David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D. is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Cooperrider is past Chair of the National Academy of Management’s OD Division and has lectured and taught at Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, Katholieke University in Belgium, MIT, University of Michigan, Cambridge and others. Dr. Cooperrider is founder and Chair of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. The center’s core proposition is that sustainability is the business opportunity of the 21st century, indeed that every social and global issue of our day is an opportunity to ignite industry leading eco-innovation, social entrepreneurship, and new sources of value.
Dr. Cooperrider created Appreciative Inquiry, a revolutionary methodology for achieving sustainable, desired, strength-based change, in collaboration with Dr. Ronald Fry, over twenty years ago. He has brought the Appreciative Inquiry methodology in to advance initiatives to a wide variety of organizations including the Boeing Corporation, Fairmount Minerals, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McKinsey, Parker, Sherwin Williams, Wal-Mart as well as American Red Cross, American Hospital Association, Cleveland Clinic, World Vision and United Way of America. His founding theoretical work in this area is creating a positive revolution in the leadership of change; it is helping institutions all over the world discover the power of the strength-based approaches to multi-stakeholder innovation and sustainable design. Admiral Clark, the CNO of the Navy, for example, brought AI into the Navy for a multiyear project on “Bold and Enlightened Naval Leadership.” In June 2004, Cooperrider was asked by the United Nations to design and facilitate a historic, unprecedented summit on global corporate citizenship, a meeting between Kofi Annan and 500 business leaders to “unite the strengths of markets with the authority of universal ideals to make globalization work for everyone.” Cooperrider’s work is especially unique because of its ability to enable positive change, innovation, and sustainable design in systems of large and complex scale. At the 2007 international conference on AI hundreds of organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, IDEO, Yahoo!, and US Cellular shared the breakthrough results they are experiencing as a result of becoming “strengths-based organizations”.