A Letter from John Harper, FSG’s New CEO

Dear FSG community,

Happy New Year! The start of a new year has always been a time of gratitude and excitement for me. These feelings are only heightened this year, as I am grateful for this incredible community of colleagues and partners and am filled with an immense sense of possibility for the lasting impact we can have together.

The role of education and learning in social change has long been clear to me. My mother was a teacher, and prior to joining FSG, I spent the majority of my career in and around schools. My practice as a consultant is rooted in adult learning theory, and many of my colleagues will say learning is also at the core of my leadership approach. I’ve always found that the most effective teachers are in fact humble learners themselves. As teachers get curious and more deeply understand their students, they begin to unlock boundless human potential. As they work together to build (and ultimately remove) scaffolding and supports, they also build the intrinsic motivation and resilience for the student to continue their work far beyond the teacher’s eye.

At our best, FSG operates as a connected, three-legged stool. Through our consulting work, we serve as trusted advisors to foundations and corporations across the globe. Through our learning communities and initiatives, we connect practitioners and cultivate spaces for peer-to-peer learning, relationship-building, and reflection. And finally, our insights and ideas elevate frameworks, standards, and ideas to help activate and advance the field as a whole. Across these three legs, we intentionally work at the intersection of issue areas, connect ideas and stakeholders across sectors, enable business value creation, and translate global best practices into tangible change in the lives of real people in place. All of this is in service of equitable systems change, shifting power, and uplifting the leadership of marginalized communities. In short, each day we strive to strike that balance of both effective teacher and humble learner.

As I step in as CEO, I’m bringing forward this humble learner mindset. I want FSG to focus not only on the rigor of our analysis and depth of our insights, but also the experiences, environment, and relationships that people need for meaningful change. I want us to build on our incredible legacy of 20+ years of advancing social change by listening deeply to our clients, our partners, and the communities we seek to serve as we co-create what comes next.

There is a lot happening in the world today, but my ancestors, elders, and the beautifully resilient communities that raised me always remind me that there’s hope. I’m energized to pursue that hope together with you. Thank you for being a part of our FSG community. I look forward to meeting you, hearing your ideas, and collaboratively evolving and shaping FSG into the organization that the world needs now.

In service,

John Harper
Chief Executive Officer

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