The Whidbey Institute is honored to welcome Pacific Integral, a developer of educational and social change technologies and a global community of leaders and practitioners of transformative change, into a closer relationship starting this October. While we’ve held Pacific Integral work here before, 2017 marks the arrival of their signature cohort-based program, Generating Transformative Change, on the Chinook land.
The Whidbey Institute exists to serve as a home for ongoing inquiry, learning, and transformation in response to the unprecedented challenges of our time, and Pacific Integral’s accomplishments in building the human capacity to respond are well-established—so much so, in fact, that our Executive Director Heather Johnson directly attributes her readiness for leadership within her Whidbey Institute role to what she learned in the Generating Transformative Change (GTC) certificate program.
Through GTC, Pacific Integral is providing a transformative, in-depth, cohort-based learning experience that is one of the most powerful, awakening, and mature learning journeys available today. Graduates of the program leave with new ways of being in the world, moving through their personal and professional lives with fresh eyes and greater ease while remaining in integrity with what is kind, just, and true. The Whidbey Institute and Pacific Integral team members are eager to explore what can emerge as our deeply mission-aligned organizations collaborate to hold this transformational learning experience on our 108 acre woodland home. This partnership means supporting people in developing wisdom, integrity, and capacity to make real change, giving a nurturing home to the GTC work, bringing a profoundly impactful program to the communities of Whidbey Island and the Whidbey Institute, and bringing cohorts of committed change-makers into loving relationship with the Chinook land.
GTC was previously held at Harmony Hill, a retreat center inspired in part by experiences in the 80s with the Chinook Learning Community which became the Whidbey Institute. Now, as Harmony Hill finds greater-than-ever mission alignment by shifting more of their programming to support those affected by cancer, Pacific Integral’s leadership team is excited to make the move to the Whidbey Institute. Not only is it a great mission fit, but it feels like family coming together. The organizational lives of Pacific Integral and the Whidbey Institute have touched one another in profound and subtle ways for over a decade, and two of our staff members, Heather Johnson and Holly Harlan, are graduates of the GTC program.
At one of the riskiest moments in our organizational history, when economic recession and the resulting survival mentality shook the organization’s structure and identity, Heather was asked to join the Whidbey Institute staff. She turned to mentors from Pacific Integral for counsel, speaking with faculty member Abigail Lynam about the challenges and potential of stepping into the big work ahead for the Whidbey Institute. “Without that conversation, I wouldn’t be here,” Heather said. “My ability to navigate change with this organization can be directly attributed to my experiences with GTC, and without the understanding I gained from aspects of the GTC curriculum there’s no way I would have been able to hold this work.” In an organization where change and deliberate development have become deeply tied to our very identity, and where conscientious, continual growth and adaptation is a matter of course, her skilled leadership has been essential in building the collective strength, flexibility, and clarity of purpose that the Whidbey Institute has today.
Faced with a society in transition and a world in turmoil, the teams at the Whidbey Institute and Pacific Integral recognize the urgency behind developing human capacity to make generative change, and both organizations have landed upon a shared fundamental way forward. We’re shifting culture by helping individuals develop insight into themselves, hone collaborative skills, practice adaptability, integrate diverse perspectives, honor the wisdom in nature and in themselves, and expand their capacity to sit with complexity and paradox. It’s joyful and challenging, and it can’t be done alone. We’re honored to be in this world-changing work with the team at Pacific Integral.