Dr Sharon Zivkovic is a scholar-practitioner. She has both practical and academic experience in social entrepreneurship, active citizenship, systems change, research commercialisation, and autism.
From 1999 to 2005, Sharon supported community members to develop community capacity building projects and community enterprises while employed by local and state governments on urban regeneration projects in South Australia. In 2001, she received an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her work in supporting communities to become more enterprising by taking advantage of their communal strengths.
Community Capacity Builders was founded by Sharon in 2004 and in the following year she turned the findings from her Master of Entrepreneurship research project into Community Capacity Builders' Community Leadership Program. This research integrated seven perspectives for building community capacity into a community capacity building process.
For her PhD research study, Sharon developed a model to create systemic change based on characteristics from four complex systems leadership theories, and has since been involved in a number of place-based system transition projects. in 2016 she received a Fresh Scientist award for her work in addressing wicked problems using complexity science, and in 2021 her work in Applied Complexity (Social Entrepreneurship and Wicked Problems) was included in the Map of the Complexity Sciences.
Sharon is proudly Autistic. Based on Sharon's research and lived experience, Community Capacity Builders has recently established a Centre for Autistic Social Entrepreneurship. This Centre aims to build the capacity of disability service providers, social enterprise support organisations, and business advisors to provide services to autistic social entrepreneurs in a neurodiversity affirming manner.
Sharon currently holds a number of academic positions. She is an Adjunct Research Associate at Torrens University Australia; and is a Board Member of Emerald Publishing's Impact Advisory Board.
Dr Sharon Zivkovic