How Social Emotional Learning Drives Student Well-Being and Innovation

One’s performance as a student can be influenced by mental and socio emotional skills, both learned and intrinsic. Institutional psychology has focused on individual “deficits;” alternatively, positive psychology focuses on that which is “right” with us, our strengths. Key psychological skills are critical to students if they wish to maximize learning and well-being. This ‘personal journey’ webinar will illustrate how using our virtues and character strengths can empower us to be the best we can be and offer guidelines to other elements of well-being. These virtues and strengths can be classified and developed.

Positive education curricula is expanding beyond ‘hard skills’ via 21st Century learning skills (soft skills) teaching practices. The observation of robust characteristics in diverse students is often not found in standardized testing schemes. Yet, research that indicates Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and emotional intelligence contributes to the well-being, self-efficacy, creativity, innovation and improved performance of students.


Keith Coleman is Chief Strategy Officer Emeritus at the Tesla Foundation; a science and technology think tank centered on autonomous systems. His leadership focused on reviewing combinations of robust data characteristics and technical education mentorship to identify and nurture talent, enhancing human potential for invention. A governmental affairs and economic research intermediary, his role advanced strategy examining the nexus between policy and innovation. This agile oversight is cited in the Stanford Graduate School of Education podcast Schools In – “Preparing Students for an Automated Future.” Now at the University of Pennsylvania, he engages in applied positive psychology that drives transformational learning to promote human performance and well-being. He serves on the Executive Council for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California (AMP SoCal): a U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment, Aerospace and Defense Supply Chain initiative co-led by the City of Los Angeles and USC. He also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar for mediaX at Stanford University, an interdisciplinary thought leadership program. Keith earned a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University, Stanford-in-Oxford/Magdalen College, and an M.A. in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania (2020). He is a member of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (SA&E) and Co-President of SA&E Southern California: alumni association groups that seek to unify and enrich the startup ecosystem by facilitating investment, education and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs and alumni investors.