Shawn Westcott

Senior Adviser

“My mission is to work with people to accelerate the move toward a sustainable and equitable society. I do this by catalyzing, initiating, encouraging and supporting smart plans and bold initiatives that make such a future possible.”

Selected as one of the “Top 100 Leaders to Affect Sustainability in Business” in 2012 by CSR i Praktiken, Shawn Westcott’s work with Place focuses on integrating sustainability, social innovation, and social finance strategies with clients across sectors.

Shawn is a recognized expert and frequent speaker in the areas of Strategic Sustainable Development and social enterprise, using a systems-thinking approach with clients across sectors to integrate meaningful and impactful solutions that lie within natural system constraints and are equitable. As a former US political strategist and community development planner, he has developed a collaborative and action-oriented approach born from years of work convening and leading diverse groups of stakeholders in community-based initiatives.

He previously worked as a Sustainability Adviser with the sustainability consultancy, AtKisson, Inc, and is a former political adviser and strategist for the US Democratic Party, starting with Al Gore’s campaign for president and later managing or advising more than a dozen local and national initiatives.

Shawn is initiator, co-founder & former Chairman of Impact Invest Scandinavia – the only impact investor network in the Nordics, which promotes the growth of social and sustainable enterprises. During the 3 years in this role, he nurtured the development of a new field of investing which work to blended social and financial returns.

He also previously served as Chairman of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum, which promotes social enterprise and supports entrepreneurs making an impact. He led the development of the first social business incubator and accelerator program in Scandinavia targeting enterprises working in low-income countries in partnership with The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

While a student in university, he founded the Pittsburgh regional office of Lift Inc, with the mission to combat poverty and expand opportunity for people in the US. He later led its national growth and served on its national Board of Directors.

Shawn holds an MSc in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola and a BA in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.


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