We're hiring a full time Operations Manager to join our team.

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January 16, 2018

Seeking Operations Manager


Posted Monday, January 15, 2018

The Operations Manager will fill a 40-hour per week position and will be responsible for contracts, operations, logistics, and registration at the Whidbey Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit with a 108-acre campus. The right person for this job has strong computer skills, people skills, financial acuity, and a talent for organization. Experience with registration software is a plus. Creativity, initiative, and attention to detail will help you manage relationships, document activity, set priorities, and evolve practices in this vital role.

We seek a team member who will help us serve our mission to cultivate place, nurture community, and co-create experiences which grow our human capacity for compassionate, courageous action.

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December 15, 2017

Welcome Winter | December 2017 Newsletter

Crowdfunding Update

This moment in history, with its escalating and interconnected political, environmental, and social challenges, calls for engaged, compassionate, and courageous individuals who sense and respond to the urgency of our times—of this world in turmoil, and of this culture in transition. The solutions must come from within, and they must come from all of us. They must start here, there, and everywhere—in hearts and homes and communities and organizations around the world.

There is no better time to invest in organizations like this one. As a home for inquiry, connection, and learning, the Whidbey Institute makes change possible by cultivating place, nurturing community, and co-creating experiences that develop the change-maker in each of us. This is where the leadership potential of each and every one of us can emerge, where we are supported and inspired to engage more wholeheartedly and effectively with the world’s complex challenges.

Our year-end appeal focuses on funding one Live Edge cabin—a small part of our capacity-building vision, with the potential to make a really big impact. The cabin you help fund will provide space for life-changing experiences for up to 100 participants per year!

Also in this issue: Remembering Dawna Fowler, Spotlight on Sanjay, Good Boundaries Free You, Site Evolution Update, the Language of Spaces.

Click here to view the full issue and read on! 

December 15, 2017

Meet the Board: Spotlight on Sanjay

Sanjay Kapoor joined our board in May 2017. He inspires me with his frank recognition of the urgency of the challenges before us, such as climate change, and his drive to help the organization gain clarity about how best to live into its purpose with necessary swiftness. It was my pleasure to speak with him recently about some of what brought him to this role with the Whidbey Institute. Here’s that interview. —Marnie Jackson


Marnie: Can you tell us about your background?

Sanjay: I am founder and principal of s2 sustainability consultants, working with organizations in both the private and the public sector to increase value and effectiveness by integrating sustainability into their business operations. Prior to founding s2 [pronounced as s-two] I led the sustainability program at Washington Mutual. Before Washington Mutual, I worked with a large consultancy advising companies on strategy, process, and technology.

As a child born to a father in the diplomatic service, my upbringing has been quite varied. Living in Europe, Senegal, Syria, India, and finally the US, I have found that living in other cultures is a profound learning experience.

What aspects of your background best prepared you to join the Whidbey Institute team? 

My work of bringing together often adversarial groups working towards a common purpose has helped me see that where there is conflict, we are often not apprehending the problem at a sufficiently high level. Go one level higher and there will be opportunities to bring people together. It is for us to recognize that the nature of some of the biggest problems we face is multi-disciplinary. Successful solutions need to be similarly multi-disciplinary. This ability to go broad in my thinking while at the same time staying concrete is a skill I hope to bring to the benefit of the Whidbey Institute.

How did you first encounter the Whidbey Institute? 

I met Heather during a Sustainable Seattle conference at which I was presenting. We connected after the conference and she shared with me about the Institute, and in particular its implementation of Holacracy. On a separate track, through the Conscious Capitalism LinkedIn discussion group, I had connected with Fred Laloux [author of Reinventing Organizations, one of the Whidbey Institute’s guiding resources into adopting Holacracy]. I found it interesting that it would crop up here. A few months later, I sent Heather a piece by Umair Haque called Three Things Every Company Needs which brought up some of the ideas captured in some of the foundational thinking of where the Institute was going. That spurred Heather to divine that there was some way in which our fates were entwined—mine and the Institute’s.

What aspect of the Whidbey Institute’s work or identity drew you in? 

Initially, it was Heather and board member Ted Sturdevant, with whom I had worked when he was the Director at the Washington Department of Ecology. I have a great deal of respect and affection for both of them.

There is also a mystery and seduction about the Whidbey Institute that I’m still learning about. There is a loving-ness about both the place and the people here that feels pregnant with the possibility of a better world.

Can you share some impressions from working with the board and staff thus far?

I am still getting to know people here, but for the most part I have found members of the board thoughtful and passionate about the Institute, and operating with integrity. Getting to know the staff has been an incredible source of richness for me, and I am looking forward to continuing to learning from the team.

How would you most like to see the Whidbey Institute evolve or become more impactful? 

I would like to see the Institute be carried forth on the strength of its convictions to become a shining beacon for a world. We need to see that the way forward is together, by loving our planet and all who occupy it.

What are you most passionate about? 

It is hard for me to distinguish passion from concern—I would say that finding a positive way to come out of the environmental crisis we are creating is what I am obsessed with. A healthier world for our kids and their kids.

December 13, 2017

Soul-Stirring Work: An Interview with Sarri Gilman

About the Transform Your Boundaries Workshop


Friday, February 2 through Sunday, February 4

Tuition and Fees

Tuition: $300 for those paying their own way; $375 for those supported by a business or organization.

Tuition starts at $275 with earlybird discount.

Fees: $325 for onsite lodging, meals, and facilities use; $225 for meals and facilities use by those lodging offsite.

Discounts: $25 earlybird discount through January 5; $25 discount for each person registering in a group of three or more with a single transaction.

Learn More & Register

We’re excited to welcome author, psychotherapist, Cocoon House founder, and South Whidbey resident Sarri Gilman to the Whidbey Institute in February for the Transform Your Boundaries® Workshop, designed to create better lives, better work, and a better world through our relationships to our boundaries. I had a chance to talk to Sarri last week to learn more about her and the work. Here’s our conversation. —Marnie Jackson Read More →

November 20, 2017

It’s Happening! | November 2017 Newsletter

Meadow Row Installation



We can’t say enough thanks to the team—Jade Craftsman Builders, J&D Wallace, Ross Chapin Architects, and others—who made last week’s installation of the new Meadow Row units so smooth and safe for all involved. Over the course of two days, this hardworking crew brought a total of twelve individual modules in and assembled them in place. Onsite completion, including roofing, decks, and interior furnishings, is scheduled by March 2018. Photos by Michael Foley.

Also in this issue: Community Equity Principles, Welcoming New Board Members, Recommended Reading, A Holy High, Seeking Donations of Truck and Golf Cart, Featured Events.


Click here to view the Newsletter.

November 15, 2017

Welcoming New Board Members

We welcomed Sanjay Kapoor to our board of directors in May 2017 and Larisa Benson, Joel DeJong, and Mark Forman to our board in October 2017. We’re excited by the extraordinary skills and capacity they bring to the team, and will be sharing more about each of them with you in the coming months.

Mark Forman may already be a familiar name to our readers. Mark founded Forman & Company in 2008, with the stated goal of putting 35 years’ experience in film, video, and writing to work in service to clients whose mission and goals are congruent with his own. Mark has donated three incredible videos to the Whidbey Institute since October 2016—they’re presented below, in chronologic order.

From Our Community

These resources are offered by Senior Fellows of the Whidbey Institute or other close members of our community, and are not produced by the Whidbey Institute.

Photo © Tim Snell

Conversations with the curious, compassionate, and courageous co-creators of our desired and emerging future, inspired in part by encounters and inquiries at the Whidbey Institute.

On iTunes On Soundcloud

Walking through nature with a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions.

Nature’s Depths


Leadership Can Be Taught  “A doorway into the classroom of Harvard’s leadership virtuoso Ronald Heifetz and his colleagues—and an approach to adaptive leadership that responds to the challenges of our more complex and changing world.”

Common Fire  “Revealing how we become committed, and sustain our commitment, to the common good in the face of moral ambiguity, daunting complexity, and frequent discouragement.”

Big Questions, Worthy Dreams  “How mentors and mentoring environments will play a vital role in the potential transformations of thinking, feeling, and networks of belonging that are harbored within emerging adults.”

Mentor  “A practical, engaging exploration of mentoring in adult higher education and its power to transform learning.”

Leadership for the New Commons