Our approach: We seek to make collective action a reality, fostering connections between actors and sectors – notably in the areas of food, nutrition, climate, nature and health.
Our purpose: To enable established and emerging leaders to be effective for equity, justice and regenerative futures in a complex, fast-changing world.
The work of the Foundation is aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which were agreed by world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.
The Foundation focuses on tackling complex and contested issues, with an approach that is adapted to political, social and economic realities – at local, national, and global levels.
4SD Foundation prioritises regenerative futures for all people in ways that reflect human rights, equity, and social justice, while navigating in complex, fast-changing contexts. We work with all actors, at all levels (local, national, regional, and global), in all geographies, seeking at all times to be inclusive, proactive and constructive.
At 4SD, our team put an emphasis on prioritising the needs of people with the least agency and resources, and to strive for no-one to be left behind.
4SD Foundation was launched in March 2023 to promote the styles and patterns of leadership that are urgently needed on a very large scale to tackle the major challenges with achieving just and sustainable development for the world’s people and for the planet. It continues to strengthen its approach to supporting systems change, with an emphasis on Living Systems Leadership.
The Foundation has emerged from the positive experiences of social enterprise 4SD Sarl, which was established in 2018 to find ways to introduce development practitioners to Living Systems Leadership and to accompany them as they make use of the approach in their work.
The four elements that make 4SD
We help leaders make best use of emotional intelligence and know when and how to trust instincts
We foster effective leadership in the context of complex, living systems – what we call Living Systems Leadership
We encourage honest collaboration, because leaders are most effective when working in synergy
We work to urgently advance sustainable development and global agendas for humanity and the planet.
What we mean by leaders
At 4SD, we define established and emerging leaders as practitioners who work directly on sustainable development and related issues, as well as those who work indirectly for sustainable development from their positions in different sectors and stakeholder groups.
Leaders who are accompanied by 4SD cultivate mindsets and behaviours that significantly increase their ability to be effective in a complex, fast-changing world. Specifically, they are better able to operate within their professional context to:
- inspire others, build confidence and capabilities;
- weave together different strands across disciplines;
- establish connections and dialogue among diverse actors;
- embrace complexity and achieve coherence across multiple actors; and,
- enable their organisation or the multi-stakeholder processes in which they are involved to be able to achieve greater social and environmental impact.