Pia Allerslev is someone who doesn’t step lightly when leaving footprints behind. When she served as a mayor in Copenhagen in the years 2008-2013 (culture and leisure) and 2014-2017 (children and youth), she woke up every day with a profound reverence for the responsibility she had been given. She knew that her positional power was a rare chance to create a change for the better.
“When I walk around in the streets of Copenhagen, I become aware of the many initiatives that I played a part in.”
One thing that stood out in her mind as one of her significant footprints was the creation of the Copenhagen Arena. The size of the venue enables Copenhagen to host big international sport events and attract global megastars. However, to Pia it is not all about leaving footprints for others to marvel at. It is equally important to know within yourself that every day you are fighting for the visions you believe in.
“When I am given the possibility to create change I make sure to make every minute count”
She fought for the sculpture THE GLOBAL VIZIONARY by THEZINKER to become a reality, even though several people from the cultural elite told her that it wasn’t art or that it was a piece of junk. But she believed in its message and not least in the artist behind. You can’t always measure a person’s victories by the size of their footprints. Sometimes it is the distance they travelled to get there.
A dream isn’t always about getting something you don’t have. To Pia Allerslev it is to protect and maintain the continuation of what in English could be called folk schoolsand production schools. She believes that it is crucial that we have institutions that offer people a second chance or an alternative route. We are not all made to walk down the beaten path. Pia is fighting for the optionality to choose differently.
“I really appreciate when we are brave enough to look at people differently and see that not all of us are meant for the same roads into well-defined categories.”
Pia has never listened to anyone but herself, when she had to decide what was right for her. She explains that it has led her down roads where she didn’t belong, but each time she developed strength of character and she always found her way back. A system can only reproduce itself – to find out where you belong, you have to be brave enough to become the anomaly.
“No matter where I am in the world, I will keep fighting for the institutional opportunities to choose differently in life.”
“My kids call me a bowling-mom.”
When talking about leaving footprints, Pia Allerslev is truly proud of the way she has helped her kids to leave their own and become self-reliant. Pia’s own way of life has led her into deep water multiple times. Out of these experiences she has developed the mind of a proficient VISIONARY. She has refined her ability to overcome obstacles and find solutions. She wants to pass on the same skillset to her children. However, she is not doing it by paving the way for them, instead she lets them venture into uncharted territory on their own.
“The best gift you can give someone is your trust in their ability to make it on their own.”
Her kids have always known that no matter what happens, they will have a safe harbour that beacons them home again. Perhaps that was why it was one of the hardest times in her life, when she divorced her children’s father. The safe harbour became a little less safe. She felt caught in a limbo of freedom and anxiety; she was worried for her children and she was overwhelmed by her reclaimed freedom. Nonetheless, long walks, good friends and some well timed white wine helped her to get through it.
The last bit reminded me of a quote by a plane crash survivor: "I collect bad wines (…) Because if the wine is ready and the person is there, I'm opening it."– Ric Elias. The quote is what ZINKTWO is all about; making the most of our limited time here on Earth.
ZINKTWO is not only about oneself and about one’s own dreams. It is equally about being something to others. It is about creating synergy by connecting dreams and visions together. Therefore, we have asked Pia to honour someone with a pair of ZINTWO x ECCO shoes. It had to be someone of inspiration or of great meaning to Pia.
“She works relentlessly every day to make a difference for kids in need.”
Pia has chosen Henriette Madsen who is the General Secretary at Børneulykkesfonden. Pia explains that Henriette is the definition of a fighter. She works tirelessly day out and day in to improve the conditions for children. She is a true philanthropist of spirit.
Thanks to Pia Allerslev for sharing some of her dreams and visions with us.
Profession:Self-employed and partner in Sincera (former mayor in Copenhagen)
Education:Teacher (Danish and religion)
DREAMER & VIZIONARY:40/60