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Aslak de Silva

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About Aslak

CEO, Nordic Business Forum

  • CEO at Nordic Business Forum, which hosts business and leadership conferences across Scandanavia
  • Self-defence practioner and coach, and founder of the first Han Moo Do Society in Norway
  • Personal mission is to offer exceptional business events to individuals from across the world
  • Determined to help develop a new generation of world-class leaders and thinkers
If you could invite 1 person to a dinner party – who would it be and why?
There are many people I would like to have a dinner with. One person for sure is Jack Ma. I value his perspective in doing business and building a giant company with good values. At the same time, he has humor and would very likely be a fun person to have dinner with. I could learn a lot from him and get many laughs.
What motivates you? Makes you happy?
I have a thirst and drive for constant development. I am happy when the world becomes a better place for my kids. When people are happy and they show it.
What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?
Have more courage to push yourself to try something that you might be scared of. Not to worry about the outcome, but to worry about not trying.
If you could make 1 global change – what would it be?
I would hope we would all value each others as human beings. We should treat each other the same way, regardless of background, looks, age or anything else. So equality among all of us would be the thing for me.
What are your Top 3 achievements?
This is a hard one. I feel that when I have helped other people to succeed, that I have achieved the most. In martial arts, we managed to have a very successful club and won almost all the medals in one major tournament, that was a huge thing for me.

The second one has to be, when my sales team beat all the odds and managed to grow sales results, when every other team did not (during recession).

I have been lucky in taking part in some successful projects of opening up a new market. Those feel good, when you start from scratch and then in the end see the team succeed.

What does sustainability mean for you?
Sustainability is about making decisions that you know are correct ones. When you ask your conscious if this makes the future better or worse, you already know the answer. So making decisions that make future better for us all are sustainable in my opinion.
What was the most important event/influence that changed your perspective?
I think I was about 15 years old, when I had a chat with a Buddhist monk. He explained to me that he is not always feeling happy and life is sometimes very hard. Then he questions his motives to be a monk and considers the life to be easier for many others. But in the end, when he finds his peace in mediation and work he does, he knows his has done the right thing. To me the biggest lesson was that as long as you are true to yourself and can face your image in a mirror without feeling ashamed of yourself, you are on the right track. Try to be the best of yourself at all times, but understand that sometimes you would want to take the easy way out. In the end, a lot of things are under your control, but most of all, you yourself are always under your control.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I first build a career in martial arts and dedicated my life to that. Then after some injuries, I have stopped the active training, but using and developing a lot of the same principles still.

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