The Association for Social Development was founded in 1987. It grew out of the NPI (Netherlands Pedagogical Institute) which was founded in 1954 by Bernard Lievegoed. Bernard Lievegoed was one of the early pioneers of organisation development. He and his colleagues at the NPI strove to found and support others to establish healthy and human social forms and practices in organisations, appropriate to the needs of the time. The work of the NPI spread out from the Netherlands to other parts of the world. In the 70s and early 80s an international network of consultants began to form who then later founded the Association for Social Development.
The early focus of the ASD was to develop constructive and creative ways to work together with this impulse in a collegial atmosphere. Today the association has around 100 members as well as elder members and incoming applicants. The annual conference is a time to meet as members and applicants and to welcome guests. The focus at each conference and beyond is to share approaches to social development, to inspire and support each other in order to meet the ever-changing challenges of the times.