Weatherhead’s David Cooperrider honored with OD Network Award for Elevating Humanity

David Cooperrider stands at the podium at receiving OD Network International Conference

Weatherhead School of Management Distinguished University Professor David Cooperrider has been awarded one of the highest honors in his field, the 2023 OD Network Award for Elevating Humanity by the Organization Development Network.

“I feel that I was born under a lucky star to have landed in this field of Organization Development and I feel so much gratitude to one of my greatest mentors, Suresh Srivastva, who called me on the phone in my early 20’s and declared that I was accepted into the best PhD program of its kind, right here in the OB Department, at the Weatherhead School,” said Cooperrider. “Indeed, this award should be totally shared, by every colleague, student, alum and program here at the Weatherhead School of Management, where deep in the DNA and soul of this school is what we’ve, for years, spoken about as the ‘noble profession of management.’”

The Elevating Humanity award is given to practitioners and scholars who lead large-scale change movements that transform trans-organizational and geopolitical systems for the sake of raising urgent attention to humanitarian crises, the call to climate action and building a nature-positive economy, and propelling practical solutions, while having a measurable impact and a widespread following. Recipients demonstrate they are carrying out the primary characteristics of organization development: inclusive, values-driven dialogue that focuses on sensing the future that yearns to emerge from a place of the heart as well as the head and hands.

The award was presented to Cooperrider during a ceremony at the Organization Development Network International Conference on June 14 at North Carolina State University.

Cooperrider is best known for his original theoretical articulation of "AI" or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Srivastva.

At the ceremony, organizers cited Cooperrider’s 27 books and over 100 articles and book chapters he has written. Among those are his research series on Advances in Appreciative Inquiry (with Michel Avital) and his “readers choice” award-winning book in 2022, The Business of Building a Better World: The Leadership Revolution That is Changing Everything (with Audrey Selian).

Also noted was Cooperrider’s world-changing work as advisor and organization development consultant with senior executives in business and society leadership roles including with companies such as Apple, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the CEOs of The B Team, and projects with five presidents/nobel laureates including Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter and former U.N. Secretary General and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan.

At the June 14 ceremony, Cooperrider was also honored with the 2023 Outstanding Article of the Year award, along with alumna Lindsey Godwin (GRS ’08, organizational behavior), for their article, Our Earthshot Moment: Net Positive OD for the Creation of a World of Full Spectrum Flourishing.