Evelina Fredriksson

November 15, 2017

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public

Michigan Ross Campus, Ross Building, 701 Tappan, Robertson Auditorium, Ann Arbor

Evelina Fredriksson
People Improvement Organization Cambodia

About the talk

It has only been 40 years since all Cambodian schools were closed and many teachers were killed. The educational system, from kindergarten to university, still suffers from the Pol Pot regime.

The high cost affiliated with sending a child to school in Cambodia makes many poor families struggle to educate their children. The students who make it through high school and enroll at university also face a number of challenges. After spending years learning by memorizing they are suddenly expected to learn by exploring and independently searching for new knowledge. This leads to significant problems with plagiarism and poor performance as well as stress and lowered self-esteem amongst students.

To support learning and wellbeing, from kindergarten to university, we need resources as well as knowledge. Private donors, companies, researchers, and educators worldwide have an important role to play in Cambodia’s development. The challenge is to embrace a holistic perspective. The current challenges are looming so large that no isolated intervention would be able to solve them. Instead we need mindful engagement where every stakeholder gets the best possible information to make a useful contribution.

In the talk, Evelina will share her experience of creating a positive setting for learning and growth. She will talk about how the practice of mindful engagement and the strengths of gratitude, teamwork and creativity pave the way forward; regardless if the task at hand is making sure that a 7-year-old has enough nutrition to focus in class, preventing a 15-year-old from dropping out of school to work in a factory, or supporting a 21-year-old university student who didn’t sleep for days anxious about an approaching deadline.

This Positive Links session is co-presented by the Center for Social Impact.

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About Fredriksson

Evelina is an educator, consultant, journalist, and author. She works with People Improvement Organization Cambodia, serves on the board of the knowledge lab Inter Business Initiative, is the co-founder of the boutique consultancy Lumen Behavior, and teaches at Zaman University Cambodia and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.

Evelina has extensive experience with sustainability reporting and applied research. Her main area of expertise is children’s and women’s rights. She recently published a book based on interviews with girls and women in Phnom Penh and is currently conducting research about signature strengths amongst Cambodian students.

Over the years, Evelina has conducted research and has been writing about vulnerable children and women in, for example, Sweden, Cambodia, the Gambia, India, Senegal, Kazakhstan, and Zimbabwe. Evelina developed the grant making strategy for the family foundation Stenbeck Stiftelse that caters to children in need, as well as leading the Reach for Change Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which was one of the first GRI reports published globally for civil society organizations. Evelina was also responsible for the design, implementation, and PR for one of the most standard Save the Children assessment tools for young people in Sweden.


Jane Dutton, co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations; Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology and Michael Gordon, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Social Entrepreneurial Studies


The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2017-18 Positive Links Speaker Series.


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