Digital Strategist

I’m going traveling again!

September 13, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

WUHA! Just got a ticket for my next big journey – this time I’m going by bike and the destination is not very far – it’s actually just 5 kilometres from where I live – more specific in Valby! But the place where I’m going to hang out is beyond what any travel agency can offer – more or less. The thing is that, Lundbeck has invited me onboard on their digital team, and I’m joining forces with them as a Digital Interaction Business Partner – (gotta love long titles) but it’s actually just another word for hey-let’s-make- a-revolution-in the-pharma-industry-and-let-the-disruption-begin.

In other words, I fell very privileged that Lundbeck has offered me this great opportunity and I simply can’t wait to spend time with inspiring and highly skilled people.

Let’s get this thing fired up and take it somewhere far

#stinesadventure #part2

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This picture was taken in Panama at Bocas Del Toro in June this year! Perhaps it was a sign back then!

Quick, quicker, quickest!

August 21, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

I attended #komfosummit and there was one little tiny thing that inspired me. This man mentioned that little thing.

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David Schneider had a kick ass keynote about twitter – very entertaining! He showcased tons of great tweets and campaigns and all they had in common was timing, timing and humour. However he said one very interesting thing that I want to elaborate a little further on. He mentioned a WhatsApp group he had with a client where they quickly could get things approved and then move ahead! Very interesting actually!

This little thing made me think that we as consultants navigating in the digital world, we need to challenge our clients on being agile and quick – not within-office-hours-quick but quicker! Because we need to help them stay relevant, and relevance means being out there when things are going down – every second and every minute. Especially when it comes to doing things online – there’s not really anything new here and within the field of crisis communication these methods are already default. However I just realised that we need to adopt this speed into our day to day digital strategy! I have never made a WhatsApp group with a client in order for them to respond within seconds, but I would definitely consider it, because we need to move even faster also on a business as usual kind of day!

Thanks for the inspiration – follow Mr. Schneider on twitter @davidschneider
Check out the Komfo Social Summit . I’m looking forward to see what they’ll present next year. Rock on!

The Magical Dessert in Bolivia

August 14, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

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For 3 days you only drive on dirt roads, you only see few locals but a whole bunch of other tourists, you don’t shower for 3 days, but Salar de Uyuni is indeed a superb nature experience. Don’t miss it for anything in the world if you are in the ‘area’.

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The dessert and the salt flats in Bolivia are amazing pieces of nature! It’s actually the biggest in the world.  And you cannot really comprehend what’s going on out there before you put your own feet on the crunching salt surface.

I’ve spend 4 days there driving around and at all times the sky was so incredible blue, and at night the stars shined so bright, and the landscape had 100′s of different colors of which changed all the time. I just sat in the car and I was spellbound the whole time. I of course took a hell lot of pictures, just because the light, reflections, the scenery and everything was just pure eye candy to my camera.

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Despite the other tourists you get a feeling of being very, very far away from any civilization, and it is only you, the nature and the driver! And you just have to trust that they know what they are doing!

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Here are some quick tips for when booking a trip to Salar de Uyuni: Ask for as many details about the itinerary as you can and the more they can tell the more reliable they are. Meet the driver and check his English skills, inspect the car, talk to the crew. Bring music for the car, warm clothes and a headlamp and expect to get either carsick or fell dizzy due to the altitudes.

Check out all my beautiful pictures from the trip to Salar de Uyuni.

 

 

Dos and Don’ts in Latin America

August 4, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

Along my travels I collected some dos and don’ts and just wanted to share them, because it’s basically a wrap up of what I’ve learned the last seven months!

DOS

Go to Antarctica – also if it kills your budget. Just do it.
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Sleep on the beach – the stars are incredible and the breeze ensures a good night’s sleep.
sleep on the beach

 

Jump on random busses – in every major city you will always end up somewhere sweet.
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Go for a meal where the locals eat – you can always go somewhere else afterwards if you didn’t liked it.
eat local

 

Read some of Pablo Neruda’s poems – and fall in love with Chile.
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Learn to crack your own coconuts – the satisfaction of drinking and eating such is just epic.
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Go to San Pedro Prison in La Paz, Bolivia – wait outside until a batch of cocaine is thrown out from the roof, and then read ‘Marching Powder’ by Rust Young.
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Wait at the juice stand and take a couple of sips – they are most likely going to top it up for you.
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DON’TS

Don’t eat seafood on Mondays – fishermen are always off on Sundays.
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Please don’t plan to much – least expected things are always the most amazing ones.
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Just don’t relay too much on Lonely Planet – take recommendations from fellow travelers. They know what they’re talking about.
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Don’t take Spanish classes in Buenos Aires – the dialect is too wired and the rest of Latin American won’t understand you.
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Don’t go to Easter Island without an Easter bunny made of chocolate, it makes sense when you get there. Trust me.
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Gadgets on the go

July 1, 2014   -   1 comment   -  

Of course, my backpack was filled with gadgets and other electronics! Here are a few lines about the gadgets and apps that I’ve been most excited about for the last seven months around the world.

20140804-104820.jpgCanon PowerShot G15
A good camera is undoubtedly a must and when traveling alone it’s your best witness of all the amazing and sometimes syrealistiske things you’re going to experience. My Canon compact camera has been a faithful wingman, which I believe takes really sharp images even when the sun is not shining or when it has already gone to bed a long time ago! Specs can be googled. See some of the photos that I’ve taken.

Samsung Galaxy S4
When I got this smartphone in my hand more than half a year ago, I instantly liked it. As a travel phone, it has been a pleasure! Simply because the S4 snaps really good pictures, maintains super good connection to wifi and has a long battery life – 3 critical things when you have appointed yourself to be a professional backpacker!

Of course there are also things that are not a true fiesta – such as all sorts of unnecessary features as air view, eye-scroll and smart-break, it drove me insane and I quickly disabled these features. Simplicity is a traveler’s virtue!

Kindle Paperwhite
Hooray for e-readers! If you are going on vacation and do not already own such thing, I think that you really just need to get one clicked into your shopping cart. It only weighs 222 grams, and you can easily shuffle between several books (for me, that is a very important feature). I’m also a big fan of the extra features you get, such as dictionary and the ability to highlighting interesting sections that you can return to later – this feature I especially used in the Lonely Planet of South America, as it ‘counts of’ more than 700 pages!

Double jack
Double fun. This is clearly the best backpacker trick for watching movies and listening to music together with someone. It’s a great success every time it’s pulled out of the bag – just excellent that you can plug-in two headsets into one device.

Power Bank
Extra power for my gadgets is undoubtedly the reason why I have survived this trip without permanent injury and not felt too isolated from the outside world. It has really been handy when you arrive in a new country and just didn’t buy an adapter or when the bus trip takes 25 hours instead of 10! There are innumerable variants and models on the market – size and performance was most important to me.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
No adventure without a tablet! Most travelers I have met along the way, and who have traveled for a long time all had a laptop, but for me a tablet was just fine! I have primarily used it to write on, editing photos and watching movies! What more do you as a traveler need?! It is clear that it does not completely replace a computer in an everyday and work purpose, but for me, the practical size/weight combined with my limited needs – was perfect.

Apps!
Gadgets are not very useful without apps. I tested an incredible variety and numbers of apps the last 7 months, and some more entertaining and useful than others. The conclusion is that, apps that have offline functionalities are much more useful because you just never know when the next WiFi spot shows up.

Travel App Box
Despite the less flattering design, I have actually used this app a lot, and particularly because of its offline maps, but also fun features such as altimeter for hiking in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia (highest point so far 5230 meters), games that elegantly has been used on festive and alcohol rich occasions.

Duolingo
Before I left Copenhagen in late December last year, I had an ambition to learn Spanish, I can also reveal now that it is not the case. But I’ve picked up some words and phrases along the way, and Duolingo has also done its best to ensure that I have come more or less directly from A to B, got a place to sleep and a cold beer with my meal.

Instagram
No trip without Instagram – but I’ve actually used it a lot to do research on hostels, destinations and activities. Through various # I managed to connect with instagrammers who have already visited the same places and through that plan my next destination.

I can also mention apps like WhatsApp, Flickr, Camera+, Afterlight, Moves, Airbnb, Couchsurfing, EverPlaces, Google Translate, Foursquare, SnapChat, TripAdvisor, wifi finder, and Pocket.

*S4 and Tab 3 was a courtesy of Samsung Denmark.

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Ice swimmer madness in Antarctica!

March 20, 2014   -   1 comment   -  


“To set world records, you got to push boundaries. And I think I pushed very very close to the edge this time.” Ryan Stramrood.

Along on my trip to Antarctica I met six crazy and very inspiring South Africans that had one goal! To swim a mile (1,6 km) in The freezing Antarctic Ocean only wearing freaking Speedos!

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My first reaction was purely – WHY? why would some one expose oneself to that. For normal human beings staying in extrem cold water around 1 degree Celsius can simply cause hypothermia and you and I would probably die pretty quickly!

However Ram, Andrew, Kieron, Ryan, Toks and Gavin, were planning to swim for at least 20-35 minutes! Yaiks!
But off they jumped from the ship only wearing Speedos, goggles and a swim cap! The expedition team followed and coached them in both zodiacs and sea kayaks! The madness was on!

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This is probably the most reckless thing I’ve seen for a very long time and while standing on the bridge following them from the ship I suddenly couldn’t stand observing this madness! However something kept me there and while they were returning towards the ship I could see that one could hardly swim anymore, he only used one arm the other arm was numb, another one didn’t use his legs they were just totally pale and were hanging after him as dead weight, a third one had lost his orientation, another one was pulled out of the ice cold water more dead than alive!

Ryan says: “our prime mission was to set a new world record for the first swim ever south of the Antarctic Circle. Due to the weather we missed this goal, but the 3 of us succeed in completing the first official ice mile that far south.”

Ryan swam for 32 minutes and completed the mile, the water temperature was -1C and as far as they know this is the longest distance EVER in water that cold!

After that comes the state of recovery! To that Ryan notes:

“Recovery facilities are not what we hoped they would be. There is no sauna, no medical equipment beyond the very basic, the expedition doctor is not well-versed in hypothermic recoveries, no emergency evacuations possible, no real way to heat the cabins, no hot water bottles, thermals etc.”

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Despite the conditions they all recovered very well! Here you can read Ryan’s own blog diary from the whole trip.

If you want to look into what these Ice Swimmers are up to, then take a look at their Facebook Page and give them som respect for simply challenging the performances of both body and mind and believing in doing the impossible!
Rock on guys!

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All photos are taken by photographer David Merron.

Social Media in Argentina

February 22, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

- Is apparently something you buy!

In my urge to find a way to get to Antarctica I talked to many different tour agencies, and one of them asked if I could help them looking at their digital presence and since I´m just hanging around here waiting for my ship to leave on Sunday I couldn´t think of a better way to spend my time.

To my surprise he showed me how he had been running blackhat SEO, bought likes, creating fake reviews ect… but he talked about it in a very natural way, and ensured me that this was totally normal around here!!

So for the first time I really didn’t know how to advice about a digital presence, but I learned a little about SoMe in Argentina! It’s simply the wild west! Well Argentina is in generel suffering from coruption and fraud and it looks like it also had its influence on social media.

But hey – the office had a nice view.

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10 reasons for why you should go to Sri Lanka

February 10, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

If you are starting to think about where to head next on your travels, I have a great tip for you – choose Sri Lanka.

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1 Go Surf 
If you’re in Sri Lanka during the summer (May-September), Arugam Bay is the place to be. During winter the best waves can be found at Mirissa, Midigama, and Hikkaduwa on the south and southwestern coasts. But no matter what season you come, there´s always a place to surf.

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2 Amazing Beaches 
Surfing comes with beautiful beaches – I think my pictures say it all.   

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3 Most Scenic Train Route in the World There are several train routes in Sri Lanka but the one that runs from Nanu Oya to Ella reveals the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen from a train carriage. The hills and tea plantations are amazing – if possible and if you dare, try to sit in the open door, it’s an experience for life!

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4 Hiking
There are several great opportunities here, most famously at World’s End, Adams Peak and Sigiriya. Above is the amazing view that awaited us after a 10 kilometre hike up in the hills at World’s End.

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5 Beautiful Tea Plantations
Up in the highlands there are tea fields as far as the eye can see. Visit these beautiful areas and try as many delicious cups of Ceylon tea as you like!

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6 People are Friendly  
The tuktuk drivers will always try to get the most out of you – that`s the same everywhere in the world. But I’ve now spent more than 5 weeks in Sri Lanka and I really think that the Sri Lankan people are genuinely friendly and helpful. I haven’t yet met anyone who failed to keep a promise.

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7 SL Suits Everyone’s Budget
Since tourism is still in its middle stage, very cheap hotels, activities and restaurants can be found. On the other hand, the resorts and five star hotels have also found their way to this island, and it simply allows everyone to enjoy this great country.

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8 Interesting Local food  
The Sri Lankan food culture varies from region to region but is deservedly well-known for its tastiness and generosity. Rice and curry is the staple of the land, but with the addition of sambals, dhal, roti, thosa, idly and many more to the table, meals are always feast-like. Those able to handle the heat should head to the spicy north, where the cuisine is more similar to the southern states of India.

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9 Wildlife  
Sri Lanka offers elephants, leopards, turtles, crocodiles and of course, the biggest mammal on the planet in its coastal waters. The east has numerous national parks offering Africa-style safaris.

10 Distance 
The absolutely best thing is that all these things can be done within a relatively short distance and time. And this is probably the main reason for you to pack your bags and book a flight to Colombo now!

See more from my trips to Sri Lanka here 

Meet These Great People Part II

January 12, 2014   -   1 comment   -  

This is part of a serie of small portraits of students I’ve taught at Jaffna University. You can see the previous portraits here.

J. M. Apirami, 23 years old:
This is my second work from my series of “Less Freedom”. I sometimes think that this society takes away my freedom. I have done this painting with oil on canvas, 90×75.
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S. Nirojan, 24 years old:
Silkscreen print. It is called “Hardwork”.
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Krishnapriya. T, 24 years old:
I’m Priya, I study at the University of Jaffna, I’m in my final year. I would like to become a good artist. I’m inspired by my aunties and people from my village, which is seen in through the lines of my paintings. The latest serie tells about my childhood, life and erarly memories. My colours tells about my feelings and my mood.

Hanusha S., 25 years old: My style is abstract, and I use the colours to express my inner feelings.
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Samvarthini G. 24 years old: I’m studying at Art and Design, and I dream of becoming a good art teacher because of the simple and down to earth way of our lufe. My reason for choosing teaching as my life profession is because I’m very fond of children. I can give them knowledge about different things and I can help the little ones in drawing and painting. By doing this I will give my country better human beings for tomorrow and they will be the assets of our country.

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M. Vijitharan, 28 years old: The latest war in Sri Lanka casued a lot of pain, we didn’t know what the future would bring so the war finished at “Mullivaikkal”. These stories impressed me because I was really affected by this war. My silk screen work is called “Farewell of End”
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I have uploadet some more pics on my Flickr profile.

Meet These Great People

January 10, 2014   -   1 comment   -  

For 3 days I have been teaching students at the Department of Fine Arts in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Even though they weren’t super fluent in English we managed to cover a lot of things within the field of art and social media. And I was very surprised how much they actually use these platforms in their daily lives. Despite the fact that many at this region doesn’t even have acces to electricity and clean water.

I asked the students to show me some of their great art work and write a small text about themselves, I have tried to keep it as they wrote it, however I have made some small corrections and adjustments.

I’m pleased to introduce you to these very skilled and hard working students.
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S. Puranthara, 24 years old:
I am a following undergraduate at Jaffna University. Part time I’m working as a security guard at a private company so I can manage my studies. I bought a motorbike from my salary. My art work is about my job and my dreams. My style is modern.

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Oil on canvas. 75×90 cm.

Tharsika Kovintharajah, 24 years old:
My style is abstract and I’m inspired by cubism.

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Pushpakanthan, 24 years old:
I’m Pushpakanth from Batticaloa. (Eastern province of Sri Lanka) I make paintings, drawings, photoshop and installations. I use many media. My work expresses about my inner feelings. I have been painting since my childhood. When I was a child an unknown people killed my father, around 1993 in Sri Lanka during the violence period! My father died and lot of tamil people died. My father was a famer and civilian. When my farther died, it was a dark time, so my works also saying about violence, sad, death, and some happyness. “Inner lamp” ls my painting, acrylic on canvas. This lamp is a symbol of a heart. The man’s shirt hides some lamps. Then the lamps have no light. Like dark. I put lamp in near the heart.
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I’ve done a painting in oil before I made this work. That is called “the scream”. I think this is a second series of scream, but inner lamps are silent with feelings. Silent is not silent. 

M.A.Najla, 25 years old:
Style Art work:  Realism
Studing  at university of Jaffna.  Following the course Art&Deisgn. I like realism and miniature paintings. For me it is on of the media I can use to tell   about  my  feelings. So I painted   realism and miniature paintings. I always use great colours.
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N. Savesan, 24 years old:
This painting is from my latest collection, the title is “Past”. When I was 6 years old a helicopter flew over my home and and the whole scenery impressed me a lot. I use these impressions and feelings in my art.
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More portraits will be posted here

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