Uffe Elbæk

Member of Parliament, Denmark

Uffe Elbæk is a Danish social worker, author, entrepreneur, politician and leader of
the political party The Alternative. From October 2011 to December 2012 he served
as the Danish Minister of Culture.

 

At the outset of his professional career Elbæk worked as a journalist and columnist for
various Danish newspapers. In 1982 he founded an open platform for cultural and
social entrepreneurship Frontløberne (The Frontrunners), leading it till 1991. In 1991
Elbæk established The KaosPilots (Chaos Pilots) - an alternative business school
located in Aarhus, Denmark. With its programmes mainly focusing on such areas as
leadership, business design, process and project design, Elbæk worked as the business
school’s Principal till 2006. The KaosPilots inspired creation of other international
schools in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In 2001 Elbæk
received a Danish order of chivalry - Order of the Dannebrog.
From 2007 to 2009 Elbæk was the Director of World Outgames – a sporting and
cultural event organised by the LGBT community. In 2010 he founded a consulting
company Change the Game, focusing mainly on leadership training skills, social
innovation and political campaigning.


Elbæk entered the political scene in 2011, winning a seat in Folketinget (the Danish
Parliament) general election as a member of Radikale Venstre (Danish Social Liberal
Party). He was appointed Minister of Culture in the newly formed Danish
government. Elbæk resigned from the position in December 2012, continuing his
work as a parliamentarian. In September 2013 he left the Social Liberal Party.
In November 2013 creation of a new Green Party The Alternative was officially
announced, with Elbæk and Josephine Fock - two former members of the Social
Liberal Party - as its co-founders. The party has enjoyed growing support in Danish
society, gathering 4.8% of the votes and achieving 9 seats in the Parliament in the
2015 general election.


The Alternative presents an extraordinary agenda created by more than 700 citizens
via so called “political laboratories”. It made history as the first party having 100%
crowd-sourced political programme. With courage, generosity, transparency,
humility, humour and empathy presented as its main values, The Alternative aims to
create a new political culture of openness, honesty and citizen engagement.
Combating climate change and the rising inequality serve as the main objectives
whilst looking for alternative practices to ensure genuine sustainability. The
Alternative seeks a sustainable transition environmentally, socially and economically.
Following Elbæk’s example, on March 1st, 2017 a new political platform The
Alternative UK was launched in the United Kingdom. However, it does not yet
position itself as a political party. Sister initiatives also exist in Norway, Sweden and
Nepal.