Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence AO is Chief Executive of the Australian Social Innovation Exchange, created to support the search for fresh solutions to Australia’s key social challenges through cross-sector collaboration.  He is Chair of Bonnyrigg Management P/L, a Public Private Partnership body bringing together the capabilities of four organisations to redevelop the public housing estate in South West Sydney for the NSW Government over the next 30 years.  Steve also consults in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

After starting his career with NSW Government, Steve spent 29 years until late 2008 as Founder, CEO and Social Entrepreneur with WorkVentures, an entrepreneurial community economic development agency, based in Sydney.  Steve led WorkVentures from a $3000 startup in 1979 to annual revenues of $20million.  WorkVentures was Microsoft Australia’s first community partner, won the PMs Community Business Partnership Award in 2005 and is now Microsoft’s longest standing community partner worldwide.

Steve was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in January 2010 for ‘service to the community through leadership roles in the development and implementation of non-profit ventures to create social change, particularly for youth and the long-term unemployed’.  Steve was selected as Social Entrepreneur of the Year for NSW/ACT in 2004 in Ernst & Young’s global program.

Over the last 30 years Steve has played a leadership role in creating over 13 new non-profit organisations, most of which are still operating. They include Job Futures, United Way Sydney, Jobs Australia, Social Ventures Australia, School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia.