Case Western Reserve University Professor David Cooperrider will become the first Fairmount Minerals Chair in Social Entrepreneurship, with a task of teaching and promoting the ideals of sustainability that are employed in the real life work of its benefactor, Fairmount Minerals, Ltd.
As director of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB) and a founding expert of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Cooperrider is already at work searching the globe for ways leaders in the business sector are putting their people, imagination and assets to work to benefit the earth.
At the announcement of the creation of the Fairmount Minerals Chair in Social Entrepreneurship in November 2006, Fairmount Minerals President and CEO Charles D. Fowler commented, "We are convinced that business is the best agent for positive change in this world."
"I'm really excited and quite proud for our whole department to have the kind of learning partnerships with companies like Fairmount Minerals that are very, very long-term learning partnerships and commitments together," said Cooperrider. "I see this professorship as a symbol of an extraordinary relationship between the university and a corporate partner that elevates each other."
The author of nine books and nearly 50 scholarly articles, Cooperrider has served as researcher and advisor to a wide variety of organizations. Most of his projects are inspired by the methodology for which he is best known, Appreciative Inquiry. His founding work in this area is being utilized by companies all over the world in their approaches to planning and multi-stakeholder cooperation.
Additionally, his work with BAWB has helped Case Western Reserve become an international leader in pioneering social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and sustainable business.
"David Cooperrider is a distinguished member of our faculty," noted Mohan Reddy, dean of the Weatherhead School of Management. "His work provides global recognition for the Weatherhead School of Management."
The chair, created with a $2 million gift, one of two from Fairmount Minerals, Ltd. last fall, will help enhance BAWB's goals and programs. The position will aim to bring together and mobilize management leaders around the world to design global solutions and innovations through collaborations and initiatives.
"The Fairmount Minerals family is very proud and excited to support this chair in social responsibility," said Fowler, a 1990 graduate of Weatherhead's EMBA program. "Case Western Reserve and, particularly, Dr. David Cooperrider, have long been valued partners in our management education and in our efforts for positive organizational development."
Fairmount Minerals is the third largest producer of industrial sand in the United States and advocates social responsibility through environmentally friendly policies. The Chardon, Ohio, based company has been a supporter of Weatherhead for more than 20 years, according to Reddy and Cooperrider.
"We started working with Fairmount Minerals in 1990 and have had many of their constituents come through Weatherhead as students or program attendees," Cooperrider said. "It is so exciting to see the strength that can come from the relationship built on the desire for each other's success."
He added, "Fairmount Minerals is a leader in its industry in creating a sustainable and green organization, and we believe that the industry's leading stars of the future are going to be companies that are able to initiate tremendous sustainability that also creates tremendous shareholder values. This gift will enable us to build partnerships with many companies that are interested in 'going green' or becoming leaders in social responsibility or want to find ways to unite the strengths of markets with the global issues of our day."
In addition to the chair endowment, Fairmount Minerals also contributed $400,000 to establish the Fairmount Minerals Seed Fund to support programs in the area of social responsibility and sustainable business at Weatherhead.
One of those programs is what Cooperrider calls the "sustainable design factory," a three-day session that allows companies to bring employees and stakeholders together to create sustainable products and operations that eliminate costs and waste from business and bring about new market opportunities through sustainability and "going green."
When Fairmount Minerals participated in the program, the company brought customers and other supply chain partners into the room to share and bring new ideas to the table, helping to shape their industry through sustainability.
"We thank Chuck Fowler and the entire Fairmount Minerals family for their dedication to 'doing good doing well'," added Reddy.
A program and reception, acknowledging Cooperrider's appointment, will be held Friday, October 19, at 4:30 p.m. in the Peter B. Lewis Building, at Bellflower and Ford Roads on the Case Western Reserve campus.
For information about the October 19 program, contact Peggy Sobul at (216) 368-3247 or register .