David from Team SUI 4 catches up with Lanlan Jin, the Northeastern Chinese-born who just made radical changes around what she’ll be doing in Switzerland… Initially here to do a masters in health science she realized a lot of the systems lacked innovation and were built on rigid mindsets. We had a chat about what she was doing before joining the school, what the future needs more of and her learnings at the first edition of KaosDays in Bern.
Who are you and what defines you?
I guess I’m in the constant process of figuring this one out. At the present, the things that define me are the cultures I’ve been immersed in (Chinese, American, Japanese) as well as my passions (arts, social equality, thinking). I’m always open to change while preserving my values of being a compassionate and kind human being.
Tell us a little about your history; where you grew up and what were some memorable moments.
Long Story short: China -to- USA -to- Japan
I was born in the Ice City of Harbin, in Northeastern China. When I was 11 I moved to California, and went to many different schools in different parts of the USA. My favorite part of high school was when I had the opportunity to ride and take care of a horse for one year. After finishing a BA in Biology in Portland Oregon, I decided it was time to get away from Academia and the USA for that matter. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program allowed me 2 years of financial freedom travelling and some of the most meaningful working as well as personal experiences of my life, especially making me realize the importance of community. While not without challenges & pains, I consider time on JET to be the “best times” of my life so far.
How did you hear about The KaosPilots school? How was that introduction?
In August of this year I arrived in Switzerland to do a Master’s in health science. This seemed logical after I had been traveling around a lot & seeing health as a common problem in various parts of the world. However the program turned out to be much more rigid and less innovative than it was advertised. The more I learned the more I realized that I didn’t want to contribute to this “system” the way it was already built. I was spending some miserable days wondering if I should continue or not when I met Asanda from Team SUI3 at Turnhalle. We had an awesome conversation. After meeting other awesome people at KaosPilot to learn more about this education, the adventure now begins.
What were you doing before joining Team4?
Trying to survive boring 10hr/day lectures.
What were your first impressions of Switzerland?
My first visit here was a year ago when I did some WWOOFing. First impressions were: beautiful nature + architecture, serious-faced people and cows.
The future needs more…
smart people who are happy to be human.
What were some highlights for you after participating in the Creative Project Design: KaosDays? What made it a new experience for you?
The sense of inspiration and community was in the air – I was surprised at the good ideas that people could come up with given the short time frame. Also the freedom to throw interesting ideas whether they were “right” or not was very new and liberating.
What does ‘leadership’ mean to you?
Leadership to me means being aware of the various paths to a solution yet being confident in going on a path that’s right for the team & circumstance.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Being happy :).
What have you been dreaming about?
Starting several projects here in Bern! Ideas are being incubated.