We live our vision and mission by crafting our program around three design elements:
Articulate and powerfully share your highest vision of possibility for the community you wish to impact.
Create clarity around how to best leverage your unique gifts, values, and abilities in service of the world you want to create.
Embody the character traits and states of being essential for powerfully calling forth your vision into the world.
Byron Fellowship is available by application to 20-40 emerging leaders per year, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and social entrepreneurs who are both making a profound difference in their own communities and keenly attuned to the challenges we share globally.
During the 5-day program, participants learn alongside a collection of academic teachers and active practitioners. Fellows and mentors represent a wide spectrum of disciplines including the arts, natural science, social science, humanities and theology. Byron Fellowship is designed as a deeply personal and transformative inquiry. The teaching methods include, mindfulness exercises, collaborative dialogue, envisioning practices, deep individual and group reflection.
The Evolution of Byron Fellowship
Byron Fellowship incorporates a mix of informative and transformative learning. Throughout the Fellowship, participants are invited to contemplate their own unique abilities and personal values, to develop a clear vision for their vocation, and to articulate it for others. Participants are encouraged and challenged to reflect on and call into question their existing assumptions or mental models and to play with expanding their repertoire of ways of being in the world.
The Byron Fellowship is highly adaptive and changes each year based on the feedback and direct contribution of our fellows. Over our short history, more and more informative learning around change-making and sustainability has become available within and beyond the academy. Our fellows are highly educated (typically highly formally educated) and enter the program with an existing depth of knowledge and on the ground experience in the specific issues they’re working to address. Byron Fellowship has evolved from a hub of interdisciplinary sustainability learning toward supporting Fellows in their personal and leadership development in pursuit of the contribution they wish to make in the world. As Byron Fellowship grows toward transformative learning, we rely more on the existing knowledge and experience of the fellows, and our mentors are participating in their own transformation while serving as guides rather than topic experts.
Past Topics of Exploration
Values Systems and Theological Foundations for Sustainable Community and Action
Stories of Place, Local Cultural and Natural Heritage
Natural Systems, Human and Environment Interfaces including Agriculture
Authenticity, Vulnerability, Mindfulness, Ontology and Transformation
Presence, Dialogue, and Co-creation
Navigating Pitfalls, Pathways and Paradox in the pursuit of Sustainability
Integral Theory, Systems Thinking, U Theory, and Design
Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Deviance
Envisioning and the Creative Process
Crafting, Sharing and Inspiring Vision, Values, Purpose, and Passion
Systems, Policy, Economic and External Structures in support of Flourishing
Fostering Trust, Intimacy, Relationship, and Design for Community
Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina
The North Carolina Byron Fellowship is held at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa. The rural campus is well-suited to educating students in the environmental sciences, farming and outdoor leadership, and provides a beautiful environment for learning across all disciplines. Warren Wilson’s campus includes a 300 acre working farm and market garden maintained by students, in addition to 600 acres of protected and maintained forest surround the main campus area. The campus is located 20 minutes outside of downtown Asheville, which is the cultural center in a region famous for music and the arts.
For more information on Warren Wilson College, you can visit their website.
A note on HB2: “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act” in North Carolina:
Our organization is committed to supporting emerging leaders in creating a flourishing, inclusive world, and HB2 directly contradicts that vision. We are wholeheartedly committed to inclusivity, social justice, and creating a welcoming and safe environment for our fellows and for all. We continue to support Warren Wilson as they fight for the transformation we want to see in North Carolina. Read Warren Wilson's statement on HB2 here.
Turkey Run State Park in Parke County, Indiana
The Indiana Byron Fellowship was held at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana. The site is located on 2,382 acres of wooded hills in Parke County, Indiana, an area famous for its many covered bridges and unique natural heritage. Nearly adjacent to Turkey Run is The Lakeside Village of Byron, a residential village and nature preserve following conservation design principles under stewardship of Byron Fellowship Founder and mentor, Mark Boyce. This community serves as a living laboratory for Byron Fellowship by incorporating sustainable design contributions from Byron Fellowship participants.