It is with deep regret that we have to tell you that we have been informed of the death of Brita Borge, a past officer of WCPS. Brita did peacefully at her home in Norway back in November 2013. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. I will always value her contribution to our work and in particular the way in which she mentored and guided me in my early days with WCPS.
John Heap, President WCPS
Tor Dahl, a former president of WCPS, offers this brief assessment of Brita and her contribution…
It is rare for a Finlander to rise to the highest offices of a land not her own. Her influence was at times startling. She was the source behind giving the Norwegian Productivity Center a new lease on life from her important and watchful role in the Norwegian Parliament. That made the Oslo World Productivity Congress possible. At that Congress she proudly shared the results of the yearlong national productivity improvement project that she helped fund, led by Martin T. Tveit, where each dollar spent by the campaign increased the Norwegian GDP by 750 dollars above trend. After her long and distinguished political career she moved into an office provided for her at the Norwegian University School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, where I visited her often to brief her, and be briefed by Brita on her own amazing work on behalf of the WCPS in Norway and in many other countries.
From that office The Honorable Brita Borge led the Norwegian Chapter of the WCPS. Each year she, and her distinguished national council agreed on an exemplary company, or organization, that had earned the coveted Productivity Prize that she instigated. This annual event became a highlight for the WCPS Norway Chapter, and for productivity efforts in Norway in general, that gained momentum and encouragement from Brita’s good work.
Brita proudly wore her membership designation of the WCPS International Council on her business card. She became a spokesperson for productivity issues in Norway and other countries. She was unfailingly optimistic, courageous, fearless, and kind, and I never thought I had praised her enough, or honored her enough during the time I was President or Chairman of the WCPS. The WCPS was lucky to have had a distinguished member of the Norwegian Parliament dedicate her life and times to the causes of the WCPS, and subsequently also the WAPS. Just her experience with heads of states, the business community, (she also traveled the globe as Chief of Exports in the family firm which provided exquisite leathers to the world’s leading manufacturers of fashionable bags, purses, and shoes), the NGOs, and her extraordinary network was tremendous asset for those of us who had the privilege of working with her.
Brita also served as a Norwegian Representative at the UN General Assembly. In the early nineties, I had been asked to interview a United Nations High Commissioner in New York, and I asked Brita to help me set up a meeting with this “World Class High Performer” that had been selected for a large study. As expected, he was Brita’s good friend, she found a three hour opening in his busy schedule, and I finished an extraordinary interview on time. He was Martti Ahtisaari. Not long thereafter he was elected President of Finland. And in 2008 we was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Thank you, Brita!
Brita’s resume is very long, and very impressive. She was a delegate to the Nordic Council. She graduated from the University of Helsingfors with a degree in Science, and added statistics and quality control for good measure. She spoke any number of languages—at least 5 of them fluently. She served on the Norwegian Science Research Council. She was on the Boards of numerous corporations and NGOs. She chaired the Norwegian Association of Producers of Hides and Leathers. She chaired a number of committees and associations of the Conservative Party in Norway. But always you would find her relationships with our own organizations listed with dates and time of service on her current resume: Founding Fellow and Board Member of the World Academy of Productivity Science, Director of National Chapter Development for WCPS, Coordinator for WAPS Norway, Director of WCPS Norway, and her faithful attendance at World Productivity Congresses, and other WCPS/WAPS events.
For those who had the privilege to visit Brita at her spectacular home on the island of Osterøy, near Bergen, it would be a memory for life. It was a large, monumental structure in timber and stone, located on a quiet lake and surrounded by fragrant trees. A steep and winding road would take you to her home on the top of a hill with a view that would take your breath away. Her husband would have picked you up at the ferry in a car once owned by the King of Norway. And inside you would see the furniture and art from a much earlier age, the food will be the best Norway could offer, and the conversation would always turn to the work that needed to be done to realize peace and prosperity through productivity.
Rest in peace, dear Brita. We shall not forget you. We honor your contribution and your inspiring life. It has been said that the most important task we do in this earth is to walk each other home. Thank you for showing us the way.