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.
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 with respect to education, economic development, and health. 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 is also 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 the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Social Capitalist
Awards. He 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 earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management from Boston
University, and a BA from Lehigh University.
Andrew recently led Root Cause through a repositioning and is now exploring the question “Are
We Making Enough of Difference?” in his regular blog, Finding Common Purpose. He believes
the “American Dream”—the idea of America as a land of equal opportunity in which every
generation will be better off than the preceding one is no longer operating in the 21st century.
Underpinning this decline is something no one seems to be willing to confront: a massive,
largely dysfunctional, trillion-dollar Nonprofit Industrial Complex: the complex web of tens of
thousands of nonprofit organizations, myriad government programs at the federal, state, county,
and municipal levels, thousands of foundations, millions of individual donors and volunteers,
and hundreds of different school models. As Andrew sees it, the first step in dealing with this
dysfunction is to come to establish a new social contract founded upon an agreement about what
success looks like in the 21st century, along a pathway from a healthy birth, to a quality
education, to a well-paying job, and to healthy and secure aging.