Steve Waddell Principal

About Steve Waddell


Responding to Opportunity and Crisis

Responding to the 21st century’s enormous global challenges and realizing its unsurpassed opportunities require new ways of acting and organizing. NetworkingAction is my personal vehicle to 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) and inter-organizational collaboration to produce innovation, enhance impact, and build new capacity. These initiatives may be local, national and/or global. The topics are varied, including water, forestry, youth, finance, economic development, and peace.

I have done this for nearly 30 years, working with others as clients, funders, sponsors, and project partners. I am founder of the GOLDEN Ecosystems Labs, founding Executive Director of Global Action Network Net (GAN-Net) and Leadership for Change (an executive management program at Boston College); Steward with iScale; co-founder of: The Change AllianceEthical Funds (Canada’s largest family of socially responsible mutual funds), and the Global Finance Initiative (GFI).  Currently I am also deeply engaged with development of Empowering Impact…an initiative to address complex challenges at scale.   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.  A second is global action networks, which are an emerging form of global governance that addresses issues requiring deep change. 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 organizational form.  The third key concept 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) and Global Action Networks:  Creating our future together (2011). 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.