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Portrait of Elin Tornblad
Elin Tornblad participates in Act Sustainable talking about how she has been working with sustainability after graduation.
Photo: Cajsa Malmström
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She wants to make the tech industry more communicative

From the MKV Programme at JMG to the nomination as Female Founder of the Year 2020 by Dagens Industri and DiDigtal. Elin Tornblad became known as the woman behind Potato Plastic, a sustainable alternative to environmentally hazardous plastics. She tells how she established herself in an otherwise tough tech industry at the sustainability week, Act Sustainable.

Storytelling has always been a common thread in Elin Tornblad's life. When she growing up in Hjo by Lake Vättern and it was time to think about the future, she dreamed of becoming a journalist, actor or writer. In the end, it was the media and communication science programme (MKV) at JMG from where she took her bachelor’s degree in 2018.

“I had learned about theories, strategic communication and also taken a course in practical media production, but did not know what to do”, Tornblad explains.

The only humanist

A friend thought she should apply to Chalmers Entrepreneurship School, and after fierce competition with a couple thousand applicants, she was admitted to the master's programme. 

Among the 70 students from all over the world, she was virtually the only humanist – unusual, but also a breath of fresh air. 

She soon discovered that her knowledge of communication – and the desire to tell a story – was her greatest asset. Like the conviction of the importance of transparency.

“It will be easy for the tech industry to live its own life, not very humanistic or democratic, and unfortunately it is too seldom transparent enough” Tornblad said. 

On the contrary, she sees too many examples of so-called greenwashing – that is, companies that are good at marketing themselves as environmentally friendly, even though it is not true. At the same time, there are those who work with real sustainability, but who cannot communicate.

A combination of business benefits and communication

Today, she has her own company and is hired as a consultant by others who need help marketing sustainable products where she combines business benefits with communication.

“Many do not know how to work strategically with their communication and they can not tell a story. I come in from the beginning and help them with all my questions” Tornblad explains.

Not being a technical expert becomes a plus in this context, when she asks questions about why this particular product is good, in what way it is sustainable and good for society, as well as how it can help the customer.

She states, “since my studies at JMG, I have invested a lot in building my personal brand and am therefore careful to only choose customers whose products and services I believe in.” 

Text: Cajsa Malmström

More information

  • Working with sustainability after graduation. Together with several former students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Elin Tornblad participates in Act Sustainable, the annual sustainability week organized by Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg.
    When: Thursday 18 November, 14:15–16:00 
    Where: Campus Linné, hall 514, Annedalsseminariet, Seminariegatan 1B
  • Factivism – get your facts straight is the theme for Act Sustainable 2021.
    Professor Bengt Johansson (JMG) participates together with, among others, Jenny Wiik (Lindholmen Science Park) in a panel discussion: Can automated fact-checkers clean up the mess
    When: Thursday, 18 November, 09:45–12:00
    Where: Lingsalen, Studenternas Hus, Götabergsgatan 17
    More information and registration: https://ui.ungpd.com/Events/85a5a9dd-a14a-4e48-af77-be375723ffd2
  • Read the entire program for Act Sustainable here: https://www.actsustainable.se/