Kaj Embren

“You do not just get respect, you earn it”. This quote represents a core part of the values-based mission that led to the formation of Respect in 2000.

Twelve years later and an increasing number of individuals are earning respect for their contributions to the fields of sustainable development and environment. People are being recognized for their competence and experience, with a number of yearly rankings becoming very popular in Sweden.

Two dominant media in this field, Environmental Dayli (Miljöaktuellt) and CSR in Practise,(CSR i Praktiken) have both produced lists of the 100 people that have the most power or influence in Sweden’s environment and sustainable development fields. Anyone looking to build their networks in these areas would do well to study these rankings.

The Environmental Dayli

The Environmental Dayli’s (owned by IDG) list of the 100 most influence figures is topped by Johan Rockström, Professor and Executive Director at Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI), who will shortly be leaving the position to focus on his role as the Head of the Stockholm Resilience Center.

Number 2 on the list is Maria Wetterstrand, former spokesperson for the Green Party. She is joined by current Green Party members at numbers 3 and 4 – Isabella Lövin (MEP) and Åsa Romson (present spokesperson).

In at number 5 is Svante Axelsson, Secretary General of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Sweden’s largest environmental NGO.

Places 6 to 10 are as follows:

6. Christian Azar, Professor at Chalmers University, Gothenburg

7. Mikael Karlsson, President, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)

8. Mattias Klum, Photographer and speaker

9. Johan Kuylenstierna, new Head of Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI)

10. Tomas Kåberger, President of the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation.

CSR in Practise (CSR I Praktiken)

CSR in Practise (which is owned by the media company Bonnier) claims that its list of the 100 most influential people in Swedish business indicates who you can trust to work with or listen to. The first of its rankings is for strategists, communicators and people acting as market advisors.

Top spot is given to Klas Eklund, Senior Advisor to the Scandinavian Bank and Sweden’s answer to Thomas L. Friedman.

The top 5 also includes Leo Razzak, professional Speaker; Niclas Ihrén, Senior Advisor for Respect; Christian Åberg, Advisor to the tourist industry and Peder Michael Pruzan-Jørgensen, Head of BSR Europe.

CSR in Practise has also selected its 5 most influence people in civil society, which comprises of the following: Anna Ryott, Secretary General of SOS Childvillages (SOS Barnbyar); Lina Thomsgård, Founder of “Rättviseförmedlingen” (‘translating as ‘Equalisters’ in English – ‘equal’ denoting equality and ‘listers’ for all the people that contribute towards compiling huge lists of people who challenge prevailing norms); Patrik Eriksson, Head of Campaigns at Greenpeace, Magdalena Hermelin from The Cancer Foundation and Martin Åhdal, CEO of the think-tank Fores.

The third list is of people is for coming from business, with a top 5 is made up of: Monica Lingegård, CEO of Samhall; Michael Wolf, CEO of Swedbank; Sasja Beslik, CEO of Nordea Bank Fonds; Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability at H&M and Stina Billinger, Strategy Advisor at SPP&Storebrand.

So, when you visit Sweden next time – why not get in touch and build your network!

Kaj Embrén


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