Thursday, August 11, 2011


Loved the Wharf
...And the Mermaid!
We were immediately struck by Copenhagen's easy, welcoming atmosphere. Everyone spoke English, including the taxi drivers, who, no matter what you told them, they always knew where they were going. All had GPS, all took credit cards, all gave receipts without asking. The hotel was another pleasant surprise, the most luxurious, restful, best value place we stayed in Europe. When we got in late and asked about a place for dinner, the front desk people pointed across the street to a tiny restaurant, where they said we could get a carry-out. We arrived at the restaurant to find an amazing staff willing to accomodate our needs, a delightful ambiance, and perhaps the best pizza and chicken caesar salad we've ever tasted. It came to be our default restaurant in Copenhagen. This is not to say that we weren't blown away by the eateries at the wharf! We behaved most like tourists in Copenhagen, even taking a "hop on, hop off" bus tour, when we got caught in a rain storm! We loved seeing the Little Mermaid and other sights around the city.

Denmark's MindLab

Our Copenhagen interview was with Kit Lykketoft of Denmark's MindLab, which is a collaboration of three government ministries, Economic and Business Affairs, Taxation, and Employment. Their mission is "to involve citizens and businesses in developing public solutions." What their mission statement forgot to say is that they are all about research and innovation. The lab looks more like a combination of Silicon Valley, a space ship, and an artist's loft. Their solutions, perhaps because of the lengths they go to involve as many stakeholders as possible, seem to be remarkably unique and innovation. Their challenges, as you might expect, include engaging typically bureaucratic government employees and citizens, who find it hard to believe that the government cares about what they think.

It seems appropriate that our departure to home be from Copenhagen, a city that prides itself and is a most international city. We're sure that we would visit again in a heartbeat!

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