Activities and Core Competencies

In the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Weatherhead School of Management, we’re proud to advance a central portfolio of activities that build upon our core competencies.

Portfolio of Activities

We conduct research and outreach to support our initiatives via two main programs:

  • The Global Forum Series, which convenes business and thought leaders from all over the world every three years to contribute to a tipping point in advancing business as an agent of world benefit.
  • The AIM2Flourish program, wherein students around the world use appreciative inquiry to showcase breakthrough innovations that honor and scale for-profit businesses contributing to the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

The research activities continue our 12+ year effort to collect stories in the world innovation bank on sustainable business with more than 3,000 interviews and 200+ published cases. It conducts research and writing of teaching cases as well as books, book chapters and journal articles on appreciative inquiry, sustainable value, design, embedded sustainability and flourishing enterprise. To carry out its agenda, the Fowler Center relies in part on its Fowler Family Fellows and Doctor of Management Fellows.

The outreach activities seek to engage businesses through various projects such as Appreciative Inquiry Summits. When “in scope” and financially advantageous, the Fowler Center provides advisory services to companies who are looking to further integrate sustainability into their businesses.

Core Competencies

Several core competencies are critical to carrying out the Fowler Center’s strategic focus and portfolio of activities. Chief among them are fundraising and the ability to obtain financial sponsorships for the projects and activities of the Fowler Center.


For the research stream, the core competency is through leadership in researching and publishing high impact works in the field of management. It includes:

  • The ability to fund and lead highly visible and influential research and publications.
  • The capacity for ongoing research and publications such as the teaching case series cobranded with Ivey Publishing.


For the outreach stream, the core competency is the ability to engage and lead the business community in generating flourishing enterprise at the regional, national and global levels. This requires the ability to fund and lead major projects such as the Global Forum Series and AIM2Flourish that engage business leaders in contributing to a tipping point in business as an agent of world benefit.


A third core competency is in the area of collaborating, networking, and maintaining partnerships with faculty, business leaders, organizations and social movements sharing similar aims. It includes:

  • Partnering with faculty and administration at Weatherhead School of Management and, more broadly, at Case Western Reserve University to embed sustainability and flourishing enterprise into the research programs, teaching curricula and the strategic direction of the institution.
  • Collaborating with business leaders, management schools, academic institutions such as the AACSB, organizations such as the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), social movements such as Conscious Capitalism, industry associations, nonprofits, cities and governments.


A fourth core competency is around marketing and communication, online networking and outreach, as well as the active use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and


A fifth core competency is the convening and running of an active advisory board composed of eminent business and thought leaders with the vision, power and desire to guide the Fowler Center forward.

Finally, the leadership of the Fowler Center is built on the vision and work of Cooperrider, Fry and faculty at Weatherhead School of Management. Effective action requires ongoing close collaboration with these and other leaders in the CWRU community.