Our Team


Maja Frankel, Director

Maja Frankel joined Ashoka in December 2011 to launch and be the Director of Ashoka Scandinavia. Maja is a life-long social entrepreneur: At age 16 Maja became the Sweden Youth Delegate during the United Nations Special Session about Young People’s Rights and at age 18 she became a UNICEF youth ambassador, a role that led her to write a book called 'Vår förbannade Rätt' where she did portraits of 20 young people from all over the world. Maja Frankel is the founder of Frankel & Friends, a consulting/methodology firm that focuses on social democracy projects, and the initiative FutureBox, that takes advantages of young people as a resource in policy making, encouraging social entrepreneurship and civic commitment. Educated at Sodertorns University and Kaospilots, she has a great experience of strategic and board work, most recently as second chairman on the board of UNICEF and on the board of Social Entrepreneurship Forum (SE Forum) and as a part of the advisory board for meeting point social innovation.

mfrankel@ashoka.org Location: Stockholm, Sweden.


Christina Lidén, HR, Finance and Operations Manager

Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in global studies and international development with a special focus on Post-colonialism. Christina has a long history working with NGO’s both as a volunteer, board member and an employee including The Swedish Red Cross, Friends and Doctors of the World.

cliden@ashoka.org  +46 72 579 73 76 Location: Stockholm, Sweden.






Helga Øvsthus Tønder, Co-Director Scandinavia, Country Director Norway (on leave)

Helga has a background in rhetoric’s and communication. Her interest in social justice and entrepreneurship has taken her from Norway to Uganda to the US, working in startups, non-profits and social enterprises. She comes to Ashoka Scandinavia after spending the past four years in working first in Houston with the media startup Energy People Connect, and then in Los Angeles with the think tank RAND Corporation, and the combined non-profit and social enterprise Chrysalis. Prior to this Helga worked with the Norwegian NGO Strømme Foundation and Operation Dayswork, on the largest solidarity and fundraising campaign for youth in Norway.

hotonder@ashoka.org +47 95 87 97 41. Location: Oslo, Norway.




Emma Lindgren, Interim Director, Program Manager

Emma holds a Master’s Degree in International Business and Politics from the Copenhagen Business School. Her passion for driving social change has led her to engage in several initiatives focusing on sustainable and social development. Prior to joining Ashoka, Emma was part of establishing a sustainability-consulting firm in Stockholm, where she spent most of her time managing a business network which gathered business leaders to learn and act around climate change. In 2014 she led Sweden’s largest sustainability initiative for youth, empowering over 10.000 high-school students to act as changemakers in their local communities. During her studies Emma co-founded 180 Degrees Consulting Copenhagen, a student driven consulting organization supporting NGO’s and social enterprises to improve their social impact. She has also been active in promoting social entrepreneurship among students through arranging an annual social entrepreneurship competition. Besides Sweden and Denmark, she has lived and worked in the UK, France and Ecuador.

elindgren@ashoka.org +46 760 45 44 25Location: Stockholm, Sweden.


Ezgi Dahlberg, Project and Communication Trainee

Ezgi holds a Master's degree in environmental studies and sustainability science, and a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. Having an environmental background and being particularly interested in active learning methods and non-traditional education techniques, Ezgi researched cases where young students' understanding of global sustainability challenges significantly improved by hands-on learning practices. Before joining Ashoka, Ezgi worked with different NGOs and environmental companies in South Africa, Turkey, Sweden and USA.

edahlberg@ashoka.org Location: Stockholm, Sweden.




Camilla Backström, Senior Advisor

Camilla has extensive experience from working with sustainability and new financing models for social innovation both from business and non-profit sector. Prior to joining Ashoka Camilla worked with Forum for Social Innovation and managed the area of new funding models for social innovation and impact measurement. She is the author of the report "New Funding Models for Social Innovation" published by Forum for Social Innovation, December 2014. Camilla was also part of the team that developed the European Philanthropy Association (EVPA) handbook on how to measure and monitor social impact. Camilla has experience in both business and civil society. She has been CEO of Charity Rating, a coalition of donors working for increased transparency, effectiveness and impact reporting with focus on non-profit organizations. At TeliaSonera Camilla built the global CSR function and cooperated with civil society and social entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to tackle complex societal challenges such as e-bullying, child pornography, freedom of expression and privacy.

cbackstrom@ashoka.org Location: Stockholm, Sweden.


Søren Stig Nielsen, Founding Partner, Ashoka in Denmark

Søren G. Stig is an impact investor, board member and mentor to several social entrepreneurs. He’s Founding Partner of The Shared Value Company, Ashoka Denmark and acts as Senior Advisor to the likes of the United Nations, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Child Braincancer Foundation and a number of exponential, purpose driven organizations. Soren has held various senior-level positions at A.P. Møller – Maersk A/S for 20 years. Most recently, as Chief Sustainability Officer for Maersk Line; a leadership position used to reposition Maersk Line as industry leader. He received KPMG’s Global strategy price (2011) and the European Business Award (2010) based on sustainability efforts and industry leadership. Soren holds an Executive MBA (Honors) from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.

sstig@ashoka.org Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.


Tharald Nustad, Ashoka Support Network Member and Contact, Ashoka in Norway

tnustad@ashoka.org Location: Oslo, Norway.