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About us

An independent think tank working globally towards the 2030 Agenda

Independent and cross-sectoral expertise

Since it was founded in 2005, Global Challenge (“Global Utmaning”, in Swedish) has geared its work towards a sustainable future with long-term solutions for the ecological, economic and social problems that our world is facing. 

We create platforms of collaboration between research, business, civil society and politics. Our policy development work is based on dialogue and knowledge exchange as a way to speed up the much-needed societal transformation towards a sustainable future. 

At the core of our operations is a qualified network of senior advisors, researchers and experts with cross-sectoral competence. We are Sweden-based but are part of an international system of organisations.

Addressing global challenges requires a global reach

Global Challenge has consultative status at the UN and has managed projects with financing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Commission, Sida – the Swedish governmental agency for development co-operation, the Swedish Institute, Union to Union and White Arkitekter for instance. 

By invitation of the secretary-general of the UN, we co-ordinate the Sweden Local2030 Hub, where several organisations work with the implementation of the sustainable development goals. We have ongoing projects with the Nordic Council of Ministers, Reach for Change and UN-Habitat, to name a few.

Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson (chair of the board) and Tove Ahlström (CEO), photo by Ewa Malmsten Nordell.

Our history

Our organisation was founded in 2005 by Kristina Persson, a former cabinet minister, governor and deputy head of the Riksbank – Sweden’s central bank. Behind her decision to start Global Challenge was her strong commitment to the values of democracy, openness and international co-operation as well as her genuine interest in a sustainable future with improved social well-being for the many.

”I believe that Global Challenge’s pioneering position is one of its strengths. It is not not only about mobilising resources but daring to address complex issues which others are still trying to avoid for a little longer” – Kristina Persson, founder and honorary chair. 

Independent expert knowledge through our advisors 

At the core of our organisation are our members. They are respected profiles in the academic world, business, politics and civil society, and contribute with their expertise as senior advisors. Their knowledge and experience covers diverse areas, such as climate research, ecological economics, energy, finance, global health, law or urban planning. We rely on the contributions of over 90 senior advisors and 20 ”Future Thinkers”, i.e. a network of younger advisors which are part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.

”Our vision is a sustainable society which is equipped to address global challenges using cross-sectoral solutions, exchanging knowledge and exercising long term leadership. With a diverse mix of financing sources – which we publicly disclose for the sake of transparency –  we ensure our independence from the political sphere”

Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, chair of the board

”Think tanks in general – and certainly independent ones like Global Challenge – have become crucial as political parties are mostly busy creating strategies to win elections. We fill a vacuum when it comes to putting forward ideas whose sole focus is efficiency and results. Our proposals are uncompromised by possible shifts in popularity or polarisation of the political speech”

Tove Ahlström, CEO

Support our work

A number of partnerships with foundations, governmental agencies, companies and other organisations make our work possible. This plurality of financing sources strengthens our independence. If your organisation is interested in building onto its sustainability work by supporting our think tank, you are welcome to contact our CEO, Tove Ahlström.