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Storytelling – The West Wing Whirlwind

By on apr 9, 2014 in About me, English, The making of | 0 comments

by Jan Sonneveld and Rune Kier This story was first published on the blog of generous Vital Speeches of the Day, David Murray. Later at Ian Griffins Professionally Speaking. And last at Jan Sonneveld’s blog and recently published on my LinkedIn profile. Since then both Jan Sonneveld and I have won a Cicero Speechwriting Award 2014, so I thought it appropriate to share our inspiration once again. I hope you don’t mind. Storytelling – The West Wing Whirlwind Myth has it that a TV series made possible the presidency of Barack Obama. An apparently Latino presidential candidate Matthew Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) inspired Obama’s story: a largely unknown minority congressman, running on a liberal platform, breaking all expectation to become President. Obama followed his fictional friend two years later – or did it follow him? In stories reality and fiction are hard to...

The European Union has no idea!

By on jan 8, 2014 in English | 0 comments

This piece was first published on OPEN Democracy 7/1 2013. Forget better communication or a radical change in its course of action: what the EU really needs is a big, bold idea to move forward. “If you think you lack words, what you really lack are ideas”. That is what I took away from a lecture by the father of framing, George Lakoff. I think about it every time I see the debate over the EU polarising into framing versus action. Take this exchange: some say the EU should just communicate better and others say it should act radically differently. It is really quite sad, because actions and framing can’t be separated and they both emerge logically from the ideas we pursue. That is why, when José Manuel Barroso is seeking guidance on where to go big and where to go small, he too should look to the level of ideas. If we have a clear idea about where we want to go, we can...

The European Dream is based on an ‘Equals around a table’- metaphor

By on dec 17, 2013 in English | 0 comments

This piece was first published in Social Europe Journal 28/11 2013. The EU – In need of a new narrative European Commission President José M. Barroso is searching for a new European Union narrative. As I have argued elsewhere, the EU needs a dream of the Martin Luther King Jr.-type if it wants to stay relevant for the European population. I agree with Barroso in seeing the EU’s lack of a positive vision as a threat to its democratic legitimacy by low public anticipation, participation and appreciation. Eurosceptics stand strong because the union has failed to arm its allies. At the moment the European Union is without a clear vision to mobilise and engage the public leaving its allies vulnerable to strategies of ‘divide and conquer’. The lack of vision gives rise to xenophobia, ethnic tension and conflicts between rich and poor. Yet the European dream has strong potential for a social...

Speech – Oil and Gas on the Green Scale

By on dec 15, 2013 in English, Speeches | 0 comments

I wrote this speech to Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard to be given at Oil Gas Summit, Oil and Gas Denmark, Copenhagen, September 10, 2013. The speech was published in Vital Speeches International december 2013.    Oil and Gas on the Green Scale Almost every day I am asked by the media or ordinary citizens: How can Denmark, one of the most ambitious green front runners of the world, at the same time pursue to be an active and ambitious explorer and producer of oil and gas? And let me also start my keynote today by addressing that crucial question. In Denmark we don’t see the two ambitions as contradicting each other. We see them as preconditions to each other. In Denmark we have broad political backing for using the Danish resources of oil and gas to the largest possible extent. Denmark is an oil and gas producing country and we will use that to...

Business Friendly Climate and Climate Friendly Business

By on nov 29, 2013 in English, Speeches | 0 comments

I wrote this speech to Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard to be held at ‘EU Towards a Green Economy’ by Confederation of Danish Industry, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 15 2013. Business friendly climate for climate friendly business I believe strongly in facts based politics – and so let me start by providing you with a few facts about Denmark: Denmark is at the top of the lists of Countries Best for Business AND Best Performer on Climate Change. Excluding tax Denmark has electricity prices below the European average AND we are in the midst of an ambitious transition to a clean energy future with high price certainty and energy security. Just yesterday, the report “Productivity in Green Business” showed that green businesses in Denmark are more productive than the Danish business average. AND hard facts tell a sobering story: This transforming is...

Denmark’s National Statement to the COP 2013

By on nov 29, 2013 in English, Speeches | 0 comments

I wrote this statement to Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard as the Danish national statement to the COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, November 21, 2013. National Statement Your Excellencies – Ladies and Gentlemen A couple of months ago I visited a small Arctic settlement in the North-Eastern part of Greenland together with my Greenlandic colleague. On the fragile cover of ice and snow, climate change has left its unmistakable warning about what is coming to all of us. It is here that we see the change first written in black and white as clear as the IPCC report. The locals told us about the rapidly receding sea ice and its impact on their lives. It is not the first time I have witnessed the consequences of man-made climate change in Greenland. As a barometer the Arctic changes warn us of a climate in distress, screaming for a comprehensive global response....