Our Team

The board :  

Torbjörn Lahti – Chairman
Cynthia Contie – Board member – North America Representative
Barbro Kalla – Co-founder 

Deputy on the board : 

Adane Negash – Ethiopia Representative

Election committee : 

Gunnar Brundin – Co founder
Lena Lindahl – Japan Representative


Esam AB

Current intern :

Maé Cadio

Torbjörn Lahti

Trained in social planning and economics, he initiated the Eco-Municipalities movement in Sweden and was one of the two founders of Esam AB together with Grunnar Brundin (see below). Torbjörn has 40 years of experience in sustainable development, which is unique even in Sweden. He is an international lecturer and was the leader of the “Sustainable Robertsfors” project, where the concept of “Ecomunicipality 5.0” was developed. He was a consultant advising on the development of pilot ecomunicipality projects all around the world. He also participates in tours, gives lectures and shares his experience. Nowadays he is mainly focused building up Ecomuna. Contact Torbjörn for questions about the Sustainable Sweden Association.

Cynthia Contie

Cynthia is driven to help facilitate awakenings to humanity’s place in Nature and exploring ways we can harmonize our relationship with all living things.  She serves as Board Member and North America Representative to Sustainable Sweden Association, and as principal of her own company, Full Circle Discovery where she carries out this work via facilitation, communications, and education.  Cynthia studied Psychology for her undergrad, and Earth Studies Education and Curriculum Design for her Masters.  She draws from 14 past years in corporate management and facilitator roles, and 20 years in non-profit and sustainable community development settings.  In her free time Cynthia enjoys cooking creative meals with friends, spending time outdoors with her dog and cat, and making time for art and music.  

Barbro Kalla

Barbro began her career educating teenagers in language. Then she worked for 15 years as a consultant providing competence-enhancing services to companies, NGOs, municipalities, and regional bodies, who were entering the world of sustainable development. Her international expertise focuses on the transfer of knowledge among project partners and reaching out to external target groups. This includes Technical Visits with participants from Japan, US, and Europe. A lifelong mission has been to provide children and young adults the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to play a constructive role in the current and future transition of society towards sustainability.
Specialties: Sustainable development, International exchange of experience, Learning for sustainable development (ESD) Bioeconomy, Communication.


Lena Lindahl, Japan Representative

Lena Lindahl is the founder and manager of Link & Learn International, a company in Uppsala Sweden focusing on learning exchanges between Sweden and the international community in the field of sustainability. Lena worked in Tokyo for 24 years before she moved her base to Uppsala in 2013. She is fluent in Japanese and also reads and writes in Japanese apart from being fluent in English and her native Swedish. Lena maintains a wide network within the environmental community in Japan.

Acting as Japan Representative of the Sustainable Sweden Association Lena in 2002 initiated Sustainable Sweden Tours for Japanese speakers. She welcomes visitors from Japan to Sweden all year round, making study visit programs to all parts of Sweden and accompanying guests as interpreter. In Uppsala she handles technical visit requests to the City of Uppsala. In addition, Lena arranges study visits to Japan for politicians, media and others. Since the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011 she has arranged and accompanied several visits to the disaster-hit areas.

Lena is a popular lecturer on green issues speaking to Japanese audiences about Swedish initiatives to achieve sustainable development. In Sweden she provides insights about the energy and environment situation in Japan as well as cultural aspects of daily life and work in Japan.

Lena provides research, planning, introductions and interpretation for media representatives or others looking for navigation in the sustainability community in Sweden and Japan. By accessing sources available only in Japanese, she can tap into a broad variety of information and add a competitive edge to foreign sustainability initiatives in the country. 

Contact Lena for help with planning visits to Japan or making study visit programs in Sweden.


Adane Negash
Ethiopia Representative

Turn to him for questions regarding Ethiopia or SSDE.

Adane is an Information Designer Scientist and Public Relation – PR Expert. He is one of the two founders of a charity organization – Sustainable Sweden Association Ethiopia / Sustainable Sweden Development Ethiopia (SSAE/SSDE). He is also an Executive Director, Tour Leader and Senior Consultant. Adane has joined Sustainable Sweden in 1992 and is now one of its principal members. He has more than 20 years of experience working with Eco-municipalities.

Sardu Bajracharya
Nepal Representative

Sardu Bajracharya is an environmental scientist and a GIS/Remote sensing expert. She is the founder of a non-profit organization ‘Sustainable Nepal’. As a member of Sustainable Sweden, she hopes to enable the sharing of experiences and knowledge of sustainable development between the two countries.

Gunnar Brundin

As one of the two founders of Esam, Gunnar Brundin has more than 25 years of experience of working with eco-municipalities. 

Interns in Sustainable Sweden:

Throughout the last years, Sustainable Sweden has welcomed several interns interested in working with and learning about practical examples of Sustainable Development in the Nordic countries.