Breakout Session


August 10th at 3:30PM CST in Assembly Room

Co-Founder and Co-Director at

Collective Wellbeing -Reframing the Purpose of Organizations (and Society)

by Dr. Rebecca Paradiso de Sayu (She/Her)

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Presentation Description

Organizations often view social equity, ecological sustainability, and human development as separate initiatives. However, collective wellbeing is a way to frame efforts in these three areas that surface their interconnected goals: wellbeing of people, wellbeing of nature, wellbeing of communities, wellbeing of organizations. By reframing our work around collective wellbeing and identifying it as the ultimate goal of social equity, ecological sustainability, and human development (the ability to engage our fullest potential), we begin to change systems, cultures, and mindsets in a way that hasn’t been possible. When we explicitly say that the purpose of our organization is to co-create wellbeing for employees and those the organization serves, that shifts how we see each other, what is valued, what is measured, and how decisions are made. 


The presentation will share conditions, and the leadership skills, knowledge, and mindset needed for collective wellbeing to be practiced and supported in organizations.  We will also share case studies of organizations who have undertaken organizational change for collective wellbeing.

Three Takeaways:

  1. How collective wellbeing creates an integrated approach to social equity, ecological sustainability, and human development and gets at the root goals.

  2. What leadership skills, knowledge, and mindset are needed to begin to transform organizations.

  3. Specific examples of organizations and initial actions steps and processes that individuals can take back to their organizations and communities.


Speaker Bio:

When it comes to creating a more just and beautiful future for all, Rebecca thrives at weaving together multiple ways of knowing. Her devotion to authenticity and radical transparency has served her well in navigating everything from partnerships across academic, nonprofit, private, and government sectors, to parenting her children in a bi-cultural and bi-racial home. Indeed, they are all connected.

From honoring embodied wisdom and relational and cultural histories, to applying cutting edge theoretical and applied models of systems transformation, Rebecca’s leadership is characterized by a reverence for collective understanding. Her passion for participatory methodologies, cross-sector partnership development, equity and inclusion, and a steadfast devotion to wellbeing for all, is evident in everything she does.

In addition to her role at the Institute for Collective Wellbeing, she is the President of Explore, Create, Evaluate Partners and The Purposeful PhD where she provides organizational and individual consultation related to purpose-driven and values-aligned decision-making. Her book, The Purposeful PhD: Aligning Your Career with Your Purpose, Values, and Impact will be released in early 2022.


Rebecca received her master’s and PhD in social welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work. She is a licensed advanced practice social worker and a board-certified coach. Rebecca lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, Francisco, their children, Niko and Dessa Rose, and countless dogs, cats, and chickens.