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    Tommy Gärdh

    I think it is important to have a conversation around sustainability and what it means.

    Where did you grow up?

    I was born and raised in Borlänge, Sweden. It is a small industrial town with beautiful nature surrounding it.

    In my mid-twenties I had an indie rock band and we got a record deal with Per Gessle from Roxette which drew us to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, but I also had a longing for living somewhere else.

    How do you spend most of your days?

    I work as a filmmaker and I am very passionate about my job. This sometimes makes the boundaries between free time and creative work disappear.

    I love to fill my days with creativity of all kinds, deep conversations, interesting meetings, reflections on life, spending time in nature and with family and loved ones, still photography, music (being a musician and a DJ), yoga and meditation. There is also a deep longing in me to contribute to society. 

    I like to create films that inspire, uplift and empower people. Films that give a voice to great ideas and perspectives. I am very interested in human development, sustainability, philosophy, spirituality and art. I have produced three documentaries for national television (TV4) on sustainable development and Mindfulness. 

    In 2015 I filmed and produced a documentary on sustainable development in cities around the world for WWF International and it was premiered at the United Nations big climate conference in Paris. I am also working on a documentary called The Big Shift, where I interview visionaries and scientists from all over the world on how we can create a more peaceful and caring world. 

    My dream is to constantly continue to develop, as a human being as well as a creative artist. To be able to be more present, hold more perspectives, connect with life on the deepest level and be more inclusive and open in every interaction.

    What, in your view, is society’s greatest challenge and what can we as individuals do to address it?

    James Gustave Speth, a former administrator for the United Nations Development Programme once said - “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

    I think that there is much truth there.

    We can’t change our outer world if we don’t first change our inner world. We suffer from what could be called a separation syndrome. A "me and you"-, "us and them"-mentality. Our crisis is a crisis of consciousness, an inability to directly experience our connectedness to all living things, earth, plants and animals and each other as fellow human beings. We are all organisms in our common macro body, the earth. 

    The feeling of separation creates fear and the urge for control, creating a culture of taking and domination. But I think that there is a tremendous potential inherent in all people. Darwin said the next step after the competition is cooperation in our development. That means we must be willing to examine our perspectives and be willing to open up for a more holistic world view.

    We need to understand that we are all in the same boat. That we are all connected. That our individual actions have consequences for the whole. 

    Every human, society and country. That insight can foster responsibility and the ability to be more aware of the whole (earth), and then naturally wanting to contribute to life. Leading a life-generative life. In small everyday decisions. How we treat each other and ourselves, how we interact, what we buy and consume, who we support and vote for and the willingness to be able to change old habits for new ways, open up for new insights and perspectives.

    That is how we transform. I think that is how we can move forward.

    What in your mind signifies “A Good Community”?

    An open and honest dialogue, inspiration and great ideas.

    Do you think that there is a way we can work together to change society’s current consumption into being more conscious?

    A louder and more frequent dialogue around this topic touches more people and I think many people today have a lot of thought around how to live their lives and how to better be part of a solution.


    Buy stuff that you can have for a long time and then give it away to someone else so the lifespan is maximised.

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