About the Whidbey Institute’s Thriving Communities Initiative

The Thriving Communities Initiative is an entirely volunteer-run program of the Whidbey Institute. Each video we present is given as an outright gift to the organization featured therein, for their use in illustrating their work. We raise money each year to make this possible. None of our work would be possible without your participation and support.

Conference registration fees and tax-deductible donations help fund our ongoing work, and allow us to offer scholarships to participants in financial need. Communities cannot thrive unless all have a voice!

Part of the perpetual challenge of our work is to quantify and make real—intellectually and emotionally—the opportunity that exists when we expand our vision of what can be done in each community. We strive to reveal the vastness of that opportunity, as well as the ways in which change in one place can have a domino effect on communities everywhere. Our task is to make sometimes overwhelming community challenges into community opportunities, and make them accessible to those individuals who are called to make a difference.

How do we work?

  • We focus on innovative, small, replicable grassroots projects.
  • We use brief, powerful videos as a tool to disseminate low-cost, local-level solutions to complex problems.
  • We honor these essential elements of community: dignity, respect, trust, and sense of belonging.
  • We work as a bioregional learning community to facilitate idea-sharing, leadership modeling, and support across dozens of communities.
  • We build a network of communities, in which each can thrive without waiting for institutional-level leadership to address local-level problems or opportunities.
  • We share models and resources—nodes of cooperation, support and connection—on a bioregional scale.