Andrew Wolk is the founder and CEO of Root Cause, which he founded in 2004 as a means to pursue his life’s work: how best to utilize resources that enable more people and families to achieve lifelong success.
Andrew recently led Root Cause through a repositioning, in which he asked the question: “Is Root Cause making enough of difference?” He explores this question through his regular, Finding Common Purpose.
At Root Cause, Andrew has partnered with dozens of foundations, nonprofit organizations, public school districts, and government agencies. His work on collective action, measurement, learning and improvement, and strategy projects has helped organizations across the country to improve people’s lives at many different stages, from a healthy birth, to a quality education, a well-paying job, and healthy and secure aging.
In addition to leading Root Cause’s work, Andrew has launched, incubated, and spun off two sustainable, independent nonprofits, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF), Interise, and one consulting firm, Impact Catalysts.
Andrew’s current work aims to mobilize groups of stakeholders in collective action to help people thrive at a population level across a city or county. From identifying a common goal to coordinating services and sharing common measures of success, Andrew seeks to inspire people and communities to work together to reduce barriers to success so that more people and families are able to succeed from a healthy birth, to a quality education, a well-paying job, and healthy and secure aging. This focus is most evident in Andrew’s work with the Duke Endowment and Ready for School, Ready for Life in Guilford, NC, where a coalition of stakeholders is building an early childhood system that supports the health, well-being, and school readiness of every child born into the community each year.
Additional highlights include his longtime strategic partnerships with State Street Foundation, including managing their Boston Workforce Investment Network (Boston WINs), and with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
Andrew is widely recognized as a leading social innovator and a pioneering teacher of social entrepreneurship. He designed and taught one of the nation’s first courses on social entrepreneurship at Boston University. He has held positions as senior lecturer in social entrepreneurship at MIT and as a Gleitsman Visiting Practitioner at Harvard Kennedy School. He has also served on boards for Social Enterprise Alliance and the Social Capitalist Awards, helped establish the Boston chapter of Social Venture Partners, and served on its international board. He currently serves on the board of Company One Theater, a Boston-based theater company that builds community at the intersection of art and social change.
Andrew holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management from Boston University and a BA from Lehigh University.