Donnie Lygonis

Innovation Strategist, KTH Innovation

Donnie Lygonis has been working with new ideas and innovation for over 20 years, both starting his own companies as well as helping others start or develop theirs. Today he spends his days at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm, where he has been part of creating and running what is considered to be one of the best innovation offices in the world. He is also very active within the TEDx movement and different TV shows on innovation. 2015 and 2016 Donnie spent in Silicon Valley where he was part of starting the Swedish contingency of the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto.

As an entrepreneur, Donnie has started several companies, like the food-tech company Lohilo, the blockchain company Validicity and avatar-based network Friendbase. He also does a lot of pro bono work like jury work for entrepreneurship and innovation competitions. Amongst others, he is the chair of the jury for The Stockholm Acceleration Scholarship that awards the best sustainable growth company in Stockholm every year.

Based on his experience with startups, he got the idea to create a global foundation to help local founders all over the world start and grow sustainable companies. That materialized into the Entrepreneurs Without Borders Foundation (EWB) in 2016.

At SHIFT 2020, Donnie will talk about the need for a new definition of entrepreneurship and how the current idea of “startups” is flawed. The world has never seen a bigger need for new job creation and urgent direction towards the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Restarting the world after COVID-19 needs companies that offer new jobs. These new companies need to be based on a NEW kind of entrepreneurship that takes both growth AND sustainability into account.


SHIFT’s climate partner Chooose has agreed to offset the speaker’s CO2 emissions for six months, including their participation to SHIFT 2020.