Stephan Gilchrist

Institute For Collective Wellbeing

Collective Wellbeing


Stephan Hiroshi Gilchrist grew up in a bi-cultural, biracial home where he was exposed early on to racial and cultural bias from the broader community. This led him to find ways to bring people from diverse backgrounds together to deepen understanding and relationships. He became interested in environmental sustainability during his time working in Japan for a large technology company. His professional career spans international business, cross-sector sustainability initiatives, conflict resolution, civic engagement, and higher education. He was most recently the director and faculty in the Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program at Edgewood College. Prior to his time at Edgewood, Stephan was at the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension where he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, and founded the Center for Inclusive and Engaged Leadership and the Leadership for a Better World Global Summit. He has taught courses at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and at Wells College in Aurora, New York. He holds a B.A. in international business, M.S. in environmental education, M.A. in conflict resolution, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership with a focus on interethnic conflict transformation and adult learning. He has been practicing taichi for over 20 years and is a volunteer instructor.



Collective wellbeing is the place where social equity, ecological sustainability, and human development come together (social equity + ecological sustainability + human development = collective wellbeing). The idea and practice of collective wellbeing provides a more interconnected understanding of who we are as humans and our relationship with each other, to the planet, and to our highest potential. Collective wellbeing or wellbeing for ALL, in this way, can be seen as the ultimate goal of social equity, ecological sustainability, and our own personal development.  In other words, in our relationship with others, we aim to co-create equitable and inclusive systems, cultures, and mindsets. In our relationship with the planet, we seek to co-create systems, cultures, and mindsets that are in harmony with nature. And in our relationship with self, we can come to understand our highest potential and how we can live it. Each dimension affects the other.

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