A conversation with Helen van Baal, program lead at Kaospilot+ Berlin, gives exciting insight into two new leadership programs starting in 2022.
Hi Helen, in the last few months we've heard so much about different Kaospilot projects in Berlin. Is it true there is now a KAOSPILOT school in Berlin? What is this all about?
You're right, there's been a lot of buzz these past few months. This is mainly because we've finally been able to host our first in-person programs in Berlin.
So, yes, there is now a KAOSPILOT base - we call it KAOSPILOT+ Berlin - in the city. For those who don't know them yet, Kaospilot is a school for creative leadership and meaningful entrepreneurship which was established 30 years ago in Aarhus, Denmark, and educates students to create the future. And we are now bringing this approach of learning and creating transformation to Berlin. Specifically, we are starting two programs in Berlin, 'Navigating Chaos' in the Spring and 'Meaningful Leadership' in the Fall of 2022.
This sounds exciting - can you tell us a bit more about the programs?
We have a 1-year full-time program called 'Meaningful Leadership' and a 4-month long part-time program called 'Navigating Chaos'.
'Meaningful Leadership' is designed to equip present and future generations of leaders with mindsets and skills to change the world. We are inviting a small selected group who will very much be pioneering the KAOSPILOT+ Berlin programs and become one another's biggest asset as they form a learning collective that lifts them as individual learners, while it also forms their platform to discover, explore and play out their leadership, entrepreneurial and creative practices.
'Navigating Chaos' consists of 4 intense leadership retreats in 3 locations, weekly online sessions, and individual work in between, you will define or redefine your leadership approach by leading others and being led by them.
What are the differences between the programs and how should one choose?
Meaningful Leadership is aimed at a younger crowd who wants to take a year to explore and develop their leadership, creativity, and activistic practices. During the year they will come up with or develop a project and idea in-depth whilst exploring leadership, design, impact, and entrepreneurship. This will enable them to initiate and lead systemic transformation.
'Navigating Chaos' is more aimed at professionals who want to navigate complex situations and who seek to educate themselves further next to their careers.
If I want to apply, what do I need to bring, do I need a degree or other qualifications?
You don't need to have a specific education beforehand, it's much more your drive and the experiences you bring that matter. We are looking for individuals who are excited to create change, who want to challenge the status quo, and who are willing to do their part in making the world a better place. We are looking for makers, activists, optimists, doers, rebels, creatives, and out-of-the-box thinkers. We embrace diversity and encourage anyone to apply regardless of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital or parental status.
Kaospilot Students from the Danish school who learned and worked with various projects in Berlin for 2,5 months this fall
The Kaospilot approach is different from a normal university, what makes it so unique?
What makes the Kaospilots really different from other educational experiences is that it's so deeply rooted in a community experience. You're not going to sit in the classroom all day listening to lectures - instead, the students create their own learning paths, choose their projects, and facilitate sessions themselves. And it's often in these collective sessions that real learning takes place. I think you rarely experience such intense and beautiful moments at a regular business school.
All this, the co-creative project work, real-world experience, and learning from and with each other in teams, the wider community, through hands-on workshops, and together with world-leading experts are at the core of our programs. The programs are in English and intend to offer spaces to explore one’s leadership skills, develop and challenge oneself and one’s work.
What we define as Meaningful Leadership:
Why are you starting these programs in Berlin and why now?
We believe that learning should be experience-based, and therefore want to offer the possibility of immersion in how we work, learn, and co-create at the Kaospilots in Berlin.
Berlin is a buzzing hub where so many progressive initiatives and movements are rooted - we're missing more inspiring and daring educational formats where you can learn to start social and impact businesses, play with f.ex. putting circular economics into practice, or how to initiate and lead movements that will enable positive systemic transformation.
How do you learn to really move your ideas to action, whilst staying respectful of social, economical, and environmental environments and your own limits as a human? These are only some of the elements we are touching upon in our educational setting and that we want to see more of. Furthermore, there is so much wisdom in the city, so many practitioners and cutting-edge experts whose voices we would love to give a platform to!
In that sense, Kaospilot+ Berlin seeks to be a platform for new connections and interactions, between the Kaospilot community and people based in Berlin or visiting, all eager to create a positive impact.
KAOSPILOT+ Berlin is the Berlin-based home of the Kaospilots and offers a learning platform for design, sustainable entrepreneurship, and positive change. We believe that positive social impact can be achieved through community & collaborative initiative, innovative design, and value-based leadership.
For more information around our leadership programs visit us here: https://www.kaospilotplus.com/