Flourishing Enterprise Institute Founding Forum

Below you will find all the details for the FEI Founding Forum, including trip planning information and the schedule of events.

Planning your trip to Waterloo


There are accommodations available to suit your preferences, whether you are looking for something modest, to stay within walking distance of the venue, or otherwise. 

You can browse a variety of options and choose the one that best suits your needs by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2OkuyPB.


If you are arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto you can travel to the venue via public transportation or by renting a car. Sadly, there is no simple or quick way to get directly to the venue via bus/train. It is the final few kilometers between drop off points in Waterloo or nearby Kitchener that demand so much more time than travel by car. 

To save travel time and related emissions, we are happy to help coordinate a pick up or carpool with another participant. Please be sure to indicate your preferences as part of the registration process.

Our main venue for the event is Evolv1 (420 Wes Graham Way) in the “Make Change” Classroom, though we will spend the first few hours of Forum on Thursday August 15th at the Accelerator Centre Auditorium (295 Hagey Blvd, Waterloo). All of the details are described within the event schedule.

You can find options for getting to the main venue from via public transportation by clicking here: http://tiny.cc/v2989y.

You can find links to the car rental companies available at Pearson International Airport by clicking here: 

We encourage all participants to consider offsetting the impact of their travel. You can do so quickly and at a low cost by clicking here: 

Schedule of Events

The following is an outline of our schedule of events, spanning from Wednesday August 14th to Friday August 16th. A more detailed workshop agenda is forthcoming.

Wednesday August 14th - Pre-Workshop Proceedings

Pre-Workshop Meeting of FEI Steering and Advisory Committees

This is a meeting that only FEI Steering and Advisory Committee members are expected to attend:
  • Timing: 14:00 - 16:00
  • Location: Evolv1 (420 Wes Graham Way), "Make Change" Classroom

Informal Participant Welcome & Networking Event

We welcome those who will arrive before the Forum officially starts to gather and get to know your fellow participants:
  • Timing: 18:30 - 20:30
  • Location: Gilt (305 King Street West (Unit 102), Kitchener)
  • Light fare will be provided. Food and drink can be purchased at the individual's expense.

Thursday August 15th - FEI Founding Forum: Day 1

*Breakfast and Lunch to be provided*

David Cooperrider, Keynote Event

We encourage everyone to promote our special Keynote Event featuring David Cooperrider that will run from 09:30 – 10:30. All are encouraged to promote the talk, which can be attended in-person for only $10 or online for free.
  • 08:00 - 08:30 / Registration and Breakfast
  • 08:30 - 10:30 / Opening remarks, introductions, and keynote presentation
  • Location: Accelerator Centre Auditorium (295 Hagey Blvd, Waterloo)

Workshop - Day 1 Continued
  • Timing: 10:30 - 17:00
  • Location: Evolv1 (420 Wes Graham Way), "Make Change" Classroom
    • 1 km walk from the Accelerator Centre (10-15 minutes)

Participant Dinner
  • Timing: 18:30 - 20:30
  • Location: La Cucina (325 King Street West, Waterloo)
  • Food and drink can be purchased at the individual's expense

Friday August 16th - FEI Founding Forum: Day 2

*Breakfast and Lunch to be provided*

Workshop - Day 2
  • 08:00 - 08:30 / Breakfast
  • 08:30 - 15:00 / Workshop
  • Location: Evolv1 (420 Wes Graham Way), "Make Change" Classroom

Beyond Corporate Sustainability: Toward Full-Spectrum Flourishing
David Cooperrider Keynote Event

Registration and Sharing
The keynote scheduled for Thursday Aug 15th at 9:30 am is part of the FEI Founding Forum agenda and accessible to all participants without registering separately. This hour-long event is also accessible to any students and professionals who may be interested ($10 in person or free online). We encourage Forum participants to extend an invitation to others within your network using the link below to our event registration page: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fei-founding-forum-keynote-presentation-tickets-66692096857

Keynote Details
The Flourishing Enterprise Institute (FEI) invites you to join a special keynote presentation featuring Dr. David Cooperrider, world-renowned author, academic, practitioner and co-creator of Appreciative Inquiry. 

In most organizations the practice of corporate sustainability is mainly focused on reducing harm by incrementally improving performance across social and environmental indicators. It is common for actions to be taken that increase energy efficiency, eliminate waste and improve how employees, customers and other stakeholders are treated, without addressing what is fundamentally unsustainable about business as usual. After many years of progress it is evident that even leading organizations are rarely engaging in the kind of deep, systemic change that generating meaningful progress demands. 

Through this inspiring and interactive talk, Dr. Cooperrider will explore the concept of flourishing and how organizations, as an expression of the best of humanity, can practically contribute to a thriving planet, while generating tremendous potential to innovate and enhance performance within.

About the Speaker
David L. Cooperrider, PhD, is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. He holds two chaired professorships: Char and Chuck Fowler Professor of Business as an Agent of World Benefit and the Covia - David L. Cooperrider Professorship in Appreciative Inquiry, both at the Weatherhead School of Management. David is the Founder and Faculty Director of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit and is also the Honorary Chairman of Champlain College's David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business. Recently David received "The Lifetime Achievement Award" -- the highest honor in his field of Organization Development — for his work on Appreciative Inquiry and his advancement the concept of full-spectrum flourishing as the field’s North Star.

Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan wrote these words after calling upon David Cooperrider as an advisor and using Dr. Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry to bring over 500 CEO's into a world summit at the United Nations: “Without your innovative methodology of Appreciative Inquiry, it would have been very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to constructively engage so many leaders of business, civil society, and government [to co-create a positive future for all].” A UN Leaders report for the Global Compact's 8,000 corporations said “Appreciative Inquiry is the best large group method in the world today.”

About the Flourishing Enterprise Institute
The Flourishing Enterprise Institute (FEI) aims to be a planetary network of applied research nodes dedicated to accelerating the development and mobilization of practical knowledge and innovative solutions that will enable all organizations and their stakeholders to accelerate progress toward a flourishing future. The FEI has adopted the term and idea of flourishing, in place of sustainability, as a more ambitious, scientifically-based and ethically grounded possibility for all life on our planet to thrive. Organizations that deeply understand and effectively pursue the possibility of flourishing will create the potential to be significantly more innovative, adaptive and resilient; the Institute will serve to enable organizations to realize this possibility at scale. Flourishing Enterprise Institute hosted by the Viessmann Centre for Engagement & Research in Sustainability (VERiS) at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.

Event Contacts

Randy Sa'd
Acting Executive Director


Antony Upward
Acting Director of Research & Practice

Skype ID: antonyupward