The Institutes at Wildwood

Developing
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The Institutes at Wildwood

The Wildwood Institute Model provides a parallel path for learning that resonates with 21st century learning skills and expectations. This path is not based on a curriculum, but instead uses authentic contexts such as a science research lab, a social leadership collaborative, or an incubator.

Participants assume roles, practices, and expectations as they navigate best practices for creating meaning and adding value to the community and to the world. In these multidisciplinary contexts, participants identify existing problems and/or opportunities, assign tasks, set agendas, determine benchmarks, create networks, communicate ideas, and present findings via publications, talks, blogs, social media, etc. Whatever is done in their context, they do. 

Members of the Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL) meet with staff at a local elementary during the research phase of a consulting project.

Based on this model, Wildwood launched the first of three planned Institutes in 2014, the Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD). The second was launched in 2018 and has become the Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL). The third was launched in 2019 and is currently developing its contextual setting around incubator space and entrepreneurship.

The Institutes at Wildwood were initiated through anonymous donations from the Wildwood community, with further support provided by the EE Ford Foundation.

Our Institutes

As a research lab, WISRD’s mission is to define problems and conduct scientific research to better understand the problem and add knowledge to the community. (wisrd.org)
WISL operates as a collaborative consultancy whose mission is to address social issues by conducting community investigations and field research resulting in both deep understanding and concrete plans to actively create positive change.
In its inaugural year, this Institute’s context is a startup incubator. Adopting agile principles, its mission is to foster ideas into disruptive products and services. Founders identify problems, iteratively generate and evaluate potential solutions, and translate their work into business plans for new ventures.