Sustainability Chat with Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, Chairman of the board at Global Utmaning
In our Sustainability Chat series, we speak with leaders and dreamers in the world of sustainability – picking their brains on what drives them, their experiences working in the field, plus all the best tricks of the trade.
This time we got lucky to chat with Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson – moderator, public speaker and author of several books about sustainable lifestyle. Catarina has 25 years of experience in journalism focusing on environmental and social subjects. She moderates for the Swedish Parliament, EU Commission and other municipalities and educational institutions. Moreover, Catarina is a certified yoga instructor with more than 15 years of practice. In this interview, we asked Catarina about her current projects and some tips on how to become more sustainable.
Catarina, you have a broad range of knowledge and experience. What drove you to work with sustainability?
– I have been interested in environmental and social issues since I was very young and that is why I already as a teenager decided to become a journalist. My parents were both teachers and had a big social pathos and my maternal grandparents were involved in the church so I think I grew up with a sense of community and responsibility.
You are chairman of the board at independent think tank Global Utmaning. Could you please tell us more about this organization?
– Global Utmaning (Global Challenge) is an independent think tank that promotes sustainable development within social, economic and environmental dimensions. We create platforms for collaboration between research, business, politics and civil society, where experience and knowledge exchange form the basis for policy proposals to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable communities. The think tank is a node in international networks that work with strategic analysis, policy solutions and opinion through dialogues, seminars and reports. We have a qualified network of senior advisors with cross-sectoral expertise. Global Utmaning is a non-profit association funded through project funds from institutions, foundations and by our partners from the business sector.
On what projects are you working on right now? What project is the most exciting for you?
– As a chair of the board at Global Utmaning, I moderate most of our launches of reports, and right now we have a very strong focus on climate action, which is where I am most involved. Our project Klimatagendan (The Climate Agenda) is very powerful and encompasses adult education. I will be hosting 15 three hour broadcasts from the diplomatic zone for We Don't Have Time during COP 26 in Glasgow which is the world´s largest platform for climate ratings and climate action.
How do you think we can engage more people and companies to be conscious about their climate impact?
– We need to take every opportunity to talk about climate change in order to educate and inspire. Yesterday I hosted an online education for the members of the Swedish Parliament. We need to get more personal in order for people to get involved, but avoid shaming. I believe in inspiration combined with facts. As a spokesperson for Våra Barns Klimat (Our Kids' Climate), I know how worried children are about their future, and we need to face their fears and act.
What is your prognosis for a sustainable future? Is it achievable?
- Yes, a brighter, safer and more equal future is possible. But the transition will take courage, and we have to lead by example. Let go of old habits and open up for new ways of doing things. Business as usual is not an option. For instance, we need to stop flying or at least reduce our flying until fossil-free flights are available. We need to consume circularly and we need to eat more plant-based. But foremost: we need to support the organizations that push for change. There is a lot of power in the power of many!
Photo credits: Ewa Malmsten Nordell
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