Whidbey Institute

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The Whidbey Institute is a place of renewal and inspiration, and home to the bold seekers of positive change. We nurture and connect people who are doing uncommon work for the common good. Woven throughout our work is the spirit of the land. Our 100 acres of northwest woodland and historic farmstead, which we call Chinook, hold and energize everything that happens here.

The Whidbey Institute is home to a broad spectrum of life-affirming work. If your heart is calling you to be of service to the world, then you will find something here for you. We host and convene organizations engaged in three primary areas of endeavor:

Signature Programs

Powers of Leadership

This four part program of the Whidbey Institute allows you to gain perspective, develop new insight, and strengthen your skills and commitment to work on behalf of a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world. The art of leadership requires a connective imagination, an informed conscience, and practiced competence. POL convenes a diverse cohort of people across strategic fields to gain perspective on the currents of change moving in these times.

Salish Sea Bioneers

As a local, self-organized Bioneers group, Salish Sea Bioneers (formerly Whidbey Island Bioneers) offers community, inspiration, and nature-inspired solutions for the region and the planet. Each Salish Sea Bioneers Conference is simultaneously an incubation chamber for the next generation of youth leaders, a community commons where we can reconnect, and classroom where each of us can deepen our understanding of our planet, our work, and ourselves.

Cascadia Climate Collaborative

The climate crisis is not simply an environmental problem; it is a human problem. We have caused it, and only we can act to avert this emerging catastrophe. The human aspects of the crisis are preeminent, and a full response to the climate crisis must encompass the moral, emotional, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of this daunting new reality. Preserving a livable climate is a fundamentally moral and ethical challenge. Climate activists, planners, business leaders, and grassroots organizers who are committed to this effort need a place to come together for reflection, conversation and deepening collaboration. The Whidbey Institute is emerging as a home for this work.

Thriving Communities Initiative

The Whidbey Institute’s Thriving Communities Initiative is an organic, whole systems approach that connects and supports informal leaders across and within communities through community gatherings, video storytelling, conferences, and projects. We’re in this together, and we know that our own strength is deeply rooted in the health and vitality of our South Whidbey and Cascadian communities.

Community Garden Leadership Training

Community Gardening Leadership Training teaches qualified apprentices hands-on, practical growing skills in small-scale food production as well as the leadership skills needed to initiate and manage community gardening projects, coordinate volunteers, and implement education and outreach programs. In this program, community gardening primarily refers to food bank gardens, school gardens, and other non-profit gardens that rely on volunteers, community outreach, and community support to grow food. The Good Cheer Food Bank, the Learning from the Land program of the Whidbey Institute, and the School Garden to Cafeteria program of the South Whidbey School District partner to offer this training on South Whidbey.