within the industry and was intrigued to investigate the different (disruptive and lovely) systems affecting what we know about food, how we eat, work etc. When I entered the Kaospilot my interest in education and learning grew and is now what I work with daily. Food is, however, a big part of my life still and especially my personality. I live in Stockholm, it’s a handsome city. If you haven’t been, don’t wait!
Which team and when did you graduate?
Team 23 – graduated 2019.
What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot?
I decided to move back to Stockholm after graduating. I was battling the decision to either go with my Kaospilot friend and work partner Anna Gronkjaer to Japan or invest in my relationship. Since you know where I live, you can figure out my decision. Back in Stockholm, where I hadn’t spent much time during my Kaospilot education, I started off with the intention to freelance. I was intrigued to work less, and to be more able to rule my schedule. I made a portfolio and met up with people in the Stockholm area including Kaospilot alumni’s to increase my network and got offered a gig at an NGO called Mattecentrum. It is a youth center supporting students to improve their skills and knowledge in math. They offered me a job and I gave up on the idea of a freelance life. At Mattecentrum I´ve worked with organization development, mobilizing volunteers, fundraising and in February 2022 I got offered the role as the general secretary. Which is very exciting and an opportunity to nudge more Kaospilot ideas and values into the organization.
What is important for you in your job?
My job is about involving different parts of our society. Since Mattecentrum is a non-for-profit organization, the work is all about involving multiple capitals such as social, financial, human etc. to meet our purpose. The 360 perspective is very important for me, working together with the target group and close to other organizations within civil society, commercial, academia and governance to improve student’s abilities and view on math.
What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader?
Deep democracy work, listening and good talks.
What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?
To be inspired by people I have around me. I often think of people I admire in situation where I need guidance, what would Alex do, what would Solveig say, what would Pete think. I’m also becoming very fond of dogs these days, to do croquis and to craft stuff in wood. And I just got myself a new bike, to speed around town or in nature is a great source of inspiration!
What would be an example of a learning or an experience from your time at Kaospilot that has been important to you?
The reflections during and after group projects. What I left school with was not only practical stuff but with more profound and verbalized values. To know how to ask questions and being in discussions and dialogues every day at the Kaospilot, expanded my thoughts, knowledge, and curiosity.
What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates?
To relax and enjoy your days wherever you end up. Kaospilot is a place for ambitious people, which is good (what the world needs) and a very intriguing environment to be part of, but to not let work become solemn and heavy. Feeling heavy will hinder you from doing good work in the future.