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An evening with Thorkil Sonne - Driving passion to international success

  • Holland & Knight Holland & Knight 31 West 52nd Street New York, NY 10019 (map)

How do you drive passion to success?

DACC and DJØF New York are excited to invite you for an evening with Thorkil Sonne, the founder of Specialisterne Foundation (The Specialists Foundation).

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Thorkil Sonne founded Specialisterne (The Specialists) in 2004 after his son was diagnosed with infantile autism.
Autists have an estimated unemployment rate of up to 80% and Thorkil saw a huge need and an opportunity to make a difference.

The mission of the Specialists is to create job opportunities for autistic people and people with similar challenges. The organization's goal is to generate 100,000 jobs for this demographic in the United States and 1 million worldwide, by 2025. The organization is ambitious, highly professional and innovative, and they have already chalked up a great number of success stories.
Thorkil Sonne, who has participated in the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's documentary series "Hidden Talents," has helped some of the world's largest IT players realize the benefits of hiring people with autism. Watch the broadcast here in Danish.

Thorkil will talk about the Specialists as an organization, its mission and work for change, his experiences starting up and leading an NGO in the United States and driving passion to international success.
The talk will be in English.

The example of Specialisterne, its mission, and accomplishments, inspires us at the broadest human level. It’s a story about a father’s love and sacrifices for his son, about members of society left behind and counted-out who return in triumph.”
- Professor Robert D. Austin, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Monday, November 13, 2017
6:00-8:30 pm (EDT)

Pizza and drinks will be served

Holland & Knight
31 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Admission is free for DACC/DJØF NY members and guests of members but you must pre-register - one registration per attendee as we need names on all attendees.

DJØF NEW YORK: Naja Christensen
DACCNY: Marianne Honoré

RSVP: November 8, 2017


Speaker Biography:
Thorkil Sonne is a Director and President of Specialisterne Foundation, Inc. and Chairman of the Specialist People Foundation, which he founded December 2008.
He founded Specialisterne (The Specialists) in 2004 as the first market-driven company where the skills of high functioning people with autism spectrum disorder are used to perform high-quality services like software testing for corporate customers.
'Specialisterne in Delaware' - Accelerating Employment of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders. March 15, 2012.
Specialisterne is a case study at Harvard Business School, which was awarded ‘Best Large Social Firm Europe 2006’ by CEFEC and listed on Wired Magazine's Smart List: "12 shocking ideas that could change the World".
Thorkil Sonne has an extensive background in the private IT and telecommunications industry, most recently with TDC, the incumbent Danish telecom company. Thorkil previously served as president of a local branch of Autism Denmark and has a son with autism.
Thorkil has been recognized for his work with Specialisterne:
• Autism Prize 2004 by Autism Denmark
• IT Prize 2008 by The Danish IT Industry Association
• ‘Brave Thinker’ by The Atlantic Magazine, November 2009
• ‘Intelligent Optimist’ by Ode Magazine, January 2010
Thorkil is an Ashoka Fellow and participates in the Globalizer program.