Jonathan Low (j. lo)

KaosPilot and social entrepreneur

Reasons to feel proud

  • One of my KaosPilot students has just rented the Acropolis in Greece. He wants to transform it into a place for social innovation and change-making.
    Wauv – read the story here
  • Cape Town has been named World Design Capital 2014. One of my KaosPilot groups has just travelled to South Africa and are helping out. Rock on guys!
  • Julia, a young girl I’m helping out with her music career, has just been featured on the frontpage of a major Danish newspaper. Check out the story
  • YouMe Shopping, where I volunteer, has just reached 1200 fans on Facebook – despite no money for marketing and only being live for 2 months
  • I lost 1 kilo this week. One small step for mankind :-)



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Want to change the world from Russia to China?


I have a crazy yet amazing idea, and I want to make it happen as part of the KaosPilots … but I need your help!

My dream is to use the trans-siberian railway to make the world better. In short, the idea is to put on a load of students (and possibly also former students, mentors and other change-makers!) and travel from Russia to China during a period of 4-6 weeks.

On the way to China we get off a various stops and develop ideas for change – along with the locals. On the way back we MAKE THESE IDEAS COME TRUE. So this train experience is a journey between and of cultures, a journey of learning and very much a journey of doing.


What do you guys think? Anyone up for the challenge? Then please get in touch with me!


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Featured in two new articles about change-making

I’ve recently been featured in two new articles about CSR and change-making.

Djøf-bladet: A Danish magazine for people working with business, law and more. I was interviewed as regards to a new social capital fund. Read the story.

Markedsføring: A Danish magazine about marketing. I wrote a blog about greenwashing, and why it should really belong to the past. Read the blog.
I want to finish today with a quote about CHANGE:

“Change is the essence of life.Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

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I’m so tired of trend researchers – this is why

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten wrote an article this weekend about YouMe Shopping – the charity in which I volunteer. The article was well written and gave a fair description of our project, the benefits and the possible pitfalls. However, I got so tired, when I had to read the opinion of yet another trend researcher!

This time a woman named Kirsten Poulsen from a company named First Move thought that “YouMe Shopping promotes that people buy more – where they should promote to buy less”. And her second point: “Buying through YouMe Shopping is a way of showing off.”

Well, I still don’t understand why shopping for a good cause has got anything to do with showing off? To me it’s just about doing some good, where you can. But let’s leave it with that.

HOWEVER, I got so tired, when another self acclaimed sustainability-expert talks about the dangers of buying things! So I couldn’t help writing this blog. Why? Because I want to draw your attention to the leading independent research institute Worldwatch Institute. An amazing project focusing on visions for a sustainable world.

In my view, they have written some amazing and sharp insights into the future of consumption. And clash of clans triche gemme I want to share these with you below. Both because I think they’re both true and truly innovative, but also to make sure that Kirsten Poulsen’s old-fashioned statement doesn’t stand alone in this debate. So here we go – these are the main points from Worldwatch Institute

- “It’s not using energy that is bad for the planet, but the way we get that energy.”

- Remember to Recycle. And remember this paradox: Ultimately, recycling simply results in the manufacture of more things. So producing and buying more stuff is NOT bad in itself.

- Stay close to home. Work close to home to shorten your commute; eat food grown nearby; patronize local businesses; join local organizations. All of these will improve the look, shape, smell, and feel of your community.

- Internal combustion engines are polluting, and their use should be minimized. Period.

- Watch what you eat. Whenever possible, avoid food grown with pesticides, in feedlots, or by agribusiness. It’s an easy way to use your dollars to vote against the spread of toxins in our bodies, land, and water.

- Private industries have very little incentive to improve their environmental practices. Our consumption choices must encourage and support good behavior; our political choices must support government regulation.

- Support thoughtful innovations in manufacturing and production. Hint: Drilling for oil is no longer an innovation.

- Vote. Political engagement enables the spread of environmentally conscious policies. Without public action, thoughtful individuals are swimming upstream.

- Don’t feel guilty. It only makes you sad.

- Enjoy what you have—the things that are yours alone, and the things that belong to none of us. Both are nice, but the latter are precious. Those things that we cannot manufacture and should never own—water, air, birds, trees—are the foundation of life’s pleasures. Without them, we’re nothing. With us, there may be nothing left. It’s our choice.

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Online activism – I love it

Wanna give my thumbs up to a new mobile app called “Open Label”. The idea is basically to enable consumers, using and combining barcodes with crowd-sourced information, to get instant feedback on products that they consider buying.
This boom beach online enables everyone to create awareness around, if a manufacturer for instance uses child labor, sweat shops, animal testing, toxic chemicals, and more, and then give the product a thumbs-down. While those types of things gives OpenLabel somewhat of an activist slant, there are other types of information that could be shared, too, like the company’s political leaning, donations and much more

If you want to learn more, please visit

And finally I have to admit: The idea is not new. Some guys did it 6 years ago in Russia - The only problem: Nobody had smartphones back then! :-) Today most people do, so I hope tools like OpenLabel can create even more discussion and awareness around CSR in the years to come.

And oh yeah – one more point: Does the Russia example show us that being too early is the same as being wrong?

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KaosPilots at Sea

I’m involved in a really cool new project called Unreasonable@Sea.

So what is Unreasonable@Sea? (fair warning… it’s a bit crazy ; ). In January 2013 the Unreasonable Institute will be launching, in partnership with Stanford’s d. school and Semester at Sea, a 100 day accelerator for tech entrepreneurs who desire to take their ventures into new international markets. KaosPilots have just signed up as one of the partners.

The institute guys are working exclusively with tech-centric companies who are working to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of this century. Why Unreasonable? We are going to run this accelerator on a ship as it circumnavigates the southern hemisphere. Over the course of 100 days we will port in 14 countries and literally sail around the world. Like the Boulder Institute, this one will be mentor driven as we will be welcoming 20 serial entrepreneurs and innovators as mentors (note: Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is a mentor…etc ).

here’s a link to the site

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Denmark’s largest CSR event – join the movement

I’m in the event-team responsible for Denmark’s largest CSR-event in 2013 – Who Cares Wins 2013.

We’ve just opened a group on LinkedIn, where you can do some serious networking, idea generation, sparring etc. – with other people and companies passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility.

So go check it out and sign-up – and of course it’s free :-)

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Giving social entrepreneurs wings

It’s Easter Break and time for celebration. I want to celebrate 3 unique projects that are giving social entrepreneurs wings.

I believe in social innovation. And I believe in social entrepreneurship. But I also know, based on my own start-up experience, that innovation and business
model generation can often be the easy part.
Social entrepreneurs are creative and innovative people. I see it every day at my daily job at the KaosPilot school in Denmark – wauv so many talented and amazing young people, we have at our school! Filled with ideas, warm hearts, talent and visions.

However, what CAN be a challenge for both our students and entrepreneurs in general, is building a real company in an emerging sector. You face all the tough challenges of entrepreneurship: Finding good and intelligent capital. Hiring the right staff members and mentors. Creating your customers and revenue streams. AND you enter a sector that has not yet found its place in the business world.

This is why I love and want to celebrate 3 so called “social accelerators” – named Hub Ventures, Excelerate Labs and the Unreasonable Institute. What these guys are doing is amazing, and my own personal dream is to add this dimension to the KaosPilot school as well.

Some of you might have heard about Y Combinator? If you haven’t, these people are a vital part of the Silicon Valley adventure. They offer short-term, intensive programs to test new startups, and they provide them with mentors and investments as they grow. This concept has resulted in companies such as RedditWeeblySongkickDropboxDailyBoothWePay and many more.

Basically Hub VenturesExcelerate Labs and the Unreasonable Institute are doing the same for the social entrepreneurs. They focus on giving the startups access to what any promising startup needs: Mentors and investors. Furthermore, they provide the entrepreneurs with a creative working-environment, they host business-oriented workshops and they get in seed funding to develop the ideas further - all in exchange for a smaller equity stake in each company.

My hope is that Denmark, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe will start to implement these kinds of models for social entrepreneurs as well. Here in Denmark, the Government talks a lot about the importance of innovative wellfare technology, sustainable business models etc. But where is the money? Where are the rich and succesful business owners and the wealthy pension funds etc. to back the nice visions?

I really hope that we will see a change in this pattern in the future – and I hope that this little celebration can be one small step in the right direction!

Happy Easter everybody :-)

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What the Kony-video taught us

Most of you have probably seen it. The video about Joseph Kony –   the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan guerrilla group. More than 84 mio. views on YouTube – and afterwards both praised and heavily criticized.

My agenda is not to talk about the content of the movie. Or whether it painted a fair picture of the situation in Uganda … or if it will end up helping Ugandan children or not.

No, I want to focus on the potential of this form of communication. Because the campaign showed us humanity’s two greatest desires: to belong and to connect. I hope that the Kony-video will inspire the world’s NGOs, when it comes to:

a) raising awareness about important causes
b) connecting the desire to help a cause with a very concrete action (to put up posters)
c) empowering people. Transforming people from viewers to friends and from friends to activists.

Therefore I would like, just for one second, to stop all the discussions about “simplifying the conflict in Uganda” – and let us at least learn as change-makers and activists how to empower people using the power of the internet. In this sense the Kony-movie is and should be a role-model…

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CSR and social sponsorships interview

I was asked by the leading sponsorship-agency in Denmark, Promovator, about my views on social sponsorships. What should companies consider when teaming up with non-profits? And what international campaigns have been setting the standards in recent years?

Read some of my thoughts around this in the Promovator interview

Amongst other things we talk about remembering to be “flawsome” – that is why brands that behave more humanly, including showing their flaws, will be awesome in the years to come!

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