BEAD, Business Exchange on AIDS and Development, was founded in 1992 after a meeting to address the impact of HIV/AIDS on businesses in Africa. The meeting had brought together an unusual mixture of business people, academics and NGOs to discuss what might be the impact of HIV/AIDS and what corporate policies should be. At the time, this was such a unique collaboration that participants asked for the group to continue. BEAD was one of the first groups to publish corporate guidelines for managing illness and infectious diseases in the workplace. In 2006, BEAD members voted to shut down, as their work was now covered by other organisations.
BEAD was one of the first experiments in boundary-spanning collaboration and learning that Barbara Heinzen helped to initiate.