David L. Cooperrider

David L. Cooperrider & The Beginning of Appreciative Inquiry

David Cooperrider, PhD, holds the title of "Distinguished University Professor" and is the Fairmount Santrol- David L. Cooperrider Professor of Appreciative Inquiry at Case Western Reserve University, where he is the faculty founder of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. David is best known for his original theoretical articulation of "AI" or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Suresh Srivastva. Today AI's approach to strengths-inspired, instead of problematizing change, is being practiced everywhere: the corporate world, the world of public service, of economics, of education, of faith, of philanthropy, and social science scholarship-it is affecting them all. Jane Nelson, at Harvard's Kennedy School of Leadership recently wrote, "David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation."

David has served as advisor to prominent leaders in business and society, including projects with five Presidents and/or Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter. David advises a wide variety of corporations including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Verizon, Hunter Douglas, Cleveland Clinic, National Grid, Smuckers, Clarke, Fairmount Minerals, McKinsey, Parker, Dealer Tire, and Wal-Mart as well as the Navy, Red Cross, United Way of America, and the United Nations. David is also a founding Board Member of the Taos Institute and the International Association of Positive Psychology. David has published 25 books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters. He has served as editor of both the Journal of Corporate Citizenship with Ron Fry and the current academic research 4-volume series on Advances for Appreciative Inquiry, with Michel Avital.  In 2010 David was honored with the Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow award. David's books include Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change (with Diana Whitney); The Organization Dimensions of Global Change (with Jane Dutton); Organizational Courage and Executive Wisdom (with Suresh Srivastva); and The Strengths-based Leadership Handbook (with Brun & Ejsing.)  David's work has received many of awards including Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning by ASTD; the Porter Award for Best writing in the field of Organization Development and the Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award.  In 2016 David was named as one of the nation's top thought leaders by Trust Across America, and honored as one of "AACSB's Most Influential Leaders." In the highest recognition, Champlain College's Stiller School of Business honored David's impact with an academic center in his name.  Opened in 2014 it is called the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and David serves as its Honorary Chair and Professor Lindsey Godwin is the Faculty Director. For the center's dedication Professor Martin Seligman, the father of the positive psychology movement wrote: "David Cooperrider is a giant: a giant of discovery, a giant of dissemination, and a giant of generosity." Likewise Jane Dutton, former President of the Academy of Management said, "David Cooperrider is changing the world with his ideas and who he is as a person. There are few who combine such insight, inspiration and energy."

In The Questions Lay The Answers

By using a strengths-based approach of inquiry throughout an organization, AI helps businesses and organizations become sources of positive change in the world, showing by example that even the largest businesses and organizations can lead positive innovations to improve the lives of employees, customers, vendors and neighbors.

“Leading change is all about strengths. It has nothing to do with weaknesses.” —David L. Cooperrider