RP Perspective: Tonje Lavik
This autumn's Parliamentary election in Norway has led to major changes in the political landscape. After eight years, the country will have a new prime minister and new parties will enter Government. The political direction for the next four years will be chiselled out, and expectations for change remain high. In addition to a new Government, more than one-third of the 169 Members of Parliament have been replaced.
Rud Pedersen Norway has, as Norwegian politics stand at a crossroad, decided to strengthen its political competence by employing Tonje Lavik, former health care and communication advisor for the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet).
Lavik became involved in party politics early in life, where she quickly climbed the ranks of the Progress Party.
"Ever since I was young, I have been interested in how our society works and how to improve it. I quickly realized that it is a long way from wanting to change something, to creating real change. This wish for change has motivated me, and it was this desire that made the 19-year-old me, in the first election I was eligible to vote in, accept the nomination as the party's candidate for mayor in my home municipality.”
At the age of 20, Tonje moved into national politics by first becoming an advisor and subsequently advancing to Chief of Staff of the Progress Party's Youth. The new arena made her even more fascinated, and she quickly had to adapt and understand the inner processes of political life.
"The experiences I gained in the first few years has deeply shaped who I am and how I look upon politics today.”
After a few years, Lavik went on to join the Progress Party's Parliamentary group as their communication and health care advisor.
What did you experience working as a political advisor on health issues in Parliament?
"As a political advisor on health issues, I had the opportunity to work with many important issues that have shaped and changed both health politics and health care services. These are issues that in turn also have impacted the lives of many individuals. Some of the cases I later learned meant more for the people involved than I could ever have imagined from the start. One of the most interesting and challenging cases was the process that led to the important changes in Biotechnology Law. Life inside the Parliament is something very special and having been involved in the processes of a party that was both in position and opposition is an invaluable experience."
What were you looking for when you decided to step out of national politics?
"The combination of having been a youth politician, a part of the inner political life in Parliament and a Bachelor’s in communication, has defined much of the person I am today and where I want to be. When I decided to change fields, this was exactly what was important to me: Being able to use my strength, which lies in the intersection between politics, health, and communication. I cannot imagine a better place for this than where I ended up: In the strongest and most competent health team in Norway and the Nordics."
What is your view on the current political situation in the health field?
"I believe the ambitions for a new Government in new health politics will quickly become clear. In the last eight years, private suppliers have been a large part of the health care system but going forward we can expect further development and strengthening of the public and decentralized health care system. We can, due to the pandemic, also expect an even stronger focus on emergency preparedness. In addition, there may be opportunities for change in both the organization and financing of our public hospitals."
How can your experience and expertise help our clients?
"I am a political nerd who is passionate about finding good solutions in a field that all parties agree needs change. However, they don’t agree on which path to choose to reach that goal. The unique personal compositions in Rud Pedersen's health care team in Norway mean that together as a group we have top expertise on several topics within health. This means that together we can find the best solutions to complex problems, and perhaps most importantly, it means that we may challenge and learn from each other every day. We will continue to work on that strength - to be able to give our customers the best possible advice."