Openly Autistic tech leader Magnus Hedemark has joined the senior leadership team at neurodiversity specialists Genius Within. The 49-year-old from North Carolina joins the East Sussex-based social enterprise in the newly created position of Chief Information Officer.
With a worldwide remit, Magnus will drive the development and implementation of new screening technologies to assess and harness people’s cognitive strengths. He will lead Genius Within’s expanding technology team and be instrumental in the cultural and professional development of the company as it enters new global markets.
Magnus is a life-long technology enthusiast and 30-year veteran of tech operations. Discovering a passion for IT as a child, his subsequent talents as a systems engineer were rapidly harnessed. Fast tracking into leadership roles at Amplify Education and the UnitedHealth Group, Magnus latterly led a 300-strong technology team at worldwide clothing retailer Gap Inc.
A champion of neurodiversity inclusion in both his professional and personal life, Magnus is passionate in supporting neurodivergent people – typically Autistic people and those with ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Tourette syndrome. He mentors neurodivergent students at North Carolina State University; sits on a consortium of autism employment for the Stanford Neurodiversity Project; and is a member of the board of advisors at Ultranauts Inc.
Magnus was formally diagnosed with autism in his late 30’s, and with ADHD last year. He has direct lived experience of the challenges faced by neurodivergent workers and sees his appointment to Genius Within as the perfect fusion of his technology leadership and neurodiversity stereotype-busting credentials.
“I’ve been a long-term supporter of Genius Within’s pioneering work having benefitted personally from it in the past,” says Magnus. “Identifying and supporting neurodivergent traits is massively important in nurturing people’s natural talents – and helping them learn those that others are born with.
“Helping people from under-represented communities move forward is a personal passion and I’m more than delighted to join the Genius Within senior leadership team at this exciting time of expansion.”
Genius Within is a community interest company established in 2011. It supports commissioning bodies, employers, and individuals to help neurominorities work to their strengths and has recently been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its work enhancing social mobility.
CEO Jacqui Wallis said: “Magnus vanquishes the perception that Autistic people can’t be good people leaders and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the leadership team. His non-traditional ways of working and ability to read emerging trends are huge assets, as is his proven track record of upskilling workforces and championing inclusion.”
An unashamed polymath – an acquirer of knowledge – Magnus’s eclectic interests include fine art photography, tropical fish, motorcycling and rare house plants. He is a podcaster, writer, and public speaker, and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his life-long partner, their three daughters, and many pets.
Magnus Hedemark, Chief Information Officer, Genius Within
Helen Wardle, Fivefold Communications, 07757 355339
Notes to editors:
ABOUT GENIUS WITHIN: Passionate about Neurodiversity
Genius Within CIC is a social enterprise established by Dr Nancy Doyle in 2011 to help neurominorities unlock their talents, whilst acknowledging and celebrating that this diversity forms part of the rich tapestry of human experience.
The company advises governments on policy and provides consultancy to businesses, driving systemic change that allows all employees to thrive. It provides in-work support in the form of coaching, training, and assessments. It also supports neurodiverse/neurodivergent thinkers who are not in the workplace, who might be studying, unemployed or in the criminal justice system, as seen in two BBC docuseries of Employable Me, and the syndicated A&E series The EmployABLEs.