The Challenge

Square Foundation seeks to mitigate the pains and obstacles that neurodistinct individuals and families experience, enable networks and collaboration, and unlock individuals’ potential to improve lives and society in general.

One out of five people in any population and workplace, school or civil society organisation may feel like the square pegs not fitting into the round holes of the systems they are in. This is often the situation for many neurodistinct people who face exclusion and high rates of un/underemployment.

We believe that neurodistinct people represent an important and natural part of human brain variation and should have equal opportunities as any other person, but unfortunately, they often spend a lot of resources on ‘masking’ - pretending to fit in – which can lead to exhaustion and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

OECD Seminar - “How can we promote inclusion of people with disabilities within the OECD as a workplace” 2022. Left to right: Thorkil Sonne, US Ambassador to the OECD Jack Markell, moderator Francesca Colombo, Head of Staff Ingrid Barnsley, Head of HRM Daniel Fuster’

We all know someone in the family, among friends or in the local community who is neurodistinct – but often we feel uncomfortable and don’t have the tools to taking action to support them.

Most companies have policies and programs on diversity, inclusion and equality – so why does it seems to be so difficult for neurodistinct people to thrive?

We believe that neurodistinct people go under the radar in most companies because of the way we think and the systems that we have set up in the labour market. All companies want their employees to thrive – so why is it that as an example up to 80% of autistic people are unemployed or underemployed in a time with shortage of talent?

We believe that the root causes for the present situation can be found in the way we have organised and streamlined systems in workplaces, schools, governments and the civil society to fit the majority of people instead of creating neurodiverse environment where everyone can thrive.