WHAT MARK ARE YOU LEAVING ON THE WORLD? LEAVING A MARK DOESN'T COME FROM FAME OR MONEY. RATHER, IT TAKES JOY, LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO CAUSE A RIPPLE EFFECT.
I'M THE PROUD mother of not just one, but two sons. Individually they've had challenges; however, my youngest son Bjørn has had to deal with the most physical of those. He arrived in this world, fighting and lives daily with the physical restrictions that come hand in hand with cerebral palsy. When we moved to Denmark 12 years ago, my husband landed himself a job instantly, while I was left a little flustered having to handle most of the relocation solo. Kathy covers this on (page 22 – I am fine, but...). Tasked with finding schools for both our boys, navigating the special needs system was going to be a challenge. Several boxes of tissues later, and many meltdowns on phone calls to hubby, I made it to the other side armed with paperwork and my trusty google translate by my side. Fast forward many years later, after I started The International, I had made a promise to myself that not only would I share organic content about life as an international, but also supportive articles to help the special needs community understand the Danish system. I'm proud to announce, as we celebrate 6 October as World Cerebral Palsy Day, that I'm introducing our first article, (page 16 – A guiding hand through disability). What I love about WCPD is their new campaign - #CPMakeYourMark. They are encouraging people living with CP, family members, friends, colleagues to think of goals you've created, set and reached that felt inaccessible at first. By sharing these stories of
achievement, you'll be making your mark, and showing it is possible! This is such a positive message, and especially at a time when the world is struggling with Covid-19. So thank you to the special needs community (especially at a time when they are the most vulnerable), for reminding us of this. I'd like to share my three favourite ways of leaving your mark:
CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC FOOD
HOW TWO INTERNATIONALS BUILT A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IN DENMARK TO TACKLE FOOD WASTE FROM THE GROUND UP.
PHOTOGRAPHS CÉLINE MARTIN-PEDERSEN
LIKE MANY INTERNATIONALS, both Petra Kaukua (from Finland) and Carolin Schiemer (from Germany) moved to Denmark seeking new opportunities and change. They met
DO WHAT YOU LOVE. In my opinion, when we're doing what we love, we're doing something well. No matter what you think your skills are in a specific area, if you are doing it because you love to do it, it's going to show in your work. People can tell that you love something and it is reflected in what you are doing. Whether you receive recognition or not, the joy you're experiencing when you do what you love will rub off on those around you. It might seem selfish, but doing what you love really can positively impact the world.
TEXT ERIN MCMILLEN GUSTAFSON
and didn’t see the benefit. They were told that others had tried this before, and it never seemed to work. But it didn’t stop them, they felt their new perspective, coupled with a
during a two-year master’s programme in “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustain-
lot of enthusiasm and a splash of style were key to making this new company blossom.
able Business” and instantly clicked. Studying at Copenhagen Business School, the two bonded over common interests. One was their shared love of techno and trance music.
less sweet? That scarred lemon less juicy? Co-founders Petra and Carolin say no. But
The other? A focus on current issues surrounding food systems and food waste. Fast forward to 2020, outside an unmarked warehouse on an unassuming street in Copenhagen’s Nordvest quarter. Quietly, people begin accumulating along the sidewalk, parking their bicycles and waiting patiently in a cluster without queuing - as you do in Denmark. Through an open glass door, bright and graphic coloured cardboard boxes are stacked behind a tall table where a laptop and a bottle of hand spritz sit. In each box, a curated collection of “ugly” fruits and funny shaped vegetables. Soon, a volunteer welcomes those waiting and one by one people step forward to receive their pre-ordered EAT GRIM food box for the week. Grim means “ugly” in Danish. But these fresh organic fruits and vegetables aren’t as bad looking as you might think.
Beyond sometimes superficial imperfections, they ask does that misshapen apple taste because market standards set by the European Union create unrealistic expectations of perfection for each piece, nearly a third of all produce is discarded or wasted before it even gets to you, the consumer. You will only see the prettiest products for sale in your local grocery store. To combat that forced food quality and control, farmers overgrow wasting water, land and resources in anticipation of only part of their crop making the final cut. But what if all that edible food wasn’t wasted? Inside the cold storage at the warehouse, volunteers and interns spend Tuesdays carefully packing the branded cardboard boxes with each week’s assortment of unmarketable goods. Crates at their feet filled with red cabbages, carrots or apples and the like are delivered directly from the farmers. Each piece of seasonal produce is first checked and cleared, ensuring it’s ok for you to eat. Then staff work quickly and efficiently along
MAKING A SUSTAINABLE CHANGE THROUGH FOOD
an assembly line placing pockmarked Hokkaido pumpkins or curiously curved cucum-
The business behind all those food boxes is the brainchild of Petra and Carolin. At the core, their concept is pretty simple. By tackling food waste from the start - where it is produced on the farm, they are determined to change how people eat in a way that benefits the environment. Bringing overproduced and imperfect crops to the people, these two are intent on making an impact here in Denmark. And maybe even the world. Neither of this power pair had any agricultural or operational experience in their back-
bers inside each box. Customers subscribe online to receive boxes that can be picked up in person or delivered by bicycle right to their door.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS As internationals and women, there were very few role models in Denmark for doing what they’ve done. Only 25% of all entrepreneurs here are women, a statistic that has
ground. But both see that less as a negative, believing that they came to their concept with
gone down over the past few decades. As investors attempt to reverse this decline, Caro-
fresh eyes and a unique approach. When they launched their business in 2018, it was only Petra and Carolin out there grinding and networking, going to events and tracking down farmers willing to sell their surplus or marred produce. At first, many farmers baulked
lin and Petra have seen an increase in those looking for more female-founded companies and business cases across the country. Carolin grins and remarks that their own company has been only women until just recently when they hired their first male.
OCTOBER 2020 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
OCTOBER 2020 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
My top picks for October
SPREAD HAPPINESS. You have the ability to be happy and to make others happy. Of course, this isn't always easy, but it's a genuine option and something that doesn't require money or fame. Smile at someone. Offer a word of hope. Any little small thing you can do can make a difference. I remember seeing my son take money out of his wallet and pay for someone's groceries as she didn't have enough - that's when I saw him making his mark. Perform acts of kindness whenever you can, and they will have a ripple effect.
Pages 4-11 Spooky October events happening around Denmark
ENCOURAGE OTHERS. While I'm all about believing in yourself and doing anything you can to make your own dreams come true, one way to really make a mark is to encourage someone else's dreams. By being supportive and encouraging of others, you are making a difference not only in their world but potentially in the world of others. Like acts of kindness, encouragement can have a ripple effect. And who knows? You could be encouraging the next great inventor or novelist or president.
Pages 12-15 Carolin and Petra are changing the world through sustainable organic food
Pages 16 Exploring the Danish welfare system with a special needs child
Page 21 Global warming climate change plans in Denmark
We would love to hear how you're making your mark by following and tagging us on social media. #CPMakeYourMark.
Page 25 Happy Halloween:
The darker side of Ribe!
LYNDSAY JENSEN - EDITOR & FOUNDER
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OCTOBER 2020 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
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CONNOR is taking a gap year before continuing his studies in education. Born in South Africa and moving to Denmark at a young age, he realtes to internationl life. He enjoys meeting new cultures, music and hanging out with his family and friends.
CONTACT The International ApS; +45 42407624
COVER PICTURE Céline Martin-Pedersen
HEAD OF SOCIAL MEDIA DENMARK
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CATHERINE manages our SoMe team. Originally from DC, she is currently in her honeymoon phase with Copenhagen and loves it here. A passion for traveling, meeting new people, and dabbling in other artistic endeavors outside of social media, like illustration, graphic design and podcasting keeps her busy.
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