Ep 172: How Public-Private Partnerships Create Real and Lasting Change (with Chelsea Peters)

by Joan Garry

Tune in as collaboration evangelist and Walton Family Foundation CSO, Chelsea Peters and I uncover the power of public-private partnerships. Spoiler alert: it’s all about combining your superpowers!


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Imagine a world where the public sector and private sector come together to tackle society’s biggest problems. A world where businesses and nonprofits work hand-in-hand to create real and lasting change through public-private partnerships. That’s the world envisioned by my guest today, collaboration evangelist, Chelsea Peters.

As Chief Strategy Officer at The Walton Family Foundation, Chelsea has made it her mission to bring the public and private sectors together to tackle issues like affordable housing, economic mobility, and cultural vibrancy.

But why is public-private partnership so important when it comes to creating positive and lasting change in our world?

As Chelsea explains, it’s because the public and private sectors each have unique superpowers that, when combined, can achieve more than they ever could on their own. Together, they can create a powerful force for good.

But it’s not just about the technical aspects of collaboration. Chelsea also believes that collaboration is the key to rebuilding trust in the public sector. And that by partnering together, the public and private sectors can show that they are truly committed to creating a better future for us all.

Whether you’re a mission-driven leader in either the public or private sector, you don’t want to miss this engaging and thought-provoking conversation as Chelsea shares her insights on the power of public-private partnerships and the role they play in solving society’s biggest problems.

Tune in now as we explore the future of public-private collaboration and the role we all play in shaping it.

Click play to learn:

  • What is a public-private collaboration evangelist? (0:02)
  • What are the superpowers and kryptonite of each sector? (5:34)
  • What are some good public-private partnership examples? (13:12)
  • What are the obstacles to building effective public-private partnerships? (25:57)
  • What are the components of the soup of distrust? (30:31)
  • What are some of the most common myths about public-private collaboration? (34:08)


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About Chelsea Peters

As Chief Strategy Officer of the Walton Foundation, Chelsea partners with the Board, executive director and leadership team to design and implement the foundation’s philanthropic strategy, drive organizational excellence and impact, and serve as a culture champion for the foundation’s mission and values.

Prior to the foundation, Chelsea was SVP & Chief Regional Strategy and Operations Officer at UNICEF USA. She led a complete organizational restructure and strategic planning process aimed at rapidly scaling revenue and advocacy outcomes across major U.S. markets, enabling record-breaking fundraising, local brand positioning and policy change. She managed nine Regional Boards and Offices responsible for Major Gifts, Special Events, UNICEF Next Generation and Community Engagement. Chelsea led partner visits to refugee camps, emergency zones and the hardest to reach places to serve the most vulnerable communities.

Chelsea is a founding member of Chief, a private network connecting and supporting women leaders. She was selected to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and serves as a Three Dot Dash mentor for global teen entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing issues. In 2022, Chelsea was named an Aspen Ideas Fellow and joined the executive committee of Working Nation, which promotes solutions to prepare the nation’s workforce for the careers of the future.

She studied Diplomacy and International Relations at SIT and received her BA from Bucknell University. She played NCAA Division I lacrosse and is currently on the Board of the Lacrosse Business Network.

Contact Chelsea Peters