Chris Butsch

To conquer depression, Chris studied happiness in 31 countries, interviewing hundreds of psychologists, CEOs, monks, millionaires, and millennials. Using humor, psychology, and stories from around the world, Chris helps students increase member engagement, build meaningful relationships, and improve mental health for a happier life.


▪First Year Experience ▪Fraternity & Sorority Life ▪Leadership ▪Organizational Development ▪Mental Health ▪Stress Management


▪Magnetic Leadership: Transforming Apathy into Engagement 
▪Making Happiness: Kickstart a Productive and Fulfilling College Life
▪Virtual Leadership: Keeping Members Engaged Remotely

Chris’ Bio

To conquer depression, in 2014, Chris Butsch quit his job and traveled the world, studying happiness and the human condition. Visiting over 30 countries and counting, Chris has interviewed hundreds of psychologists, swamis, monks, billionaires, and millennials. He’s made snow angels with CEOs in Sweden, sang karaoke with Chinese business moguls, and studied mindfulness with Buddhist monks in rural Mississippi.

Chris is the author of The Millennial’s Guide to Making and has been featured in Forbes and Huffington Post, Chris’s high-energy, no-nonsense, and BS-free approach to the delicate subject of “organizational happiness”. Chris wants to help you improve your mental health, make meaningful connections, and accelerate your path to happiness.

“Chris was outstanding. We received incredible feedback from the attendees, and many stated that this was the best conference speaker that they had ever seen. Chris is genuine and real, and he does not provide a “show”. He was himself, and the students were able to connect with him. The tools and techniques that the students learned will help them in the future during this unusual time. Chris was so easy to work with. He even conducted research about Phi Theta Kappa and provided key references within his keynote that were perfect. “

Michelle Coach

New England Regional Coordinator, Asnuntuck Community College/New England Phi Theta Kappa

“Chris is able to talk about a topic that is hard for most. Because he opened up to our Greek community, our members were able to feel a connection with him and open up as well. As a result, we have heard nothing but positive feedback about his program.”

Lauren Spina

Panhellenic Council, Franklin College

“In today’s society social media is sometimes looked at as a disease, but Chris showcased how we can be in control of it and maximize the good that can come out of being connected online.”

Paul McGroarty

Student, Montclair State

“Chris identified the common problems that occur in student organizations and specific strategies for fixing those problems. I really like his “CAME to the meeting” acronym – I think that’ll really help with our meetings!”

Paige Ling

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

“The largest concern my organization has been talking about for a long time is engaging members, and I feel like Chris Butsch gave really solid tools to follow. The four things he taught us are so easy to remember, but also something we could easily practice in daily life. I feel like what I took away from that talk was something I can apply right now during this retreat, as well as as soon as I get back home. “

Shashwati Shradha

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology


Magnetic Leadership: Transforming Apathy Into Engagement

As a student leader, are you growing concerned over members “checking out”? Are you tired of promoting events and opportunities only to have the same handful of people show up? Are you worried that your least engaged members are going to cause others to disengage, too? When even just a few of your members have checked out, it can affect the overall success and happiness of your organization. However, chasing them down can lead to feelings of frustration and burnout. Luckily, there’s a better solution.

In a fresh take blending leadership with positive psychology, Chris helps student leaders understand the root causes of member apathy, giving them clear strategies for increasing “organizational magnetism”: boosting involvement while naturally attracting new members.

Student leaders will laugh, learn, and take away The Magnetic Leadership Toolkit for slashing apathy, renewing commitment, and helping members get the most out of their membership experience.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • The true definition of “member engagement” and why it matters
  • 3 simple leadership engagement strategies for addressing apathy and increasing involvement
  • How to identify your unique value proposition and “Tie Your Why” to member goals and motivations
  • Common reasons why members “check out” in their third and fourth years, and how to address them
  • How to facilitate a sense of connection and belonging by building meaningful relationships
  • How to help your members get the most out of their membership experience
Making Happiness: Kickstart a Productive and Fulfilling College Life

You’ve made it! You’re officially a “college kid” now. Unlike in high school, you now have incredible amounts of time and freedom on your hands. How should you spend it to have the best possible college experience?

The movies told us to party, drink, and go wild. But globetrotting happiness expert Chris Butsch has a better solution. Using humor, science, and interactive activities, Chris walks back misconceptions about college and arms students with critical and memorable tools for building a truly happy college life.

First-year students will learn to construct a Happiness Action Plan for staying healthy, building meaningful relationships, connecting with student organizations, avoiding loneliness, and constructively combating stress, anxiety, and depression.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • The 3 most common pitfalls leading to loneliness and depression, and how to avoid them
  • How to take care of your mind and body using MESH: Mindfulness, Exercise, Sleep, and Hydration
  • How to distinguish short-term pleasure from true, lasting happiness
  • How to find a sense of connection and belonging by building meaningful relationships and engaging with student organizations
  • Tools to communicate efficiently with academic advisors, professors, and the financial aid office (woah), to build a happy college career
Virtual Leadership: Keeping Members Engaged Remotely

As colleges redefine how student organizations will operate safely on campus, student leaders must also shift how they operate. Limitations on gatherings and social distancing guidelines may lead to students feeling disconnected and impact mental health, underscoring the need for increased engagement within organizations. So as a student leader, how can you keep your members focused and engaged during the “New Normal”?

Join globetrotting happiness and leadership expert Chris Butsch as he shares his all-new Virtual Leadership Toolkit. First and most pertinently, you’ll learn how to protect your own mental health as a leader during these challenging times. Next, Chris will teach you how to conduct well-attended virtual meetings, design quarantine-friendly programming, and leverage clever online tools to lasso back your member base and recapture engagement.

By mixing mindset coaching with practical application, this program helps student leaders master the basics of remote leadership so that more members can stay connected, positive, and engaged.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • The Remote Leader Mindset (RLM) – a fresh perspective to help student leaders maintain mental
  • The ABCs of remote communication – 3 simple principles to maximize open rates and virtual meeting attendance
  • How to design remote-friendly programming that keeps members connected to the organization’s purpose
  • A 3-step remote engagement strategy that any leader can follow to increase engagement virtually and other long off-campus periods
  • How to provide support for members in need