No more mismatch between competencies and needs

Liisa Smits
Source: Liisa Smits

Welcome to our fifth and last special episode of a podcast series developed in collaboration with Leading with social impact*. In this episode, we present you to the Nordic Ashoka Fellow and founder of the first reliable weather forecasting model for near-equator areas, Liisa Smits.  

Our second guest in this episode is Stella Printezi, Lead Partnership and Program Manager of the Dela Programme* – a systems change global accelerator co-created by Ashoka and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship that focuses on supporting social entrepreneurs and their innovative solutions. 

Liisa’s unique work was spotted by Ikea thanks to the Dela accelerator, which made Ignitia their first-ever equity investment case this summer: 

Thanks to the Dela programme, we got to work together with advisors to achieve much more than any advice over the phone can do. The difference from the Dela programme compared to other accelerators is that there isn’t a mismatch between competencies and needs.

Thanks to IKEA Social Entrepreneurship's first-ever equity investment, Liisa and her team at Ignitia AB are scaling their impact by working more with supply chains of different products and continue providing accurate and reliable weather forecast systems in the tropics.

In addition, Ignitia has also changed its systems change strategy, getting investors from supply chains and retails such as IKEA and spreading their solution to reach as many as possible. For instance, they are now working with organizations that are in daily contact with small-scale farmers that are dependent on their products.

One of the unique aspects of Dela is that it is truly co-created between Ashoka & IKEA Social Entrepreneurship. Dela focuses on scaling indirect impact and looks at the bigger picture of the ecosystem: with the vision – and not the organization – at the center.

Ignitia empowers small farmers to make educated decisions, increasing efficiency and agricultural yield

The tropics are the areas that have been and will continue to be most affected by climate change. That’s why in 2009, Liisa decided to co-found Ignitia to develop the first reliable weather forecasting model that is accessible to small farmers and produces highly accurate weather predictions.

Liisa is since then making a sustainable impact by bridging a gap in the value chain, mitigating adverse impacts from weather patterns, and optimizing conditions for the agricultural sector.

You can read more about Liisa’s changemaking journey and unique insights on accelerator programs like Dela in this article.


*In 2019, Ashoka and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship co-created the first Dela Programme to create a positive social impact by supporting social entrepreneurs globally. The Dela systems change global accelerator centers around one main program, the Dela Accelerator, which includes co-worker engagement as well as search, selection, and support of new Ashoka Fellows – social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. Discover more about this unique program here.   

* Ashoka works in the Nordic region to share the wisdom of leading social entrepreneurs with a global audience and contribute positively to this rapidly changing world. If you are interested in being part of this mission, recommend a candidate to join the Ashoka Fellowship.

* Leading with Social Impact is a podcast series hosted by Shreyas Bharadwaj that aims to connect people to the inspirational thoughts and ideas of the leaders who work to create a positive social impact.