About the mission
My mission is a based on a life decision: I shall work only with and for ideas, projects, brands or phenomenon carrying a sincere ambition to correct any of the mishaps that we – the humans – have created on planet Earth. Helping these ideas to become successful is my way to make the world a better place.
May it be to develop education, peace, health, fair play, cultural bridges or environmentally sustainable solutions.
The fields may vary, but the perspective has to be global and the purpose has to be a good one – meaning somehow related to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals or coping with any of the global mega trends that we all are affected by, whether we like it or not.
Why? Well, if you really want to know:
Scaling down on stuff, scaling up on action.
I have lived my fair share of life in the developed world, collecting stuff and experiences. I am spending the rest of it scaling down to the needs of a nomad, in order to get more things done. The less-is-more lifestyle generates independence, space and time. It allows me to move around and work harder with people, businesses and projects that make global sense first of all, and money as a necessary number two – an order of priorities I believe will be the life line for most businesses very soon.
Crossing borders, learning more.
In 2003 I grabbed a chance to work for the iconic pop singer Wei Wei in China. It turned into a role as an international manager with a global brand assignment in the field of music. I was given the opportunity to dive into another corner of the world. Into an ocean full of challenges and cultural differences. Into insights and experiences I simply couldn't have found elsewhere. For that I am deeply grateful.
The world of today keeps me motivated.
Still learning and still having the fortunate opportunity to travel the world, my days offer endless challenges while crossing borders, time zones and bureaucratic formats. I constantly see things that keep me motivated to focus on matters that make sense on a global scale.
I simply can't quit.
About the motto
Before getting into my motto, I just want to share a story about thinking harder: Four girls from Harvard recently came up with the idea to make a soccer ball that generates energy while rolling. They put a socket on it and voila... plug in a lamp and it lights up the room where there is no electricity around – .
I like girls for many reasons, that is one of them. We men have played soccer for centuries and developed it into bribery and hooliganism...
A turning point – time to think.
At a time in my life when things really called for some serious thinking I scribbled down some thoughts. It eventually turned into a motto. I have been trying to live according to it since then:
BE NICE: Being nice is nice. Fair is nice. Clean is nice. You can be nice and smart. Nice doesn't necessarily mean being naive. Life is not always fair, but if you turn arrogant, evil or violent it eventually will be...
KEEP COOL: Patience pays off. It might sound boring but within most walks of life it is a fact. All great ideas and brands in the world are built on lots of hard work, lots of patience and a fair share of stubbornness. Keeping cool means listening more than talking. You know... absorbing, waiting for the gut feeling, listening to the intuition and not the least, allowing a little extra time to digest new impressions.
HAVE FUN: This is about grabbing chances in life. I don't know about you, but I am going to collect fun memories with more frenetic efforts than anything else. I believe new experiences, uncertain adventures and an open mind should be a guarantee for better odds on that... while having fun at the same time.
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Sounds too pretentious? Probably. But the longer I have been sticking to this motto when moving forward, the more sense it makes when looking back.
Try it, it's for free.
THINK HARD: There is always a better way. We are constantly developing. The word "develop" stands for a never ending desire to learn more, discover new things, search for new ideas and search for something better. We have to think harder, we have to try harder. Once we are developed or satisfied, the momentum stops…
About the brand – Bertoft
If it wasn’t for my father's parents Hjalmar and Rut's sense for branding, this website would have been named nilsson.com.
The surroundings at Bäretofta Farm in southern Sweden seems to have been the inspiration for their branding endeavor.
The farm was built already in 1784, but it wasn't until the summer of 1922 that my grandparents sent a name application to his Majesty the King Gustaf V of Sweden. They wanted to secure the idea of a new family domain. Some months later the name change issue was fixed, and the proof came back in a letter with stamps and honorable signatures.
What my grandparents didn't know was that some ninety years later the new name would be part of a hype called "personal branding". Little could they know that it also would appear on something called Facebook and Twitter.
I guess they did anticipate that Bertoft would be easier to keep unique than Nilsson. But how could they anticipate that the world wide web wouldn't like the dots in the Swedish letter "ä"? What made them change it to an "e"?
Who knows? But I sincerely thank them for it.
The letter approving our new family name Bertoft. Signed by the Swedish King at Stockholm's Castle November 9, 1922.
About the family legacy
Looking back at my family endeavours has grown to be important to me. Finding out the magnitude of my predecessors's journeys and their eagerness to explore the world with good intentions, has marked my own ambition.
It feels like an obvious path to go – traveling and exploring, listening and learning, while trying hard to make changes for the better.
The letters from Nansen, exploring the arctic.
My mother's grandmother and family had a close relationship with Fridtjof Nansen back in the days. Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. We still have the box with the letters they wrote to each other when he was away on his journeys.
Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1861-1930).
On one of his arctic expeditions, Nansen found two unknown islands north of Russia. He named them "Eva-Liv Islands" after his wife Eva and daughter Liv. My mother Eva and her sister Liv were given these names by their mother... inspired by her mother's relationship with Nansen and his family. We will never know all the details, but the letters are there in the box, and the story has grown to be an important piece of inspiration in my life.
The Eva-Liv Islands, north of most
places on planet earth.
Grand parents crossing oceans, saving lives.
Another part of the legacy also originates from my Norwegian grandparents. Johannes and Gordia traveled the oceans while curing people and saving lives. My grandfather served as a medical ship doctor and my grandmother travelled with him and helped out as a nurse. They ended up in several far away cornes of the world and inspired us grandkids with a long line of faschinating stories.
Perhaps it felt good to know that your surgeon and doctor was good with details...grandpa loved building models and gave us some of his fabulous
Parents nomading down to Baghdad.
Then there was this early life nomading experience when my very own parents suddenly decided to drive down to Iraq in a Volkswagen Beetle. They searched for a change and went there to work at the university of Baghdad, teaching odontology. That was in the beginning of the 1960-ies. My older brother was four years old and I had just experienced my 6th month...
This is what it might have looked like. No GPS and not a lot of Swedish or English speaking people around.
Keeping the legacy alive.
I have visited Bäretofta Farm and one day I hope to visit the Eva-Liv Islands and perhaps the University of Baghdad as well.
Why? Well, for some obvious family related reasons to start with. But I am also determined to earn my part of the story that has skied, sailed and traveled around the world in so many unpredictable ways. For ten years I have been based in Stockholm and Beijing, I am fortunate to have reasons to travel the world and my mission is to continue on that path.
I simply want to contribute and carry the family legacy further. I hope that my children and grandchildren will be inspired by the same stories... and perhaps continue with the same ambition and keep making global sense.