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Entrepreneurship | Environmentalism | Leadership | Corporate Social Responsibility | Globalization
Wilford Welch is unique in the breadth and depth of his experience as a result of five professions and his work and travels to over one hundred countries on all seven continents. As a U.S. diplomat, he played a role in the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. He has also been a professor of international business, the publisher of a world affairs publication that appeared in 26 countries in six language editions and a business strategy consultant to major multinationals, including Toyota, Citibank and The New York Times. He has also been a consultant to national governments, including the development of ten-year plans for both the Korean and Taiwan electronics industries, and to environmental organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters and Earthjustice. He has degrees from Yale, Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley and from 2002 to 2008 was on the board of Columbia University's School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA).
Since 2004, Mr. Welch has created a series of initiatives with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu entitled "Quest for Global Healing". Over 1,000 people from 40 countries came together in Ubud, Bali to address the interconnected global challenges of extreme poverty, human rights, social justice, and the environment. The most recent gathering, entitled "Beyond Sustainability--Redefining Prosperity", brought together on the island of Hawaii in June of 2010, leaders from many disciplines and cultural backgrounds, to address the shift in values and actions that must be taken to bring humankind into balance with the natural world if future generation are going to survive and prosper. In 2008, Wilford Welch authored The Tactics of Hope--How Social Entrepreneurs are Changing our World. The book highlights how social entrepreneurs, often using business methods and a lot of "boundary riding", are successfully addressing age-old social and environmental challenges. In 1973 he forecasted the economic takeoff of South East Asia in a Harvard Business Review article entitled "The Business Potential of Southeast Asia."
Mr. Welch has also long been involved in mountaineering. He was a member of the support team on Everest in 1994 that removed 5,000 pounds of trash from the high camps and introduced the notion of "Leave No Trace". His photo of Mount Everest from Tibet is the cover photo of the National Geographic Society's climbing map of Everest. He also climbed Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America and Europe, on a 28-day climb. He was chairman of the board of the National Outdoor Leadership School, (NOLS), the world's leading organization teaching wilderness skills, and is currently chairman of the Headlands Institute in the San Francisco Bay area that provides enquiry based environmental education to over 11,000 school aged children each year. He is also on the board of NatureBridge.
Wilford Welch is now speaking full time to corporations, at trade association meetings, to students, and at public affairs forums about the global sustainability challenge, and the roles businesses and individuals, including social entrepreneurs, need to play to address it. He has spoken recently at the Harvard, Stanford and the University of California business schools, at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has spoken to corporate audiences and at such public forums as the Commonwealth Club of California, the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University, the Fulbright scholars, and the U.S. National Park Service.
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