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Interview with Mikaela Svanberg Åkesson

1. What is your full name? Loktäpp Mikaela Katharina Svanberg Åkesson
2. Where were you born? Göteborg, Sweden
3. Where do you live? San Diego, USA
4. What is your family situation (single, married, children)? Married to my first big love and we now have two fantastic children.
5. What is your educational background?E.g. what school(s) have you attended? One semester at the Peace and Justice Master program at the University of San Diego, USA; Environmental classes at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden;  International relations classes at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Master of Science in Chemical engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg Sweden; One exchange year at Mines de Douai studying Environmental classes, Douai, France
6. What is your professional background? E.g. what jobs have you had in the past and what job do you currently have? Currently I am the Editor of a Swedish magazine (SWEA Bladet San Diego) and I am the Founder of a website (www.vartsandiego.com).
My past work positions have been as Project leader of environmental projects, Environmental coordinator at different pharmaceutical companies, and I have also been working as an Insides sales consultant.

In addition to this I have also worked as a volunteer in Zimbabwe with two NGOs working with HIV sick people and orphans and I have also done my thesis work in Ethiopia working on solar energy issues.
7. How did you first get in contact with Action10? Through my dear friend Cecilia Öman.
8. What is your role or title at Action10? Vice President and Head of Fundraising.
9. What are your tasks at Action10? Do evaluation planning, coordinate the Fundraising group, edit documents, work on the “Advisory network” program etc.
10. Why did you join Action10? Since I was a little girl, I have always felt a huge need and a desire to make our world a better and more just place. I have long been battling with the question, how it can be that so many of us can lead our lives without a worry on how to cover our basic needs, when there are so many people out there struggling to survive? This just doesn’t make sense to me or seem fair at all.
In my contact with Cecilia I learned a lot about what Action10 stands for and the way Action10 works with sustainability, equal partnerships and needs driven programs etc. This made a huge impression on me! It is my firm belief that Action10’s approach is the right way to go, so once I saw that I had more time on my hands, I decided to accept Cecilia’s offer to join her and her colleagues in their work for Aciton10.

11. What do you expect Action10 to achieve in the following five years? I expect us to have come much further in our effort of eradicating extreme poverty and I expect us to have an office with paid staff.
12. How can Action10 be improved? We can find new ways and we can increase our reaching out to more volunteers and more people.
13. What do you like about Action10? The cause, the wonderful equal partnerships, the limitless learning from everyone’s experiences, the sustainability of all the programs, the passionate force driving all the members, and especially the feeling that there are no boundaries on what we can accomplish. Together we can do anything!
14. What is your biggest accomplishment in life? My two miracles of children.
15. If you could choose anything that you would like to do, what would it be? I would be working part-time for Action10, and I would be spending the rest of my time with my two miracles and my wonderful husband.
16. What are the things you treasure and value the most in life? My family, my friends, truth, compassion and love.

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