We got to meet the SIMP-alumni Katarzyna Sobótka-Demianowska and talked to her about her experience as a SIMP-participant.
Note: Since this interview Katarzyna has begun a new position as Head of Emobility at ABB.

What is your current work?
– I work as Head of Energy Innovationfor at PKN Orlen, one of the largest companies in the region. The main area of the business is production of fuel and a network of gas stations but I work with developing an infrastructure for electric vehicles. We’re building up an infrastructure of 150 fast charging stations.

How do you see yourself contributing to sustainable development?
– What I do now will help protect the environment. That is our contribution. We want to be a part of the new eco-system of innovation and environmental protection.

What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face in your context.
– We live in a time where we have short goals and with projects like electro mobility it is very hard to show the profits in short time. So the greatest obstacle I face is to convince others that it makes sense, and that it is important to get in at an early stage.

Where do you see yourself in the future – what’s your goal?
– We’re I am now I believe I am doing a good thing and I am having fun so it’s hard to tell what would be the next step. My next step should involve new skills, education and maybe a new position but I want to stay within the energy sector and work with innovation.

SIMP – how did you learn about it and what made you apply?
– I heard about it a long time ago but didn’t fulfil the requirements. Then, three years ago I was contacted by Business Sweden who encouraged me to apply.

Has SIMP helped you level up as a change maker?
– Yes, for sure! In terms of looking for a different point of view and realizing the positive impact businesses can have on sustainable development. It really broadened my horizon. If I seek approval for a project I need to be able to show profits, maybe not now but in the future. During SIMP I learned about this new way of thinking.

– It was also really inspiring to get to know the other participants that represent completely different sectors. They gave me new insights about their sectors but also new insights into what I do.

If you had to choose one thing that you liked about the programme, what would that be?
– Meeting all these people and being part of this network. And learning about Sweden. During the module in Sweden I could really talk to people about the culture about what it is like to live there.

Do you use the network still today?
– Yes, we have a group on What’s app where we send greetings and messages, and the Polish team are still in touch, so this is a really nice effect of the programme!

And the last question: what will tomorrow’s leaders do different compared to the leaders of today?
– I’ve noticed that the new generation thinks differently. I see that people are changing from money-oriented to values- and emotion-oriented. Future leaders will develop their business with awareness about the impact on the society and the environment.