The 4W Initiative: Towards a Model of Collective Leadership and Wellbeing for African Universities

Lori DiPrete Brown (she/her)
Director, 4W Initiative, UW-Madison

Co-Presenter: Deborah Kaddu-Serwadda, (she/her)
4W Director for Africa


The UW-Madison 4W Initiative began in 2014 as an effort to advance wellbeing in Wisconsin and the world, based on feminist principles and lived experience. A diverse array of related scholarship and applied projects have emerged since that time, addressing human health and wellbeing, care of the environment, social equity across the urban to rural spectrum, the arts, and more. Alongside these efforts, a circle of diverse leaders have formed a community. They have shared and supported each others work and collectively reflected and theorized about the nature of wellbeing and leadership. This presentation will describe the resultant leadership principles and present the wellbeing model. The discussion of leadership reviews feminist leadership approaches and models, and presents the actual practices emergent in 4W. The wellbeing model is referenced and described in relation to dimensions of psychosocial wellbeing and the social ecological model. Further, it has been reviewed and modified by the various communities where 4W works. The presentation will highlight strengths, shortcomings and future directions. An opportunity for asynchronous comment and conversation will enable conference participants to engage in the dialogue.

The presentation will share the 4W model and explore applications to the context of African Universities, organizations and networks.

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