Meet our Nordic Fellow Liisa Smits

Liisa Smits has developed Ignitia. Ignitia is an accurate and reliable weather forecast system for the tropics that makes weather forecasting accessible to small farmers. 

Her Changemaker journey

At a very young age, Liisa was already an active citizen involved in education reform and student participation. While being involved in local politics, Liisa studied a master degrees in both meteorology and physics. Upon graduation, she moved to the US to work on climate change research at the University of Washington as part of a NASA research project. 

While monitoring climates in different parts of the world, she discovered that the formula for calculating weather patterns and forecast for the tropics was extremely unreliable. It was then Liisa realized that she wanted to do more than just research. 

Drawing upon earlier advocacy and leadership experiences, Liisa decided to resign from her lucrative research position and use her skills and background to make a sustainable impact.

Recognizing that no one else was focusing on producing more accurate predictions for the tropics, Liisa gathered a team to help her solve this problem. After successfully finding a formula to make accurate weather predictions, Liisa founded Ignitia and decided to move to Ghana in 2009, together with her team.

Her Idea

Ignitia is the first reliable weather forecasting model for near-equator areas, which produces highly accurate weather predictions with regional and seasonal outlooks, monthly trends, and rain predictions. 

The tropics are the areas that have been and will continue to be most affected by climate change. Therefore, by making this information available and easily accessible to farmers in the tropical areas of Ghana, Liisa is bridging a gap in the value chain, enabling farmers to make informed decisions, mitigating adverse impacts from weather patterns, and optimizing conditions for the agricultural sector. 

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

Besides, Ignitia is providing customized weather forecasts, early warning alerts, and climate data sets that allow farmers to increase their yield and efficiency by timing planting, cultivating, and harvesting. 

Throughout Ignitia, Liisa is improving not only the livelihood and economic independence of farmers but is also contributing to farm productivity, income, environment, and the agricultural industry.

Curious for more?

Emma Lindgren

Nordic Director