We welcome Anna Lind Bengtsson, our new project manager, who took up the position in the middle of the preparations for this year’s Kastelholm talks. With a degree in economics and work experience in communication and project management, she will, among other things, develop and create more visibility for the Peace Institute’s various projects and the Peace Fund.
To the far left in the corridor leading from our large meeting room, Anna Lind Bengtsson is sitting in front of her desk trying to organise all the logins and new information. She started working at the Peace Institute in the beginning of the year and was immediately thrown into the preparations of this year’s Kastelholm talks and everything that needed to be done before, during and after it. On one wall hangs a painting of a white peace dove, which Anna painted herself. She brought it and the carpets and curtains from home to make the room more cosy. The room now gives a sense of cosy calm and order.
Anna comes most recently from the Nordic Institute on Åland, Nipå, where she worked as communications manager, project manager and deputy director.
– “I have a good of experience from both large and small companies. At Nipå I had colleagues all over the Nordic region and the experience of Nordic co-operation is something I hope to bring with me here.
Anna’s job description states, among other things, that she will act as project manager for Kastelholm and develop and create more visibility for the Peace Fund, an important fund that exists to support the Peace Institute’s activities. Anna also has an administrative financial role and will look at different types of financial solutions for the Peace Institute’s projects.
– “It feels very exciting and at the same time very nice and honourable,” says Anna, smiling happily as she continues to click through all the different folders on the computer’s file server.
The young people’s perspective
Anna grew up in Stockholm and is, as she describes it, “imported goods” to Åland.
– I met a nice Ålander at Kastrup airport in Denmark and that’s how it is.
She shrugs her shoulders and looks quirky.
She has now lived in Åland for almost 20 years and for many years she has also considered herself an Ålander.
But before she met her husband, she didn’t know much about Åland.
– ‘For example, I knew absolutely nothing about Åland’s special status and demilitarisation.
However, she has always been concerned about injustice in the world. Even as a child, she wrote a book about peace. For various reasons, it made its way into the TV studio, and in the 1980s Anna appeared on the TV programme Kafé 18, broadcast from Stockholm with Agneta Bolme Börjefors, talking about her thoughts on peace. She also took part in the “Build a bridge for peace” demonstration with her father and ended up in the picture – a photograph that was then printed in large format and also became the front cover of a book.
– “It’s a funny anecdote to tell now that I’m going to work on peace issues,” says Anna, smiling warmly.
When it comes to peace issues today, it is the perspective of young people that engages her most. Then her voice becomes more serious.
– ‘It is their future we are talking about. We need to see together – young and old – the importance of giving peace dialogues a place, to get different nuances and perspectives on conflicts and security. I am convinced that knowledge and dialogue are the way forward for a more peaceful world.
– I believe in the importance of peaceful dialogue and look forward to working on these topics and issues here at the Peace Institute with this fantastic and knowledgeable team. What power and enthusiasm there is here!
Liz Lindvall, information officer at the Åland Islands Peace Institute