The Head of Human and Child Rights at Ingka Group, Julia Olofsson, has been appointed as the World Economic Forum's Co-chair of the Global Future Council on Human Rights.
Julia will co-chair alongside John Morrison, CEO at the Institute for Human Rights & Business (IHRB) for a period of 12 months until October 2021.
Recognised as the world’s top multistakeholder and interdisciplinary knowledge network, the World Economic Forum has a network of Global Future Councils dedicated to promoting innovative thinking to shape a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. All are invitation-only communities and members are nominated for a one-year period.
As the world focuses on social and economic recovery after an extraordinary 2020, the Global Future Council on Human Rights is helping to shape the new corporate human rights agenda.
The Council will explore the shift needed for business to take a leading role in protecting human rights and will support companies in embedding human rights activism, and in establishing new partnerships, operational structures, and governance frameworks necessary to do so in an effective and authentic way.
Based in Malmö, Sweden Julia leads the work Ingka Group is doing on integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As a global company present in over 30 countries, Ingka Group recognises the challenges people are facing and the rapid changes in communities – particularly where rights and opportunities are far from equal.
Guided by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, the ambition for 2030 is to improve the wellbeing of millions of people by becoming a truly fair and inclusive and people-centred brand, company and employer by focusing on:
- Providing and supporting decent and meaningful work, and standing up for equality
- Co-creating sustainable, child-friendly and connected neighbourhoods and cities together with relevant partners
- Contributing to safe, affordable and sustainable places to call home in the communities where Ingka Group is present
Fair and inclusive growth based on the respect of fundamental human rights leads to motivated co-workers, innovative meeting places, and resilient and empowered communities.
For example, in FY19 Ingka Group supported refugee inclusion in nine countries with programmes to develop skills for employment and continued partnerships with 32 social entrepreneurs and social businesses across 16 countries.
“In light of the social, economic and health crisis, there has arguably never been a more important time for business to stand up for human rights,” explained Julia.
“I look forward to working with my co-chair and the council members to make a difference this year.”
Julia started her IKEA career in 2011 in the global sustainability team and has during the years held different roles such as senior advisor on sustainability and public affairs as well as project manager for decent work in supply chains in South-East Asia. She has also worked as a senior child rights and business officer at UNICEF Sweden where she led the development and implementation of the child rights and business agenda in the organisation.