15. March 2024

«I am inspired by others who are passionate about what they do and what they believe in»

The new general manager of Kavli Trust, Ingrid Paasche, looks forward to working for good causes alongside others who are passionate about what they do and what they believe in.

She formally assumed her new position 1 February, but has been at Kavli Trust since before Christmas. By now, Ingrid Paasche is pretty well acquainted with her new workplace.

Projects on the front line

In addition to day±±-to-day operations, she spends much of her time learning about the projects Kavli Trust supports.

“The unique thing about Kavli Trust is that we own the Kavli Group and distribute all its profits to good causes,” she says.

“But it’s our project partners – those who define the objectives and projects that we support – who are on the front line and who ultimately ensure that Kavli Group profits help create positive ripple effects in people’s lives and in society,” she adds.

“They are linchpins, seeing to it that we at Kavli Trust can fulfil our public service mandate and ensure that our funds are put to good use and create ripple effects in society, as our founders Olav Kavli and Knut Kavli wished.”

Close, active follow-up characterises the Kavli Trust approach to working with the projects the foundation supports.

“Kavli Trust is known to be a committed partner, one that can act as the project’s sounding board or offer advice along the way. We will continue doing that,” she says.

COLLABORATING PARTNERS: Left to right Programme Manager at Reach for Change, Gayatri CEO of Reach for Change, Sofia Breitholtz, Ingrid Paasche and Grant Manager for Kavli Trust, Guro Hjetland Sundsby in Stockholm, October 2023. Photo: Reach for Change

Continue, develop and strengthen

Kavli Trust finds projects mainly through targeted outreach from the administration. The only open call for project funding goes through the Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research.

“I’m proud of the great work Kavli Trust already does to identify projects that contribute optimally within our priority areas using the funds we are able to distribute at any given time,” says Ingrid, then declares:

“We will continue as before, but also strive purposefully to develop and strengthen this work.”

Foundations can and must contribute

She came to Kavli Trust after working a total of 13 years in banking (with Sparebanken Vest) and real estate (with Eiendomsmegler Vest). There she worked with strategic issues related to business management in general, with a focus on brand management and public service activities.

She is well aware that Kavli Trust and other foundations both can and must contribute substantially to efforts to resolve the societal challenges of our time.

“The welfare state will always have ‘gaps’ that it is unable to fill. When facing the major societal challenges of our time, we must rely on all the forces of good contributing what they can, both within the public and private sectors and volunteer organisations. We need to work harder and cooperate even better between various sectors and disciplines to make the best possible use of individual players’ resources and advantages”, she says, and gives an example:

“At Kavli Trust we can be flexible and help projects get out of the starting blocks – projects that haven’t previously received support from elsewhere. We have given many projects the opportunity they needed to get established and secure long-term financing. In a way, we’ve been a birthing coach and a catalyst for something with staying power, and it’s fantastic to see how much several of these projects have achieved today. We will continue doing this, and work systematically to get even better at it,” says Ingrid.

Resolving challenges together

Like many others, the new leader of Kavli Trust worries about current developments in a troubled world where war and macroeconomic trends have affected people’s everyday lives and society as a whole.

“These worries are also shared by people in the countries where Kavli Trust is present, and many feel direct effects in the form of a more demanding everyday life. It is highly rewarding to be able to work with so many useful projects and the people who run them with the goal of helping bring about a change for the better,” she says.

“We are still faced with major societal challenges, shared challenges that we must handle through teamwork, with everyone doing what they can. Together, we are at our best. I look forward to leading the Kavli Trust’s efforts to address these challenges and find good solutions alongside our partners.”

TREATMENT FOR OCD: Ingrid with professor and psychologist Bjarne Hansen, who developed Bergen 4 Day Treatment for OCD (B4DT). Kavli Trust has allocated NOK 35 million to the international expansion of B4DT, led by Hansen and his team from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen. Photo: Hanne Eide Andersen/Kavli Trust

Seven questions and answers

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Bergen, apart from one year in the United States as a 16-year-old. I’ve worked in both Oslo and Bergen, but now I’m settled with my family in Bergen.

Why do you want to work with Kavli Trust?

In today’s world, it is essential for us to work together and find ways to address the biggest societal challenges of our time. We need to kindle hope and we need people with good solutions, good ideas about what steps we can take together to make society better. I can contribute to that through Kavli Trust. We have a unique opportunity to make a difference.

How has it been so far?

So far it’s been incredibly exciting. There are so many wonderful people at Kavli Trust and the companies in the Kavli Group. Not least, it’s been exciting getting acquainted with existing and potential new project partners. The thing they have in common is that they have thoughts and ideas about how we can make society a little better than it is today.

What is your relationship with spreadable cheese?

Spreadable cheese has always had a place in my fridge. It probably gets used even more now that I have children and can see how much they like it. Of course, being general manager of the foundation that owns Kavli has given my relationship an extra dimension. Kavli spreadable cheese turns 100 this year, and we will obviously celebrate that together with the whole Kavli Group. Since Kavli Trust assumed ownership in 1962, Kavli spreadable cheese has been one of the major sources of profit and the 1.3 billion Norwegian kroner we have been able to distribute to worthy causes.

What are you like at work?

I always try to view issues holistically, seek out possibilities and look ahead. What I enjoy most is building and creating together with energetic people who feel passionate about what they do.

What do you do in your free time?

My family is really important to me and they’re my top priority when I’m not at work. Counting “mine, yours and ours”, we’re a flock of seven, including children aged 6-17, four of whom are teenagers. That makes for a pleasant temperature and lots of fun at home! I’m an extrovert, but I also need time on my own, and I think best with my trainers on. I love the natural environment of Western Norway and take every opportunity to be outdoors.

What inspires you?

I’m a people person. I find inspiration in working with energetic people who are passionate about what they do and believe in. I enjoy gathering input and advice from various quarters. Being creative, learning from others and finding solutions across disciplines gives me energy. People who dare to take a stand and not always go with the flow also inspire me. It’s also highly motivating to see concrete results of the work done by Kavli Trust, the Kavli Group, or our partners.

General manager Ingrid Paasche at the head office of Kavli Trust in Bergen in Norway. Photo: Martin Nygaard/Kavli