Olle Bergman, the founder and project leader of Crastina was a Swedish writer, teacher, and an expert in professional communication. Last Tuesday, 12 December 2023, Olle passed away. We are saddened and devastated by the loss of our mentor and friend, who was a man full of curiosity, passion and positivity.
The Crastina Crew
We only met online, but you greatly impacted me and my work. I became part of the Crastina team during my PhD while I was looking for ways to improve my communication skills. This Project seemed perfect for me, and we had an informal Zoom meeting to talk about it. My first impression was of a bubbly personality with a positive attitude and a passion for helping people grow. You had many ways to boost us, whether for Crastina or our personal lives. You were a natural in communication and mentoring. You helped me improve my general scientific communication and see my writing from a different perspective. Personally, you saw me through my PhD, change of career, move, and breakups. Always willing to open an ear for us and welcome us to your home (my only regret would be not to have been able to meet you in the flesh).
We will miss you, Olle, but you will forever stay in the minds and hearts of all the people you mentored through the years.
I don’t think there are enough words to describe what Olle meant to everyone he met. He was so full of life, enthusiasm and energy. I met him when I joined Crastina, but ever since he would pop up at random times, just when I needed that burst of energy in my life with some idea or another. On my wall, I have some feedback Olle gave me on my writing. It means as much to me now as it did then. He taught me not only how to write, but how to think differently. I am eternally indebted to Olle and feel the world is a little dimmer without him in it.
I wish that the Universe did not take you away from us so suddenly and unexpectedly, Olle. I remember our conversations on music, books, children, our countries, and the most important project closest to your heart, Crastina. I remember our laughs and your energy full of ideas, inspiration, guidance and support. I remember meeting and getting to know your son, Sigge. I am so grateful to have known you within this lifetime. You are a spark in this world for us all, and the world is a bit dimmer without you in it. You have taught me to become a better writer and I want to thank you. I will really miss you. May you live on forever in our hearts, Olle.
I first met Olle while attending his lecture on science communication, and what a lecture it was indeed! Completely effortless in his way of capturing your attention, he held a commanding presence over the entire lecture hall. But what fascinated me was that there was no pretense, no act. What I later found out, this was just Olle, and his genuine intent to share his experience and expertise with whomever he engaged. He spoke his mind and he did it convincingly. He taught me to remain alert to the complexities of science and wider society, not by obscuring them under mountains of speculative ideas or jargon, but on the contrary, by remaining honest about one’s understanding and preconceived notions. Quite simply, Olle was a treasure without whom the world is a less intelligible place for many of us whose lives he had affected.
I met Olle when he gave a talk about science communication. We then met again during a workshop he gave, and we continued collaborating on the science communication platform Crastina. His work teaching and spreading the word on science communication has and will continue to accompany and support my path in life and many others. Besides his inspiring approach to his work, Olle was always so incredibly caring and thoughtful. He kindly volunteered his time to mentor and help me, and I always felt uplifted after even the most brief communication with him. I will cherish his memory and dearly hold it dear in my heart.
I met Olle on a sunny day during an event in Stockholm and not long after I was welcomed into the Crastina crew. Olle was such a kind and warm-hearted soul, truly one of a kind. He was always so full of energy and inspiration, always happy to be of assistance and to share his knowledge and advice. He was especially keen on helping early-career scientists develop their skills and his departure will leave an empty space in the world of science communication.
I am forever grateful for all the wisdom, advice and encouragement Olle shared with me. But most of all I am grateful for his friendship and all the wonderful discussions as well as happy moments we had together over the years. He will always have a special place in my heart and will miss him dearly.
Olle was an incredible person, with a multitude of talents and interests that he pursued with a relentless passion. He had this rare ability to see other people’s talents and to help them refine and improve their skills. He cared deeply about science communication and dedicated a large part of his professional career to help students and mentees become better writers and visual communicators. He loved to “have fun being serious” – he delighted in literature, poetry, illustration, languages, history, music, and blended these passions together with professionalism as a communication expert and a teacher. I wouldn’t have developed and pursued scientific illustration if it wasn’t for Olle’s encouragement and the delight we shared in science comics, poster design, infographics, silly doodles or children’s books illustrations. I’m grateful to have known him and miss him dearly.
Hearing the devastating news of Olle’s passing was a shocking reminder of how fleeting life is – even the lives of those whose souls, like Olle’s, are so warm and bright that it seems impossible to imagine the world without them. I met Olle at a somewhat dark patch of my life, where I was figuring a lot of things out and holding on to anything I could to stay afloat. The pandemic was upon us, as well. I cannot remember how I ended up in one of Olle’s workshops, but I remember he was as kind and welcoming as I would later find him to be at every occasion. He invited me to join the Crastina crew and I happily accepted. I am very proud of the work we did together, me, Olle and the rest of the crew. It must be said, in truth, that our meetings were always derailed: Olle would often get excited about one topic or another and delve into it, wanting to know more, to explore more, to wonder. That is how I remember Olle: a story teller, passionately curious about the world and the people in it, about history, different cultures, and science. He had a huge heart and was everyone else’s biggest cheerleader. To know that Olle is not in the world anymore truly does sadden me deeply. I will always remember him as a dear friend, and I will miss him dearly.
I crossed paths with Olle the summer of 2018, when he gave a talk on science communication. Olle proved to be an extraordinary source of inspiration, tirelessly dedicated to empowering scientists in communicating their research. He was more than just an excellent mentor and presenter, I will always remember him for his passion for languages, drawing, music, poetry and books! He was always full of life and more than happy to chat with! His zest for life was ever-present, leaving an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to cross his path.
His enthusiasm for connecting people and building communities all across the globe was clear from the first day I met him. I still remember when he introduced himself and he humorously said, “I’m like Nokia, connecting people.” True to his words, Olle did an excellent job at uniting like-minded individuals from all over the world.
We will all miss you, Olle!