Like many other mission-driven people, Sofia Breitholtz is pitching in to try and help the planet to survive. Her weapon of choice is helping the children and youth across the globe, the backbone of our future, to start and maintain their sustainable businesses. Sofia is the CEO of Reach For Change, a global non-profit that supports early stage social entrepreneurs with capacity development and ecosystem development.
Today, Sofia dreams of a world where all children and the youth reach their full potential. Her fight has been around sustainability for a while though. Sofia used to be involved in strategy and management consulting with EY, and she has worked with sustainability at Ben & Jerry’s/Unilever. Her curriculum vitae also includes experience from development cooperation with the EU in Southern Africa and from social entrepreneurship as Deputy CEO of Solvatten, a Swedish social enterprise.
How is Reach For Change doing?
Reach for Change is doing well, we are excited about our mission of improving the lives of children and youth through finding the best local social entrepreneurs who have the most innovative solutions to tackle the challenges we face.
Is the health of the planet as dire as it seems, or are the rays of light shining through?
Unfortunately, things are looking pretty grim right now. If we do not take some concrete actions very soon, it will be difficult to shift this trend. But I am confident that through innovation and new forms of partnership, we can create the momentum to make some very important changes that can lead to progress.
What are the three things you recommend for people to do on a daily basis to help save the planet?
Share positive stories, such as those of Change makers and role models who are underrepresented. Invest your pension money in companies that are good to people and planet and choose the companies where you take your employment or buy your products from carefully. Make sure they are taking responsibility for the impact they have.
What is the main thing the youth has to teach us?
I think they teach us curiosity, new ways of thinking and remind us of the state of urgency we face with many of today’s challenges.
Where does your fight for sustainability and justice stem from?
I think from an early age when I moved to Venezuela and saw first hand how inequality affects people. Seeing how people lived in the shanty towns, compared to where I came from, was a big eye opener for me. It taught me empathy and to understand that inequality is something that really hampers developments in society.
How do you balance your work and personal life? How do you keep you mental health in check?
That is a difficult one for mission-driven leaders, I try to take time to recuperate and reflect and surround myself with positive people.
What did you dream about as a child?
About living in exciting places. And yes, this did come true. Especially, as I have been able to visit the Reach for Change community across the globe.
What do you dream about today?
A world where all children and youth reach their full potential.
Interviewer: Kerttu Kongas