About Steve Waddell

Responding to Opportunity and Crisis

Steve 2011Responding to the 21st century’s enormous global challenges and realizing its unsurpassed opportunities require new ways of acting and organizing. I support organizational, network, and societal change and development, through consultation, education, research, and personal leadership. In particular, I focus upon intersectoral (business-government-civil society), inter-organizational collaboration and networks to produce innovation, enhance impact, and build new capacity.

I have done this for nearly 30 years, working with others as clients, funders, sponsors, and project partners. This includes the Global Knowledge Partnership, the UN Global Compact, World Bank, Global Reporting Initiative, Ford Foundation, Humanity United, Civicus, International Youth Foundation, USAID, International Development and Research Centre, Forest Stewardship Council. I founded the Boston College executive management program Leadership for Change, and am founding Lead Steward for the SDG Transformation Forum. For more on who I’ve worked with, go here.

Three key concepts are associated with my work.  One is “societal learning and change,” which is a deep change strategy to address chronic and complex issues. After making a modest contribution to a 2000 report to the UN Secretary General on the future global governance, I coined the term “Global Action Network” as a specific new organizational form. This multi-stakeholder global change network is the second key concept. The third one is “transformational complex change systems” which describes emerging groupings of change initiatives whose effectiveness can be greatly enhanced by consciously acting as such a system. For more on my areas of expertise, go here.

I have dozens of publications, including the books Societal Learning and Change: Innovation with Multi-Stakeholder Strategies (2005), Global Action Networks:  Creating our future together (2011) and Change for the Audacious: A doer’s guide to large systems change for a flourishing future (2016). I have a Ph.D. in sociology and a Masters in Business Administration. A full CV is available here.  See the Roles and Areas of Expertise tabs for more information about what we might do together.

I am led by a belief in, and commitment to developing human capacity to work across differences to realize highest aspirations.

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