Sophie Nachemson-Ekwall, Senior Consultant
“Ramboll’s passion for supporting organisations to develop businesses that have a positive social impact will offer me a fantastic opportunity to put all my knowledge into practice”.
Sophie Nachemson-Ekwall, Senior ConsultantOpen positions
Senior ConsultantT: +46 10 6156849
M: +46 10 6156849
Welcome to our recent joiner
With a contagious passion for literature, our recent joiner is an acclaimed expert within social sustainability. Sophie Nackemson-Ekwall has joined our growing team in Stockholm to push for change with a modern approach to financial instruments and multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Get to know more in this Q&A.
What do you work with?
In Stokholm, where I sit, we are developing our offering within social sustainability to help clients take a lead in this field. I will act as an advisor and thought leader, drawing on my experience with socially committed financial instruments such as social bonds and impact bonds, as well as creating platforms for collaboration between different stakeholders.
What made you want to join Ramboll Management Consulting?
Having worked as a financial journalist, then researcher at Stockholm School of Economics, I finally landed in the field of long-term finance, the value of multiple ownership models, social sustainability, and innovation. Ramboll’s passion for supporting organisations to develop businesses that have a positive social impact will offer me a fantastic opportunity to put all my knowledge into practice. So far, I have been stunned about the positive, open, and inclusive attitudes of my colleagues.
What are the most exciting developments within your field of work?
The development of UN’s Sustainability Goals and the inclusion of the social goals being just as important as the green goals. To reach complex societal goals, we need to change the way companies, public sector, and non-profits work. Suddenly there is need for collaboration and co-creation among stakeholders from across different sectors of the society. This includes developing collaborative platforms, financial instruments committed to delivering on social goals and developing standards for impact measurements.
How are you planning on bringing this to our clients?
Ramboll is doing a great job in contributing with knowledge in developing the market for evaluating impact, and I can hopefully add my knowledge from the financial and business sector. Swedish managers are often unsure of how to deal with social impact, when it goes beyond human rights, labor-laws and anti-corruption. I wish to help Ramboll’s clients understand the value of societal impact, lifting it alongside corporate governance and environment in the ESG-goals.
Moving from corporate governance - which is often about negative issues - into dealing with social impact and social finance – which is positive – has been an eyeopener for me. People smile when I meet them; they didn’t always when I was a reporter enquiring about a story, haha.
You have just published a book; what is that in essence about?
The book is about the Swedish third sector – foundations, cooperatives, and civil society – where I pin-point the need to enable its growth. The book highlights the need for the sector to speak up and not just take liberal democracy and a vibrant civil society for granted. Also, the book shows that the third sector has historically had to adapt to the space left when the business community and the public sector divided the market between them.
In Sweden, ‘idea-driven businesses’ account for only three percent of employment in the welfare sector which is a low figure internationally. At the same time, conventional businesses accounts for over 20 percent. To enable the sectors’ growth a number of norms, traditions and regulation need to change, and above all Sweden needs to appreciate the value of social impact, and also finance it. Actually, it was this book that brought me to Ramboll.
How do you define the higher purpose of what you do?
With social sustainability and social impact, I am doing the same things as before – but rather than questioning and critiquing - I work from a positive angle that makes people grow and be creative. I am still critical, yet I focus on all the opportunities ahead, which is a lot more fun. I will make Ramboll’s clients smile and say: “we can”. That is a nice purpose.
What (or who) is your best source of inspiration?
I draw on many different sources – the literature references in my books are almost as many pages as the written part.
At my bedside table I always have inspiring literature; like Obama’s last book or books on the purposeful company by Colin Mayer, Inclusive Capitalism by Raghuram Rajan, and ‘The value of Everything’ by Mariana Mazzucato.
If I had the skills, I would love to be…?
Oh, as one might have guessed, I excel in sitting down reading and writing so it would probably do me some good if I enjoyed and was better at sports.
Facts about our recent joiner
Senior Advisor, Social sustainable financial infrastructure.
PhD from Stockholm School of Economics (2012) in Business Administration on a thesis on cross border hostile takeovers.
Prized financial journalist and frequent speaker at seminars and panels. Author of several books and articles. See an example here.