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and be a father. He has a lovely wife and grown up kids back home in Denmark, he tells. They have been with him at some of his postings. It has depended on the circumstances. His approach to family is the same as to any other issue in his life: You have to be flexible, pragmatic. If things aren’t going your way, then move, try something else. And if the family isn’t happy being where Jan has chosen to be, it is better to find a solution that pleases everyone, even if the consequence is that the family lives separated.

You need to invent to survive Jan doesn’t consider himself a journalist anymore. He doesn’t write regular news articles. He writes a weekly column for Jyllands Posten and columns for the Danish Embassy’s newsletter. Actually he does all kinds of media work. He produces books and magazines and recently he became stringer for Deutsche Presseagentur. Occasionally he also gets assignments from firms and he gives lectures both in Asia and back home in Denmark. To survive as a self-employed, Jan believes, you constantly have to invent new initiatives. Dabs’ magazine Danbiz is one of his inventions. He suggested it to Dabs before he became a member of the board. Among other new initiatives he takes part in is the newsletter of the Danish Embassy. It was originally established by Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller in 1997, when he was Danish Ambassador, but had subsequently been downsized and in danger of being shut down, when Jan decided to get involved. “You have to invent your own original media concept to survive. Media change all the time and you have to find those niches where you can make a living.”

A black hole society Personal responsibility is a key-word for Jan. That’s why being self-employed in a society as the Singaporean suits him so well. “In Denmark no one has responsibility for anything. Here you have to be in charge of everything yourself.” Personal responsibility doesn’t imply a society without solidarity, cohesion and common identity, Jan emphasizes. “In Denmark we have parked our responsibility, our independence, our obligations and our solidarity in a box named The State, and as a black hole everything disappears in that box.”

December 2012 • ScandAsia.Singapore 21

ScandAsia Singapore - December 2012  

December 2012 edition of ScandAsia Singapore for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore.

ScandAsia Singapore - December 2012  

December 2012 edition of ScandAsia Singapore for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore.