How Alternativet is beginning to take root

A useful piece from June last year on Alternativet's ambition. An excerpt: 

Alternativet’s cultural platform calls for cultural and creative institutions to become more integrated into educational institutions and schools. Elbæk says it was a success at one adult education centre in the city of Odense that invited the art group Sister’s Academy to contribute with their methodology and creativity.

“These artistic people took it over and turned it into a magical place using really simple elements. The subjects were the same, but the context changed. The students felt like all of their talents and intellect were activated during the two weeks the project lasted,” Elbæk says, adding that he feels we need to be more willing to challenge conventions.

“We have become so used to keeping ourselves in defined boxes when we need to tear them down and connect with each other. The recent reform of public schools had some really great elements, because it suggested that schools should work together with theatres, sport centres and libraries more. We would achieve so much more value if we pooled our resources together. We have a lot. We need to connect the dots and get knowledge and experience to flow on a totally other level. Denmark would be a so much more interesting place if people dared to see the opportunities in having fun and had the courage to look each other in the eyes.”

While Alternativet’s success as a political party remains to be seen, it is best seen as a movement, rather than a traditional political party. Elbæk says its message can be unfolded in a variety of ways, through a think tank or media platform, and that the party is its bridge into society’s primary power domain, parliament.

Their mission is not restricted to Denmark, and on its website, Alternativet declares itself to be “an international political party for those who want to work for a sustainable, democratic, socially just and entrepreneurial world.” The problems affecting Denmark are not unique, and global problems need global solutions.

“We are in the midst of a huge crisis. On the surface society seems to be doing all right, but with climate change and increasing pressure on our resources, we are undoubtedly experiencing a global systemic crisis. The old system has managed to protect itself so far, but the new system is starting to emerge and is struggling like hell to gain acceptance.”