Sustainability Consulting | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

The Fowler Center provides strategies, tools, and methods to build Sustainable Value in businesses, organizations, and regions. The center facilitates successful change management to assure strategic growth, to provide a shift in thinking and culture, and to address disruptive changes in the environment, such as rising societal expectations and declining resources. The center’s whole-system approach to change ignites breakthrough innovation that generates real business value.

We offer a variety of products and solutions for organizations and communities. For more information, email the Fowler Center.

Products and Solutions

Workshops and Seminars

Combining theory, best practices, and practical exercises, these programs offer a general introduction to Sustainable Value as a strategic advantage.

Examples of our work:
The Global Forum for Business As An Agent of World Benefit (2006, 2009, 2014)
United Nations Global Compact US Network Symposia (2007–2012)

Institute In Sustainable Value

A multi-day, multi-company working session that allows each company group to receive a tool-kit of concepts, techniques, and approaches for creating Sustainable Value, and develop concrete solutions and action plans to be implemented in their respective environments.

Whole System Appreciative Inquiry Summits

An intensive change-management methodology that engages the entire system—shareholders, stakeholders, and other potential players—in a strength-based, co-design process for Sustainable Value creation.

An Appreciative Inquiry Summit is a large group planning, designing, or implementation meeting that brings a whole system of 300 to 1,000 or more internal and external stakeholders together in a concentrated way to work on a task of strategic, and especially creative, value. Moreover, it is a meeting where everyone is engaged as designers, across all relevant and resource-rich boundaries, to share leadership and take ownership for making the future of some big league opportunity successful.

— David Cooperrider

Examples of AI Summit Success Stories

These examples are not isolated or atypical triumphs.

  • State of Massachusetts: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit with Governor Deval Patrick and National Grid lead to the state's three year energy efficiency plans with 300 energy institutions in the room.
  • Walmart: AI Summits to design the sustainability index to be used with 65,000 suppliers and all their products. Also led separate AI Summits between Walmart and the magazine industry and Walmart and the organic cotton and apparel industries.
  • Fairmount Santrol: A series of AI Summits starting in 1993 (on creating the high engagement organization) and then a series of three AI Summits on sustainable innovation from 2005–2011.
  • The Dairy Industry: Designed and led an AI Summit with Dairy Inc. to convene the entire dairy industry to build a sustainability platform for innovation in farming practices, transportation, and creating a sustainability award for breakthroughs in sustainable dairy.
  • City of Cleveland: Designed and led three AI Summits to “Create an Economic Engine to Empower a Green City on a Blue Lake.” Learn more about this ongoing, ten-year project to transform the economy in NE Ohio.
  • City of Worcester Massachusetts: Designed and led an AI Summit with the whole city and National Grid to plan for a green city strategy and the design of the future smart grid for energy.
  • National Grid: Launched this leading utility's sustainability platform with an AI Summit in September, 2012.
  • Clarke: Designed and led an AI Summit for building the company sustainability strategy and taking it to a new level of “radical innovation.”
  • GoJo: Designed and led an AI Summit for embedding the concept of “sustainable value” into the heart of strategy and operations.
  • American Society of Association Executives: Designed and led a worldwide AI Summit to advance the social responsibility agenda of 10,000 international associations, from the AMA to the International Mining Association.
  • Schuberg Philis: Designed and led a sustainable innovation summit with the Netherland’s #1 ranked information systems company.