What is a Kaospilot?

No, a Kaospilot is not a pilot. Imagine if you were sitting on an airplane and your captain goes “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Kaospilot speaking.”

Rather a Kaospilot is someone who is studying, or have finished their studies, at the Kaospilot school. There are Kaospilot’s who are pilots, but they are the exception. For example Matti, the principal of the Kaospilot school in Switzerland, he is a helicopter pilot. And I am a gyrocopter pilot. What pilots and Kaospilot’s have in common is that they are both navigating through the environment — one in an aircraft but both through an ever-changing and chaotic world.

I am currently on my last year at the Kaospilot school in Aarhus, Denmark. It means that I’ve spent two years listening to lectures and reading about subjects like project management, creative leadership, business development and process leadership.

But most importantly, I have been practicing those subjects. Every semester with an external client or partner — tackling their real challenges. Through the network of the school I’ve worked on projects in Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. I have led projects, facilitated workshops, carried out action research, business development and organisational development. It is, if you boil it down, mostly about trying to understand human and enterprising relations. And to initiate or facilitate the change that comes with that understanding. We think, and then act, and then learn. And then try again. Constantly balancing theory and practice.

“The Kaospilots is a hybrid business and design school, a multi-sided education in leadership and entrepreneurship. The teaching programmes are not designed simply to shape students to fit the future, but to help them create it.” www.kaospilot.dk

The Kaospilot’s are <insert opinion>!

Perhaps you have met a Kaospilot, or heard a story about a Kaospilot, and based on that you have your opinion of the Kaospilot school. Or maybe you don’t give a flying frappuccino about the Kaospilot school, fair enough. But there seems to be a common misconception that ‘you know what a Kaospilot is when you have met one’. I was told that the Kaospilot school was something for me, so I thought ‘then they must be like me, they must share my values!’

Like ketchup on cake, I was wrong. Every Kaospilot is unique, and not just in the way that every human being is unique. If you start at the Kaospilot school it is likely that your fellow teammates will challenge you to the brink of your existence. It feels like they were chosen to mess with you, and to annoy you until you are forced to learn something new. For a Scandinavian-international school it is a fairly diverse crowd. I will be argued against for saying that it is diverse. In fact I will be argued against for most of the things that I say, which is exactly my point.

The only thing we can all agree on, is that we cannot agree on anything.

The Kaospilot’s are a bunch of wicked party planners. They are dedicated. They are atheists. They are religious. They are crazy, misfits and outsiders. They are politicians, entrepreneurs and artists. There is not one thing that the Kaospilot’s have in common any more than any humans do. Except — maybe — that we all know who Uffe Elbæk is.

I do think the Kaospilot has a lovely community. If you wonder why, I highly recommend that you read these words by my friend Andreas Gorm.


So, why Kaospilot’s?

This is where it gets exciting. I have never in my life been asked why so many times as I have at the Kaospilot school. We are never taught why we should do anything, we’re taught how to do it. The school does not have a set of values that they impose on the students. But we are constantly asked — from fellow students and teachers — why is that important? Which means that I am inherently learning to look for what is important to me.

I had a pretty clear reason why I came to the Kaospilot school. I wanted to make a master plan on how to start a community in nature, while including mainstream technology advances. The community would live in harmony with animals, humans and the enviromnent. They would practice the permaculture principals to live in regenerative ecosystems. I only had to figure out how humans would live in harmony with each other and animals. Easy peasy. Then the master plan would be shared openly and for free so that everyone could try it out and improve it.

I quickly learned that I was not alone on this journey. A similar plan had already been written by Björn Westerberg, a Kaospilot alumni. He may tell you that it is incomplete, but it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. He had put my dreams into words and he had already shared it with the world — in his beautiful synopsis.

Where am I on my journey?

If you were to ask me to draw a line and mark where I am with this plan, it would look like this. You see it’s not so linear. But I have met tonnes of people that are helping me on my path that I would not have met if it weren’t for the Kaospilot education. And if it weren’t for those people, I would be somewhere else on that circular line.

My circle has expanded to encompass much more then I could’ve imagined. At the moment I’m learning about large scale collaborative platforms in a fantastic art project. It’s called Dream Yggdrasil — you can follow us on Instagram or join our group on Facebook — and it is my graduation project.

I still know where I am headed, and I know how to get there. But most importantly, I know why.

I highly recommend both the education and working with Kaospilot’s — student and alumni. Kaospilot’s are good at what they do — and I mean really good.

The Kaospilot education may not be for anyone, but it is for everyone.