David L. Cooperrider is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. 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. 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.
Cooperrider created Appreciative Inquiry, a revolutionary methodology for achieving sustainable, desired, strength-based change, in collaboration with 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.”
Cooperrider often serves as meeting speaker and leader of large group, interactive conference events. His dynamic ideas on appreciative inquiry and sustainable design have been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization and Environment, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Management Inquiry, The OD Practitioner, and in research series such as Advances in Strategic Management. In the more popular realm, Professor Cooperrider’s work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NPR, Science, Fast Company, Fortune, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Biz Ed, and others. He has been a recipient of Best Paper of the Year Awards at the Academy of Management and was named top researcher of the year 2005 at Case Western Reserve University. Among his highest honors, Cooperrider was invited to design a series of dialogues among 25 of the world’s top religious leaders, started by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who said, “If only the world’s religious leaders could just know each other, the world will be a better place.” Using AI, the group held meetings in Jerusalem and at the Carter Center with President Jimmy Carter. Cooperrider was recognized in 2000 as among “the top ten visionaries” in the field by Training Magazine and in 2004 received ASTD’s highest award for “distinguished contribution to the field” of organizational learning. Cooperrider received the 2004 Porter Award for best writing from the OD Network, and was named the 2007 Faculty Pioneer for his impact in the field of sustainability by the Aspen Institute.
Cooperrider has published 14 books and authored over 50 articles. His volumes include Handbook of Transformative Cooperation (with Sandy Piderit and Ron Fry) a series of books on Appreciative Inquiry; The Organization Dimensions of Global Change (with Jane Dutton); Organizational Courage and Executive Wisdom (with Suresh Srivastva). Cooperrider is editor of the research series Advances in Appreciative Inquiry (with Michel Avital) published by Elsevier Science, which is currently going to press with its third volume. Cooperrider’s wife Nancy is an artist. His son Daniel is graduate student at University of Chicago studying the world’s religions; Hannah is an art student at Miami University of Ohio and Matt is a biology and anthropology student at University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
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