I recently had the opportunity to connect with Themis Gkion, a Creative Empowerment Facilitator with Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE). Connecting via Zoom between Greece and the United States, we enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation about the PYE approach to learning, about larger trends in education, and about what is possible when the power and potential of young learners are unleashed. As an outcome of our conversation, I’ve been personally inspired to take an online Creative Facilitation 1 course from PYE in June. —Marnie Jackson Read More →
Making Magic: A Conversation with Themis Gkion
Pictured: a photo by tessie of MadelEine, Anika, and a curious doe. Photos courtesy the Bunnell family.
We were lucky enough to get to know the Bunnell family during spring and summer 2020, as Beth and her daughters Tessie (14) and Madeleine (16) got involved as volunteers on the land. When we asked for their reflections, Tessie and Madeleine both expressed excitement about what they had seen and learned, and eager anticipation of their next visit to the land.
“I look forward to spending more time at the Whidbey Institute and seeing how our trail looks in the different seasons,” Tessie said. Read More →
by Marnie Jackson
Kent Wales discovered the Whidbey Institute when a colleague invited him to Spirited Work in 2002. The program, hosted by Anne Stadler and others including Gabriel Shirley and Mark Jones, was once described by Tree Fitzpatrick as, “an ongoing experiment that embodies collective wisdom as a conscious system.” These Open Space gatherings continued to draw Kent west from his Spokane-area home until Spirited Work concluded in the mid 2000s. As a result of the program’s influence in his life and in appreciation for this land, Kent donates regularly. As part of his care for this place, he became a monthly donor to the Whidbey Institute in 2013.
I recently connected with Kent to thank him for his ongoing generosity and to find out more about why he gives. He shared about his experience with Spirited Work, which he said helped bring balance to his life. Read More →
Note: this Featured Program story was excerpted from our 2019-2020 Gratitude Report.
We asked program leader Victoria Santos how, with Debra Baker, she concieved and co-hosted the 2019 Nourishment Retreat. Here are her reflections:
The Nourishment retreat came out of my own realization that women of color, and black women in particular, needed a space to recharge, to be nourished, to heal, and to share their stories. I know the healing power of the Whidbey Institute—the intention with which the space was cultivated, the way the land is stewarded, and the way the food nourishes. I wanted to put all of that in the service of BIPOC women.
Meg Gluckman, a beloved member of our staff team, resigned this summer to focus on parenting and homeschooling.
Meg joined the Whidbey Institute team in November 2018 and was an extraordinary addition to our community, however the unexpected disruption of COVID-19 to the educational system necessitated a change. As a parent of two, and recognizing that many parents face a dilemma during the COVID disruption, Meg feels grateful that she is in a position to choose a focus on at-home schooling at this time. Read More →
The Whidbey Institute Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Marnie Jackson has accepted a position as Co-Executive Director of the Whidbey Institute. Marnie joins Heather Johnson, current Executive Director, in the role. Marnie has a deep commitment to our mission and has repeatedly demonstrated her capacity for skillful and effective co-leadership as a core member of our team since 2013. Read More →
About the Presenters
Jeremy Lent, joining us live, is an author whose writings investigate the patterns of thought that have led our civilization to its current existential crisis. His recent book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, explores the way humans have made meaning from the cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day. Read More →
We recently welcomed non-profit professional, frequent volunteer, and inspiring collaborator Dani Turk to the Whidbey Institute Board of Directors. This week, Dani and I connected about her background, her interest in serving, and what she sees as possible in partnership with the Whidbey Institute team and community. Here’s that conversation. —Marnie Jackson Read More →
The close of 2019 brought changes to the Whidbey Institute board as four board members completed their terms and new board officers were elected. Larisa Benson was elected Board President, stepping into a role formerly held by Kate Snider. Joining Larisa on our executive committee are Vice President Mark Forman and Treasurer Casey Dilloway. Kate continues to serve as a board member-at-large with a special focus on our ongoing Whidbey Institute 2020 Capacity-Building Initiative. Read More →
Robert Gilman and I recently connected about the upcoming program From Anxiety to Agency: Generative engagement with the challenges of our times. This program is designed to provide a conceptual framework, some deeper understanding, and some experiential skillbuilding for getting into our “optimal zone”—the psychological and physiological place where we are creative, connected, energized, and capable of powerful and positive engagement with the world’s great challenges. Here’s part of that conversation. —Marnie Jackson