Story.Oct 29, 2021

A decade at Swedish Water House. Thank you Katarina Veem!

During the past 10 years Katarina Veem, director at Swedish Water House and International Policy (SWH/IP), has contributed with great knowledge in water issues and exceptional commitment and leadership. In October Katarina worked her final day at SWH and SIWI to take on an exciting new role.

Portrait of Katarina Veem wearing a red scarf with the city of Stockholm as a blurry backgroundKatarina Veem, Swedish Water House director from 2011 to 2021

Katarina started working at SWH in 2011 and has since 2013 led the team as Director. To give just a small sample of Katarina’s accomplishments while working at SWH: she has initiated and developed the Sustainable Textile Water Initiative (STWI), contributed to international policy processes, and been a driving force in cluster groups, such as Water and Faith. In this short interview, Katarina describes her time at SIWI and what she looks forward to in her new role as Head of Sustainability at Sandvik Materials Technology.

Since October, Elin Weyler is Acting Director for SWH/IP.

“The goal [of Swedish Water House] has been to try to create long-term collaborations to meet water challenges, now and in the future.”

Katarina Veem, director at Swedish Water House from 2011 to 2021

Hi Katarina! To begin with, when and how did you get into water and sustainability issues?

Before I started at SIWI, I worked with marine and fisheries issues for 15 years. To start working with water came naturally, as fresh water, which flows into the seas and oceans, also is part of the marine portfolio. Sustainability issues have been an interest of mine since my first job, when I participated in the preparations for the Rio conference in 1992. That was where the concept of sustainable development was consolidated under the leadership of the Swedish chairman Bo Kjellén.

How would you describe your time at SWH in three words?

Enriching, inspiring, fun.

In what way do you experience that SWH has changed from when you started in 2011 until 2021?

We have in a joint effort further developed a platform for dialogue with Swedish actors. The goal has been to try to create long-term collaborations to meet water challenges, now and in the future.

What do you think is SWH’s most important contribution as a stakeholder?

The opportunity to conduct long-term dialogues with various sectors on water challenges. The dialogue with the private sector is perhaps the most important. SWH has the chance to invest in long-term dialogue, which provides great potential to shed a light on issues that are not always obvious, and that actors are not aware of, but still lie very close to their mission and operations. But also linking water challenges to international policy processes. Together with other countries and organizations the team has put water at the core of global climate policy as well as NDCS and NAPS.

And to conclude, what are you looking forward to in your new role?

To work in private sector and get to know a completely new area for me, and the challenge of trying to understand their challenges and opportunities.

Many thanks for these 10 years Katarina and good luck in the future!