About me

What was that brilliant idea?

Now what was I thinking again?

This is my personal blog. I am a South African that work locally and internationally on the development of leading meso level organisations. Sometimes I work with research institutions, sometimes with leading firms, and in some cases I work with international development organisations.

I work mainly as a process consultant and coach in support of leadership teams that want to discover how they can improve the performance and agility of their organisations. In the past I have worked as capacity builder and expert trainer in topics like the promotion of value chains, industry clusters or innovation systems. I often still draw on these past experiences, especially when I coach teams to conduct processes of search, discovery and adaptation.

I am a partner in the international consultancy Mesopartner. You can see my project profile and bio here.

In my research and academic role I work mainly on complexity thinking and innovation systems. Since 2010 I have been a  research associate with the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at the Tshwane University of Technology. In 2015 I became a member of the Faculty at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in the Executive Education unit. During the period of 2011 to 2014 I was appointed as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow by the Technology Transfer and Innovation Directorate of the Vaal University of Technology.

I live in Pretoria, South Africa, with my wife Annelien, and my daughters Nicole and Caitlin.


6 Responses to “About me”

  1. Natasha Walker Says:

    Love the Photo. Are you returning your glass eyes to their proper place?
    I think you were actually having some brilliant innovative ideas on how to improve the world.


  2. Pieter Snyman Says:

    Shawn, I think we need to talk…. maybe there is some possibilities. Laat my weet!


  3. Ekanath Says:

    Hi Shwan,

    I found very interesting and inspiring blog especially for us who believe the entrepreneurship development is the key for poverty reduction. I will keep on checking your blog and try to replicate some of the principles on my work as well

    All The best



  4. Lebo Says:

    Hi Shawn,

    Am learning a lot from your work and would definetly appreciate to have a mentor like you. Keep on sharing excellent techniques with us. I’m in dire need of advises from your side with regard to economic development consultancy issues using PACA.



  5. valérie Says:

    Hi Shawn,

    you just got a new reader. I am at GIZ (and I’ve worked with Frank on one mission) and have started to listen to all the LED casts. I’ll also be checking out your blog every now and then, so keep it up!

    Best from Eschborn,



    • Shawn Cunningham Says:

      Dear Valérie,
      Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you will leave many more!
      It is possible to “subscribe” to the blog via e-mail, then you get every post in your inbox. I generally try to post a new article every two weeks. But it also depends on how much feedback and questions I receive how frequent I post!

      Any ideas or questions are also welcome

      Best wishes,



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