Karl-Erik Edris – a personal presentation

I am the person called Karl-Erik Edris. And the services which Edris Idé AB offers derive of course from my own knowledge and life-experience (I was born in 1946).

What then is the most important thing that I can say about myself? I could of course list my academic merits. I have studied Mathematics, Statistics, Psychology, Comparative Religion, Political Economy and Sociology at Lund and Stockholm Universities and undertaken doctoral studies in Political Science.

Or I could mention my authorship. I have in fact written four books of my own (Vision eller vanmakt, I elfte timmen, The Enlightened Executive and Oanade möjligheter), and more are on their way. Moreover, I have contributed to the anthologies Sveas väg (ed. Stig Johansson, Kommentus Förlag AB, 1992), which deals with communal politics, and David Petander: en svensk Franciskus (ed. Nils Tägt, Guteböcker AB, 1996). I could also take up in this connection my quite considerable translation work.

Or I could name the various employers, in addition to myself, which I have had over the years. And then not least Swedish Rail which has been kind enough to contribute to my upkeep for many years by providing the post of ticket collector at the local station of Trångsund. A post that has now ceased, but when I held it I used to call it an excellent if hidden cultural stipend for an author.

But however enlightening that information like this might be thought to be it does not reach through to the person behind.

I shall therefore instead say that what is most characteristic about me is my interest, awakened even in my earliest years, for existential questions, that is to say, questions about life, death and the ultimate meaning of our own existence and the world in which we find ourselves as conscious beings. And this interest has brought it about that a persistent theme has been and is: How to live so as to die fulfilled?

And here I do not mean that I seek only for an answer to the question of how a truly meaningful life in the private sense should be fashioned, but I have also tried to penetrate those questions which concern how we can create a world which we can leave with pride as a legacy to coming generations.

These are big questions always seeking an answer, and no answer is valid for all time. Nor can I of course say that I have found the definitive answer. But I can without shaking in my boots say that I have gone deeper into these questions than most.

This means in its turn that there is deep dimension in my way of approaching questions about wise leadership in our times. A deep dimension that has to do with the longing in all of us not only to succeed in what we have planned to do, but also to achieve something which will fill us with the rich and special joy that belongs to doing things truly worth striving for. And this in the sense of good in the long run, not just for ourselves but above all for others and thereby for the world.

My work in the development of leadership is based in other words on the insight that few things are so deeply enriching for the human being as leadership guided by goodwill.