Living life on purpose means not staying stagnant--it’s about stretching your edges, learning new skills, and building on existing knowledge. Wayfinding Labs help you do just that. These 12-hour courses are where our community and college meet to nurture your constant growth.
There are no anonymous lecture halls here. Instead, expert Lab leaders teach the “Wayfinding Way” in small group settings designed for lots of discussion and interaction. Learners of all ages join our full-time students for a rich mix of perspectives.
Labs are 12-hour workshops that offer the chance to dive into a specific subject over the course of a weekend or several weeknights.
With Felipe Kawena-Ferreira
Thursday, May 3rd from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 10th from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 17th from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 24th from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 31st from 6-8pm
Thursday, June 7th from 6-8pm
This Lab seeks to critically examine the interrelationships between ecological principles and the notions of simplicity and limits through an array of interactive and engaging approaches. The goal of this brief course is to inspire individuals and communities to develop more nuanced, socially conscious understandings of simplicity while centering justice and the dynamic limits set by supporting ecosystems. We will look at how both critical theory and ecology can be employed in tandem to nurture more sustainable practices in our local communities and beyond.
Learn More & Register for this Lab >>
With Brad Pendergraft (aka “Brain Coach Brad")
Saturday, May 5th from 9:30-4:30pm
Sunday, May 6th from 9:30-4:30pm
Have you ever struggled to change a behavior? Have you ever wondered why you kept having the same feelings in certain circumstances seemingly no matter what you did? Have you ever made a change in your life, only to fall back into old patterns? Do you believe in the possibility of life transformation, but you’re not sure of how to go about making it sustainable?
In this Lab we will study the neuroscience and psychology of habits and introduce frameworks and strategies designed to allow you to take conscious control of these unconscious processes. As we discover the surprising keys to habit change we will also explore the mind/body connection and learn how a willingness to have fun can free you from deeply grooved patterns.
The added bonus:
By registering for a Lab, you are contributing to a new model of community-supported education.
Be the first to find out when we add new Labs
Not local to Portland? We’re not able to offer Labs online at this time, but consider coming in for Wayfinder Weekend!
Previous Labs we've offered include:
With Jenny Tatone of the Center for Transformative Arts and Education
Friday, January 12th from 6-9:30pm
Saturday, January 13th from 8:30-6pm
Social media has revolutionized the way we experience ourselves and our perceptions of others, radically reorienting how we relate to each other and to ourselves. Amid such change emerges a quantified self: A self that is made of data. A self that is habituated and marketized. A self that is curated, self-conscious, and prone to impulse and reactivity. A self that demands closer examination in a time and space that demands authentic confrontation.
How do the new ways in which we make sense of ourselves, of what it means to be alive across multiple dimensions, shape our perceptions on scales from the personal to the political? Such inquiry is at the heart of this lab, which will ask you to bring critical consciousness and social justice to your reflections on social media.
Such exploration will involve the production of video projects that shed light on the intriguing ways with which social media ask us how to be, how to grow, how to stay, how to change. Together, we will learn how to shoot and edit videos (how to positively engage the technologies we carry in our pocket everyday) in ways that call for agency over habit, empathy over polarity, and action over apathy.
With Doug Neill of Verbal to Visual
Tuesday, Jan 16th from 6-9pm
Tuesday, Jan 23rd from 6-9pm
Tuesday, Jan 30th from 6-9pm
Tuesday, Feb 6th from 6-9pm
Do you ever find that the use of words alone isn’t enough to wrap your head around a new idea or a particular challenge that you’re up against? If so, then this lab is for you!
Throughout this four-session lab we’ll be exploring a skill call sketchnoting - a way of working with ideas that combines the use of handwritten words and hand-sketched visuals that can help you become a better learner, a better problem-solver, and a better storyteller. You’ll learn a variety of visual note-taking tools and processes as you discover the ones that resonate the most with your learning style and your personality, and then you’ll get to apply those skills toward whatever you’re most interested in learning and making.
Each week you’ll get the opportunity to first build new skills and then immediately apply those skills to something that you’re working on for school, for your job, or even for a personal project that you’d like to make progress on.
Join us to learn how to use the power of words and visuals together to ignite your creativity.
With David Rikert
Wednesday, February 7th from 6:30-8:30pm
Saturday, February 10th from 9-1pm
Wednesday, February 14th from 6:30-8:30pm
Wednesday, February 21st from 6:30-8:30pm
Wednesday, February 28th from 6:30-8:30pm
We all use the modern toilet every day. And of course we know how it works — it flushes! OK. Describe what actually happens when you pull the lever... Perhaps you’re simply happy that it does flush. But what if you’re curious, and wonder “Hmmm ... now how does that actually work?” And perhaps, being curious, you wonder why other things work — roller coaster loops, great billiards shots, solar eclipses, audio speakers, free throws, toasters ... and so many other everyday things. We’ll examine things you’re intrigued by — touch them, ride them, throw them, film them, take them apart. then we’ll work to understand a bit of the physics behind them — concepts like velocity, energy, momentum, and wavelength.
We can’t, individually, know everything (or even all that much). But we can be curious about things (that we’d like to understand), and we can tap into the larger community around us to learn and explore. This Lab will provide a fun, hands-on experience with this lifelong skill through a focus on how everyday things work and the physics that lies behind them.
With Katharine Sprecher
Tuesday, February 20th from 6:30-9pm
Tuesday, February 27th from 6:30-9pm
Tuesday, March 6th from 6:30-9pm
Tuesday, March 13th from 6:30-9pm
Tuesday, March 20th from 6:30-8:30pm
How do we work together for positive social change across differences marked by privilege and oppression? How do we unpack the myriad and often invisible ways systems of dominance infiltrate our realities and the ways we perceive and interact with our world? In what ways can we use our privileges to do ally work and our oppressed identities to offer powerful insights and peer support in particular activist spaces, as well as everyday interactions?
This Lab will allow students to explore diverse intersecting social identities in relation to privilege, oppression, and solidarity with emphases on 1.) relevant historical and socio-political contexts and 2.) developing solidarity across differences for collaborative social change activism. Through interactive, critical, and collaborative activities; students will analyze their own and others’ positionalities in a stratified society – and what this may mean for their own chosen forms of activism. While available to all levels, this lab will complement other Wayfinding social justice labs and adapt to the particular needs, knowledge, and contributions of the enrolled students.
with Sean Harry
Saturday, October 21st from 9:30-4:30
Sunday, October 22nd from 9:30-4:30
Many people have a dream of making a big difference in the world and consider doing so by starting a business or nonprofit organization. Small businesses are different from large corporations in that they are usually an extension of their founder’s personal hopes, dreams, unique experiences, knowledge and skills. Nonprofit organizations are typically focused on fulfilling a mission of making the world a better place and are also an extension of the founders, members and stakeholders.
Lab participants don’t need to have a solid idea in mind to attend. In fact, many will have several ideas and half-baked notions of what they want to do. Some simply know they don’t want to have a “conventional job” and are seeking additional options. This Lab will guide them through a process to determine which ideas are most likely to become successful operations.
With Virginia Luka & Andres Guzman
Sunday, Oct 1st from 3-7pm
Sunday, Oct 8th from 3-7pm
Sunday, Oct 15th from 3-7pm
The aim of this course is to introduce students to social justice concepts through a variety of interactive approaches. The course has a two-fold goal: participants will develop an understanding of their own intersectionality while also practicing specific approaches for how to address social justice issues. Topics to be considered include active allyship, cultural humility, microaggressions, social identity mapping, and more. The intent of this course is to make it a meaningful experience for each participant.
Note: You must register for this Lab by September 28th
with Gina Lorubbio of American Heirloom Project
Tuesday, Sept. 5th, 12th, & 19th: 6-8:30pm
Saturday, Sept. 23rd - 11am-2pm
Tuesday, Sept. 26th - 6-7:30pm
Optional: Saturday, Sept 9th: 11am-1pm - lunch discussion at St. Johns Farmers Market
We'll look at the ways in which food shapes culture, offers identity, and unites us. Along the way, we'll explore local case studies from sources like the Racist Sandwich podcast, hear stories from around the world, meet for a lunch discussion at the St. Johns Farmers Market, and examine the role that food has had in our own lives.
This Lab will culminate in a student-led event for Welcoming Week, a program put on by Welcoming America to unite immigrants and U.S.-born residents.
Hope you can join us for this rich exploration of food!
with Eric Klein
Saturdays: June 24th, 9:00am - 4:00pm &
July 8th, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Lab participants can expect to learn the skills and tools needed to produce podcast episodes that engage the listener and build audience community. At the conclusion of the course, participants will have completed one episode of their own podcast. Specifically, we'll focus on tips and strategies for good interviews, recording techniques, writing for radio (and podcasts), and audio editing.
with Douglas Tsoi
Thursdays: June 1st and 8th, from 9:00am-4:00pm
Most people live their lives unconscious about money and because of that, live in financial fragility. We'll explore the influence the hidden assumptions of consumption and debt in our capitalist system and help you reclaim ownership of how you spend your time + your energy. Once achieved, financial independence gives you the chance to live a fully honest and authentic life. There is only one person responsible for your financial health: you. Become the CFO for your life.
with Jolie Guillebeau
Mondays: May 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd from 6:30-9:30pm
Without a clear understanding of yourself, your motivations, your relationships and your values, it’s impossible to create a life that matters, or even make a decision without doubt. Goethe wrote, “Trust yourself. Then you will know how to live.” Over four weeks, we’ll talk about what got you here, what brings you joy and what you want in your future. By understanding yourself, understanding your relationships, and understanding your world, you’ll have the tools to make clear decisions and the resources to act clearly. Using art making, writing prompts, and in class exercises to clarify your values and goals, we’ll work together to create a specific personal plan for your own self-care that will guide your decision making far into the future. No art experience required!
with Jefferson Smith, Tim Marcroft, and Bjarke Kronborg of the Wayfinding Academy
Thursdays: May 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 6:30-9:30pm
Join our three Lab leaders who have worked on three of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Portland history including a radio station (which raised $103,762), a park (which raised $123,880), and a new kind of college (which raised $206,451). Bring an idea that you want to get crowdfunded and you'll receive personalized attention to sharpen your plans and improve your execution. You’ll leave with a primer on grassroots fundraising, a timeline template for your campaign (counting backwards from launch), and personalized next steps and tips for improving your odds and increasing the amount you raise.
with Douglas Tsoi of the Portland Underground Graduate School
Saturday, March 18th from 9-4:30pm &
Saturday, March 25th from 9-4:30pm
There is only one person responsible for your financial health: you. Become the CFO for your life. In this course, we'll talk about the seven levels of financial maturity, from financial dependence or living paycheck to paycheck, to saving minimally and lastly, having financial freedom. Most people live their lives unconscious about money and because of that, live in financial fragility. We'll explore the influence the hidden assumptions of consumption and debt in our capitalist system and help you reclaim ownership of how you spend your time + your energy. Once achieved, financial independence gives you the chance to live a fully honest and authentic life.
with Angela Owusu-Ansah
Friday, March 3rd from 6-10pm &
Saturday, March 4th from 9-5pm
The Lab will provide experiences for questioning, creative thinking, and innovative actions. The Lab will be conducted using a series of questions (socratic questioning, posing essential questions, using scientific inquiry, etc.) to model and teach participants different ways to ask good questions. During the Lab, participants will find that there are systems to question, undergo exercises to develop creative thinking, be given opportunities to use creative thinking, and afforded a chance to uncover innovative approaches that are simple, but powerful.
with Bjarke Kronborg of Where's My Spark
Thursdays: February 2nd & 16th and
March 16th & 30th from 6:30-9:30pm
Use games to help save the world! Participants in this Lab will choose a social justice area they would like to address. From there, you’ll team up around your social justice topics and develop a game to address at least one element. For example you might focus on raising awareness, changing behavior, or identifying strategies to solve regional issues. Through your game you’ll develop multiple different mechanics to address that element while learning about game thinking, methods, and concepts, psychology, motivation, fun and engagement.
with Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing
Wednesdays: January 25th, February 1st and 15th, and March 1st from 6:30-9:30pm
This lab will help people overcome procrastination, analysis paralysis, and choice overwhelm by discussing key topics in visioning, goal-setting, prioritization, planning, time management, and productivity. The course is especially geared towards creatives, changemakers, and visionaries with big ideas who want to match those big ideas with consistent implementation.
We don’t flourish merely by thinking and dreaming - we flourish by converting ideas and intentions into action and finishing the stuff that matters. But to do meaningful things in the world, we need to start by understanding what matters to ourselves. This lab starts by helping you identify your values, priorities, and themes and ends with practical skills and tips to help you become more productive, intentional, and successful members of their communities.
with Jefferson Smith of XRAY.FM
Offered November 2016
Join Jefferson Smith for a mini Lab about how to start something new. He'll share lessons learned from years of helping small startups succeed and provide real examples from the Portland community.
with Gina Lorubbio of American Heirloom Project
Offered October 2016
Connect with ancient wisdom and your own intuition to eat, cook, and live well. Discover the unchartered territory of your local food system through cooking challenges, guests speakers, and maybe even a field trip. You’ll learn how to find beauty in food and share it with others through a medium of your choice (writing, photography, video, drawing, and more). You’ll leave with motivation and tools to integrate good food into your everyday life.