For Leonie Meyer the privileged position we have in our part of the world equals a certain responsibility to change it. That is part of the reason why she entered the Kaospilot in the first place. Now she is at her final year of the school, and it has been quite a ride. In fact she very much doubted if she could be a kaospilot in the beginning. But things changed. Read her story below.




What do you believe in, Leonie?


I think we have this privilege: We have the power to do something because we don’t fight for food everyday, we have an education, and we are allowed to think freely. I think such a big privilege gives us a massive responsibility to actually change something.


How do you work with this privilege and responsibility?


I am working on my final project right now. It’s about making fashion and sustainability meet. I have worked in the fashion industry for a long time so I can see a lot of challenges. I am interested in trying to create something that I actually believe in in that industry.


What I realized along the way is that it is not necessarily the fashion part that fascinates me so much, but it’s really about making things beyond better, not just a bit less bad than average. The school has given me a holistic perspective for everything that I do. So it should not ‘just’ be sustainable, but regenerative.


Why did you want to be a Kaospilot in the first place?


When I applied for the school I was very much in the beginning of this thought process about creating change. I was at university in Berlin at the time, and it was not very inspiring and no one really cared if I was there or if I wasn’t there, it was just kind of cold and big and I didn’t really feel it.


This seemed like a place that gave a shit and cared, and I thought that I could learn what to do about this frustration and these opinions that I have.


What was your first impression of the school?


There is this checklist when you apply for the Kaospilot and it has these questions: “Are you someone who sees solutions rather than problems, are you like this and this.” And I was like “no, no, no and no.” So I was basically none of the above, but I really wanted to be. And I also thought “ok, I have it, I can be like that.” I think that was why my first months were very challenging. I was quite overwhelmed for about a year, but it was the right decision.


How do you know it was the right decision?


I don’t think I would have been the person I am today if I hadn’t gone here, and I am really starting to like that person. It has just been such a ride. I think this is a place where you can really get to know yourself, because you are confronted with so many people, so many opinions, so many expectations.


It’s really challenging if you are not exactly sure of who you are or what you can do and what your strengths are – and that’s how I started, I had basically no clue who I was, and what I was good at.


You just get to know yourself, but it also really builds you up, because it is such a space where people actually care about you, and they care about what you become, and what you do with yourself.

It gives you a lot of freedom to just try out and not take yourself so seriously.


Do you think that you would answer the questions from your application differently now?


I hope so. I would still say I tend to be kind of a critical and analytical observer of things, but I would say that I changed and it opened me up to the other perspective and a lot of the times I can see that. I can definitely see a difference.



Text by Lotte Rystedt, journalist at Kaospilot