Winthrop Rockefeller Institute: Continuing the Legacy of Collaboration & Problem-Solving 

Winthrop Rockefeller forged a legacy upon knowing how to collaborate with people from various backgrounds and beliefs in order to solve a problem and move forward. Rockefeller wanted to be remembered for being able to bring people together to accomplish important things.  

Now, the nonprofit that bears his name, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, continues that legacy by convening great thinkers and leaders to work collaboratively to solve the issues and problems facing Arkansas and beyond. One of the ways the Institute accomplishes this is through a series of professional development workshops.  

Each workshop brings a different learning and outcome, but all teach participants how to communicate more effectively, have more productive meetings, and solve problems collaboratively. The workshops have found meaning for organizations and businesses of all types and sizes. 

“We have worked with state agencies, nonprofits, corporations, school children and teachers,” said Education and Evaluation Officer Molly Thomason. “It is relatable for any group that needs to find a way to work together and collaborate.” 

Senior Education and Evaluation Officer Quiana Brown said many employers care about productivity but can run afoul of productivity by forcing employees to meet one standard of operation. 

“Employers want to know how to get the most out of their employees, and every organization is going to have different dynamics,” Brown said. “It’s best for people to have the ability to be authentic in the workplace.” 

The Institute’s workshops help employees work better together, Brown said. 

“That helps employees work better for you,” she said. 

More and more workplaces are seeing the importance of collaborative work, Thomason said. 

“They are seeing the importance of different personalities and bringing everyone to the table and getting them to work better together,” she said. “Seeing the human side of your employees is critical.” 

The workshops are based upon the Rockefeller Ethic, which revolves around collaborative problem solving, respectful dialogue, and diversity of opinion.  

“We know people need to be heard and feel understood to do their best work, but that doesn’t mean we will always agree,” Brown said. “Building mutual understanding helps us know where other people are coming from so we can work on solving problems. We must have people with different values, viewpoints, and lived experiences working together.” 

The Institute’s workshops can be scheduled independently or added to conferences already scheduled on their Petit Jean Mountain campus. All workshops can also be scheduled at a location of the groups’ choosing. 

“It isn’t always possible for groups to come to us, so we will bring the workshop to you,” Thomason said. 

The workshops vary in duration from 90 minutes to a full day and are led by an Institute staff member. For more information, visit

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Workshops 

Beyond Civility 

10-50 participants, 5 hours 

This workshop introduces the components of civil discourse. It provides the necessary tools to encourage respectful conversation when working with people who don’t share the same opinions or beliefs. 

Dynamic Development: From Type to Team 

10-50 participants, 3 hours 

Dynamic Development uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® test so teams can learn more about themselves and how to improve their connections. 

Tools for Respectful Dialogue 

10-50 participants, 2 hours 

Tools for Respectful Dialogue empowers you to create better meetings by providing tips and best practices. 

Walks with the Governor 

10-50 participants, 3 hours 

Walks with the Governor takes guests through the life of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller.  Get leadership development training while exploring his former cattle farm. 

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