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I am becoming untamed -Now what, Glennon?

Dear Glennon.

You are a rockstar. I am one of your biggest fans. I have talked about your book ‘Untamed’ to all my friends – I have bought copies to hand out to them that they can borrow. I have liberated myself from all kinds of ways that looked like ‘being in love with my lifestyle, instead of being in love with my life’. I don’t want to martyr myself for my daughter, I am doing hard things and I am a GD Cheetah. I am rewilding myself. Getting back to my core, to everything that means something to me. I am truly becoming an Untamed woman and I love every part of it.

Is the world ready for untamed women?

This is the one question I keep repeating in my mind because my path has been hard. It has been so hard that I almost want to go backward, curl up in foster pose, and rock myself gently. Because I have serious doubts that the world is ready for untamed, wild, free women who are channeling archetypes like you, Pippi Longstocking, Lagertha from Vikings, Peter Pan, and even Kali. Women who take hit after hit every day because they stand so strongly in their core that they have become unapologetically themselves. Because as soon as I became my wild, driven untamed self everything went away, and it’s lonely where I am right now. I have lost my job and I’ve left my marriage. I have even lost my grandfather (but I don’t think it was because I became untamed though). I feel like I am a trailblazer who is taking all the hits. That I stand on the frontline and I am the first one they are shooting after. I am one of the first ones in my village they would point towards and shout ‘WITCH’. I am cocooning at home and I feel like I am starting to rise, sister!

How should we make the world ready for the untamed self?

That’s what I am wondering. I think it’s because of the loss in my life. It’s because of the woman I am becoming. But in a patriarchal world, there’s a lot of hits to be taken. There’s a lot of battles to be fought. There’s a whole authoritative method on the planet we have to undo. We have to get back to nature and to ourselves. It’s our only option to save Gaia – our planet. But to be honest I am scared shitless and I was wondering if you had some perspectives on this.

From one who knows that untamed is going to trailblaze us into the future.

Henriette

Categories
Climate Action Social Good

SDG Implementation in The Time of COVID-19

Earlier, I was on a preparation call for an online panel. I was tasked to share insights on how is it going with the SDGs, in a Nordic context, during COVID-19. I talked about Climate Action, Gender Equality, and what is happening in Denmark these days. I went on how there’s a consensus in the government to reopen society, taking sustainability and climate action into consideration.

White, rich, and privileged

I (finally) shut up when it’s the other panelists’ turn to share their stories. Their narratives made me feel privileged in a lot of ways. I felt privileged that I am safe. That I don’t have to take a 70% pay cut as some countries require such as Pakistan. That my daughter can still go to school and continue her education even in times like these. I felt privileged for living in Denmark.

COVID-19 is showing us the inequalities in the world

COVID-19 is bringing people, countries, and the whole planet together. That is my theory, at least. I think there’s a lot of stories where we need to see eye to eye. Where we need to join together and share stories that might not be in the mainstream media but still need to be shared anyway. And that is what we’re trying to do tomorrow on an online panel put together and moderated by Swarnima Shrestha, a fellow +Social Good Connector of mine. You should join us!

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Community Geek Girl Magazine Shout Your Impact Social Good

Geek Girl: Can You Pivot A Community?

Geek Girl: the comeback

This morning, something happened that threw me in a direction that I have been wanting to go for a while: reusing Geek Girl Denmark and Geek Girl Magazine. It has been my priority for a long time, something that I wrote about in a Facebook group before.. but then COVID happened.

This summer, I stepped down as Head of Brand and Engagement at CARE. That was my stint in the NGO industry. I’ll never work again for old NGO’s, but I’m still up working for new ones. A lot of stuff is happening in my personal life and I will fill you in on that soon.

But this morning, there was a Geek Girl Denmark portal that opened to finally start pivoting the community to something more aligned with where I am now.

The Geek Girl community always had massive potential but due to my health condition, shutting it down was the best thing to do at the time. During the years where I haven’t had the time to build Geek Girl Denmark or do events for people, I was focusing on my healing and my own process back to life; another kind of life.

Another way for me to serve the world and the women who decided to give me so much love and support back then, those awesome geek girls!

I have focused on building sustainable brands for others as in platforms and corners of the sustainability movement.

Geek girls for sustainability?

But how could I align this? Teaching women tech? With sustainability and climate action? I think the answer lies in the word “empower”. Geek Girl Denmark is solid gold to me. So many of my cool stories and ventures came from that platform. So much good and plenty of connections I have made and it’s one of the things I have been proudest of in my career.

The planet needs us!

And now, I will pivot it and empower women to act on sustainability. Focusing on tech as well as on SDG/global goals; making them a part of a movement for positive change for this planet. And even though the language will also change to english (hoping to make the group a bit broader), we will start doing Copenhagen-based events.

I and the team will do this through events, stories, and mentorship programs. I have teamed up with Natalya Tarankova, founder of W.e. Space Copenhagen. We also have the support of Stine Mølgaard, who was a key driver in Geek Girl Denmark, as well as Cathrine Fallesen who will be driving our Geek Girl events.

Now, the first event is in the book. It will be an event called “Health Tech for Good” aligned with SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages”. The speakers, place, date, and other event information will be updated shortly.

Also, we will change our name. It’s still going to be women-focused and you will still be empowered, but we want you to Shout Your Impact. That’s the new name. The website, etc. is coming soon. Until then, if you are a fierce techie, impact, and startup woman, then please join us in our Facebook group.

Categories
Business Unusual Climate Action Social Good

Combining Technologies For A Better Future

Have you ever thought about how combining technologies can be applied to the best future for humanity? The key to a more sustainable world lies in a better understanding of how we can contribute positively to the wellbeing of the planet. And I think I found one of many keys for that, through extensive reading and rearranging my creative curls.

I have been getting more and more into astrology as a pathfinding tool for myself. The reason is that I am going through some personal massive changes, where everything is ending and everything is up for grabs. It’s massively liberating but at the same time, it’s a bit scary and intimidating. Some of my favorite people to consult with when it comes to astrology is Mystic Medusa and Hare In the moon Astrology- they both have some amazing input and very unique ways of doing astrology.

Ancient as well as cutting edge

They have both been writing about the bridge between ancient and new. Two years ago I began a huge self-development process. I have been on my own path to find out what ancient technologies I had to integrate into my life. One of the most ancient technologies I have been working a lot with is creativity as well as nature. There’s a part of me that constantly wants to make a bonfire or climb a mountain. I constantly want to create art. I want to use some of these ancient technologies with new technologies. This could be anything from the internet, business skills, and community building as a way of creating.

The combination of technologies, the combination of ancient and new makes me stand more firmly in myself. It makes me more idealistic and raises my ideas (aka my livelihood) into new spheres. It makes me trust myself for more impact on the world, for new paths. How about you? How are you going to be combining ancient and new?

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Creativity Ideas

YES! – You Need To SELL Your Ideas

If you want to be a writer and a personal brand, you have to be very effective in how you sell your ideas. I would recommend reading some of the writings that are on The Middle Finger Project. I love how Ash writes and I love how she simplifies business. Especially around being a writer and a personal ‘brand’.

While you’re at it, you should also get her book, I read it, twice.

The whole book is built on the notion that you’re not selling yourself, instead, you’re selling your ideas. It makes me feel liberated because if you’re not selling yourself and you’re selling ideas, you’re tapping into a vast infinite pool of creativity. It makes everything seem abundant and even though it might seem a bit overwhelming to keep coming up with ideas, it’s a resource that everybody has available.

Sell your ideas as a way to build your legacy

I believe that the biggest thing we can do as humans is to serve a greater purpose than ourselves – that the coolest thing you can build on the planet is a legacy that will leave your own personal mark. I also believe this is one of the greatest things you strive for as a career.

If you have a career where you feel like you’re serving a bigger purpose, research shows that 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work. Then you’re spot on. You can use it to build your own personal rock-n-roll empire. So, begin selling those ideas and add them up into something amazing. I have written an essay about this a while back (13 years!=) myself, that I stumbled upon just now, and I actually think it’s pretty descent

Categories
Branding Entrepreneurial life Freelancing Writing

A Personal Bio: My Game of Life

Let’s talk about your personal bio. I recently read Switchblade Lemonades’ excellent e-book ‘Bio Like Beyoncè’. Those of you who have read this blog long enough knows that I am a sucker for musical analogies. I want to end every article I ever have written with “keep on Rockin in a free world” or something like that. I LOVE that somebody has built an e-book around Beyonce.

However, it made me write a document called ‘My Game of Life‘ – which is a very very personal bio, in addition to my ‘professional’ bio. I think sometimes we need to go a bit deeper than looks and actually explain our traits and where we come from.

What to add in your personal bio

It can be hard to figure out where to cut the personal bio, meaning what you leave out or what you put in. There are some things in my personal bio that makes me cringe a bit – and I don’t know if I will keep it in there (who cares about whether or not I get tipsy at tech conferences?) however, this bit of information I also believe makes me… well, human. And I do believe that it’s something that others would love to know too, because, it’s a part of my personality.

To me, I would rather work with somebody where I know a bit about their history, in addition, to know about their achievements – but how deep should you go? How many of these traits should you be adding, and still not expose yourself completely, but simply giving you some twists and some of that sassy ‘je ne sais quoi’.

So get on with it! Personal bios in addition to your professional bio can teach you a thing or two about how you want the world to see you – it was good considerations for me at least. =)

Categories
Climate Action Social Good

Sharing: This Is How I Support A Global Movement

I have a concrete way to support a Global Movement. And I want to share a personal piece of advice I have always followed. If I am supporting a cause, it doesn’t mean that I hit ‘Like’ on an update or a tweet from a contact. A ‘Like’ is the very least I can do on social media to be able to show I care. I think one of the biggest things I can do is to support multiple global movements.

But why would I stop there? Support means sharing and speaking up. ‘Likes’ don’t get my message further. However, if I like an update, it shows that I am inclined to agree, but I won’t put in the 2 minutes’ work to pass it on to my own network.

Global movement: Outraged by challenges

I could support a new global movement. I could be outraged by climate change or the death of George Floyd. Or even by the lack of gender equality at my workplace. However, I would first use that outrage proactively when I decide to share, to show up for the cause. I will sign that petition from a contact of mine. I will change my profile picture so that the movement will be heard and seen all over and that it will grow larger. Sharing is what is needed for a better world. A simple change in your mind that makes ideas spread further.

Categories
Creativity Identity + purpose

Humanity Needs A New Renaissance

Not a renaissance in terms of invention. We need a renaissance in order for us to make the world a better place.

The world needs a new era of creativity and creative approaches apart from putting stuff on your website and sharing stuff on social media. A new ‘Belle epoque’.

We need something that breaks with the ‘old-school’ way of doing business or even personal development. We need something that aligns that small part inside of us (some people call it imagination) with what we’re doing every day.

People need to feel fulfilled, seen, and aligned with our purposes. I don’t see our purpose as one thing. I don’t feel like a human has one purpose but several, and it’s time for us to let lose the fear that lets our one purpose live in a box. Or let ourselves live in a box. It’s time to stop defining stuff like that.

So all of those questions that you can find online where you find your passion and your purpose and make a living, be happy, have the dreamhouse, etc? Fuck them so hard because it’s not gonna make you happy and fulfilled.

It’s not gonna make you get up in the morning screaming YEY! It’s a new day! I need to go sit in my office for 8 hours (after 2 hours of commuting) and work the numbers because it’s my passion. Because it is my purpose. It is what I live for. You’re still going to have a small voice inside of you saying ‘we can do better than this’.

Introducing the multi-purpose renaissance person

A renaissance person is a person dedicated to finding out what multiple things they are really good at. I personally have been trying to find out what that ‘one thing’ that I do really well is. And Yes – I have more than 15 years building empires as big as the sky from gravel in the startup space. Yes, I have made concepts and business models that have changed the world. But it only gives me so much to gather people around a cause, to make them fall in love with a brand, to have them sign up to something that makes you happy, that spurs some inspiration apart from saving stuff on Pinterest.

I don’t believe it anymore. I don’t believe in a specialist approach and schooling towards one thing.

Why? Because it doesn’t make me fulfilled. It doesn’t make me go to the work I do with passion.

Do you know how many different skillsets Leonardo da Vinci practiced? Apart from being a genius, he was a painter, a sculptor, an architect, an engineer, an inventor, a botanist, an anatomist, a lifelong vegetarian and… a writer.

Why wasn’t he just a writer? Or just a painter?

Or you could ask yourself – what wasn’t he? Was there a part of himself that he didn’t practice? It’s hard to believe. He created. And he created all sorts of things. He was inspired by everything in life.

He was multi-faceted and he had multi-faceted ways of purpose and passion. And, get this, he was ignored by the scholars and the experts of Florence, because he didn’t know mathematics or Latin. And it was first after his death that he really was celebrated.

I believe what you want to create is the tip of the iceberg of creativity – what everybody can see. But I believe that under the surface, that iceberg is a build-up of several different layers.

It’s not important to find one purpose. It’s important to find as many of them as possible because when you find out what fuels your fire in several directions, you can keep building on your joy and happiness.

This is not a ‘find your purpose’ cosmopolitan article that I used to read as a teen in the 90s. Because what is a purpose. It’s like answering the questions in the amazing book ‘Sophie’s world’ that I read as a teen. Finding your purpose is like answering the all over-shadowing question of ‘who are you’.

Your true North / Your inner wiring

So isn’t purpose just doing the right thing for you? What you’re aligned to do? I see it as much more complicated than that. It’s like creating an arrow of activities that points to your own personal ‘true north’. I love writing and building concepts and carry them out in life. BUT I also love gardening, playing guitars, partying, dancing, and when I relax I do it with a game of civilization – a game that has been a standard feature on all my computers since I was 15.

I can compare myself to Leonardo da Vinci, (even though no one is comparable to him) – we are both practicing several skillsets at the same time. We’re both doing several things to reach our status quo – our own true north. He’s on ‘another world-ly’ level compared to me (and most other people) – BUT the mark up is the same. If you’re into woo-woo or ju-ju or what you call spiritual development these days, you’re aligning all the things that ‘spark your joy’ maybe you can even talk about Marie Kondo’fying your purpose?

If it doesn’t spark your joy, it’s probably not a part of your purpose. Sometimes when we have dreams and we are afraid to pursue it, it’s not that we don’t want to work on that dream, it’s more inclined to the fact that we haven’t built the pretext yet. The more I look into this whole purpose, it can be completely daunting – you keep hearing ‘but what if this isn’t really my purpose after all in your head?

We have to start thinking about the new renaissance people – you have to go back to the multi-purpose renaissance person.

Categories
Creativity Entrepreneurial life Ideas

Wield Yourself

Sometimes you need to stand back and take a breather. Other times, you need to wield yourself.

I have been obsessed with the word ‘wielding’ and the phrase ‘wield yourself’ since I started on my scary yet rockin’ path of being healthy, as well as doing a whole lot of self-development. I love the words ‘rising, ‘uprising’ as well as ‘creating’, ‘building’, and my favorite word for what I am in the process of: ‘wielding’.

Wielding instead of creating- what’s the difference?

Wielding is the concept of creating/building based on deliberately using previously acquired concepts and skills that you already know brings you joy and happiness. Maybe I would even say that wielding happens from a place of fulfillment? It’s building stuff based on where you are already fulfilled, where you already know that you enjoy doing things like this. Well, what if you mash the things that you like to do, up?

I have thought a lot about why wielding feels like such a strong word for me.

Probably because it lets you see yourself as a tool. It’s in the word, that you will use everything you’ve already learned to create something new. It seems stronger for me and I believe that all rockers should be wielding, not creating. I have the same thing about ‘forging’ instead of creating. Forging is stronger to me- you melt things together.

A femtech entrepreneur; a case for wielding yourself.

I remember talking to one of my old friends at a conference in Copenhagen a while back. Her name is Ida Tin and she’s the founder of a femtech company called Clue, which is an ovulation tracker. Before that, Ida had a motorcycle travel agency together with her dad. And that’s actually where I got to know her – through a danish female entrepreneurship network called ‘morgendagens heltinder’. It was all the rage 15 years back. However, when I asked her how she came up with the idea for Clue she said that she had simply sat in her apartment and had a blank wall where she put post-it’s of all she liked to do in her life – all the things she was passionate about. Then she combined those things and started building because it was the perfect fit between feminism, technology, and reproductive rights.

What’s interesting here to me is that it simply wasn’t an act of creating everything from scratch. It was ‘deliberately’ using the things Ida knew made her feel fulfilled in order to create her next venture, her next dream.

I don’t see ‘wield yourself’ as an either/or from creating. It’s more like ‘upcycling’ (creating new things from old materials’ where creating is ‘DIY’ (creating new things from materials). It’s a layer above or below creativity depending on how you look at it.

Categories
Branding Business Unusual corporate activism

How To Rise Up To Huge Opportunities

We’re in times that are both challenging but also filled with opportunities. I am grateful for this global time-out because there’s something in it that has to teach us something bigger as humanity.

It’s a horrible horrible way for us to learn though. So many lives lost, so many numbers thrown at us daily and behind each number is a person, with a family, with a legacy and with a contribution to the planet.

We are in emergency operations now as part of my work at CARE. Most of the country offices have closed down their operations and are focusing on preparing for #Covid-19. What will happen when and if it hits Africa and what I am particularly concerned about is the refugee camps. How can it become within or under control in places where people live very close to each other and there might not be clean water and everything spreads faster? But instead of me looking at it from a place of fear, I will not only look at it from a place of hope –  I want to look at it from a place of action and creativity.

How to rise up to opportunities

When I was working at the biggest sustainability Think Tank in the Nordics as a Brand Director, my mission was to create a whole corner in the sustainability movement that we could work from and build more content and ideas into – huge opportunities that we could execute on, on the daily.

I have a couple of key principles when it comes to building movements and rising up as a person and a brand:

Showing the World who you are by DOING instead of TALKING

INCLUDE – Don’t see yourself as separate, and don’t act like others are separate either. You’re united for world dominion, rockers! Yes you need to participate and share stuff for others too. These are like important relationships rockers! – you have to give some to earn some.

PARTICIPATE: There are so many virtual calls for everything out there these days. So many ‘us vs COVID’ digital hackathons and programs. Instead of watching Netflix – become a part of those. Contribute. Share your skills and create magic.

TELL EVERYONE: Pitch your ideas. Not just to potential clients – pitch them to anyone. Are you passionate about technology? Tell everyone. Ideas around sustainability need to be bolder than life. Challenges we want to rise up to, and find possibilities in such as Covid19 can have Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

It’s one of the greatest things about working for a planet that’s fucked up environmentally and healthwise: The sky is the limit when it comes to how bold and audacious the ideas needed can be. The opportunities are there – but the question is: will you rise up and take them?