About Square Foundation

Square Foundation (formerly known as Specialisterne Foundation) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2008 by Thorkil Sonne to own the Specialisterne concept. In 2023 the ownership was transferred to Specialisterne Global who will continue to develop the Specialisterne concept while Square Foundation will focus on removing the root causes for the lack of inclusion.Square Foundation builds on a legacy from two decades as thought leaders in neurodiversity in workplaces and communities with Specialisterne as proof of concept. We estimate that more than 20.000 jobs have been enabled through Specialisterne in twenty-six countries and hundreds of companies who have been inspired or trained by Specialisterne across the world.

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others. We use the term ‘neurodistinct’ people to describe this group while others use terms such as neurodivergent or neuroatypical people.

Sustainable Development Goals

Square Foundation is committed to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ambition behind them to leave no one behind.

As an NGO associated with UN Department of Global Communications, we are proud to promote the SDGs in our networks at World Economic Forum, Ashoka and other fora for collaboration.

Our efforts will focus on SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities.
To realise SDG 10 we will need to work with the following SDGs:

  • SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 Quality Education
  • SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Board of directors

Mr. Thorkil Sonne

Chairperson & contact person

Thorkil was elected as founding board member December 15th, 2008. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2025. Born in 1960. Thorkil is founder of Specialisterne Foundation and Specialisterne Denmark. Founding director of Specialisterne Foundation in 2008. Ashoka Fellow and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Fellow. From 2018-2020 Chairman of the Council for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Goals by the Danish Government.

Mr. William E. Hoover 


Bill was elected as board member October 17th, 2012. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2024. Born in 1949. Bill is former Director at McKinsey Nordic Region. Bill has 30 years of experience in consulting global industrials and telecom-related companies. His specialty areas are China, supply chain and performance transformation. Bill has a degree in Mathematics and English from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard.

Mr. Lars Henriksen

Vice chairperson

Lars was elected as founding board member 15th December, 2008. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2024. Born in 1943. Lars is Independent Management Consultant. Lars has been on Specialisterne Foundation board since its formation. Henriksen is a former Managing Partner at Accenture, Nordic and has during his more than 30 years as a consultant worked and lived outside Denmark for over 25 years. He holds several positions as a board member and an investor in start-up companies, and is an advisor to the CEMS programme at Copenhagen Business School.

Ms. Marie Ringler


Marie was elected as board member on June 22nd 2020. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2025. Born in 1975. Maria is leading Ashoka’s work in Europe. She founded Ashoka’s Austrian office in 2011 and soon took over Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe. In 2015 she became one of Ashoka’s Europe Directors, in 2018 she was appointed European Leader of Ashoka. She was born in Vienna, studied Sociology, Political Science and Women`s Studies at the University of Vienna, and holds a degree from ESADE Business School, Spain and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Ms. Freja Sangild Boysen 


Freja was elected as board member on March 29th, 2023. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2025. Born in 1994. Freja is the co-founder and CEO of SocialSpace and a part of the organization SAGA. Deals particularly with youth involvement and mental health. She has been working with a wide range of vulnerable target groups and social empowerment. She holds a Master in public health from the University of Southern Denmark.

Mr. Thure Krarup 


Thure was elected as board member on February 3rd, 2022. Expiry of current election period: Annual Meeting 2025. Born in 1978. Thure is Director for Global Partnerships and Thought Leadership at Urban Partners, an urban development and investment company. He is a former diplomat with deep experience and networks in the Danish public sector, including the Danish Prime Minister´s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and international organizations, including World Economic Forum and United Nations as well as philanthropy. He holds a Master in Political Science from University of Aarhus.