The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (the Institute) is a nonprofit organization that serves our mission through a combination of place, people, and process.


Our campus is on Winthrop Rockefeller’s former cattle farm atop Petit Jean Mountain in Central Arkansas.


Our staff, board, program and workshop participants, conference guests, and donors are how and why we do this work.


Our method for solving problems and creating opportunities is called the “Rockefeller Ethic.”

What is the “Rockefeller Ethic?”

The Rockefeller Ethic comes directly from the way Winthrop Rockefeller lived and worked and is drawn from his leadership style. Winthrop showed us that by combining these three values, the change we make together is transformational.

Collaborative problem solving

We know all problems are best solved together. Solutions developed by multiple people with shared goals are stronger and create more impact than when we go it alone.

Respectful dialogue

We know people need to be heard and feel understood to do their best work. That doesn’t mean we will always agree – we often won’t – but building mutual understanding helps us know where other people are coming from so we can work on solving problems and creating new opportunities together.

Diversity of opinion

We know that the strength of our solutions depends on our differences. We must have people with different values, viewpoints, and lived experiences working together or else the transformational change we make won’t reach everyone it needs to.

Where do I fit in?

We use our campus and its many buildings and meeting rooms for three types of convenings.

The Institute develops programs that create sustainable and positive change that improve the quality of life of all Arkansans. Our team is trained to lead people through meetings that address a specific issue. We pick issues and people for whom the Rockefeller Ethic will make a significant impact.

We offer several workshops that are excellent professional development on their own or can be added to conferences our guests hold at the Institute. Ranging in duration from 90 minutes to a full day and led by an Institute staff member, the workshops teach people how to use the Rockefeller Ethic in their own work.

We have world-class facilities and service in a beautiful setting that encourages collaboration and transformational thinking. We invite external groups (nonprofits, businesses, universities, associations, government entities, etc.) to hold their important meetings on our campus. It takes five minutes to fill out the Conference Application to get started.

Our team is made up of well-trained and experienced facilitators who are adept at meeting design and facilitation. In the past year, we have provided over 3,000 hours of facilitation services to more than 500 participants. We use an outcomes-focused approach that allows us to design custom meetings to meet your needs, including: 

  • Help determine the cause of a problem
  • Generating a range of solutions
  • Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of proposed solutions
  • Selecting a strategy
  • Creating a plan for the future

University of Arkansas System

The Institute is a 509(a)(3) proud supporting organization of the University of Arkansas System. In 2005 the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, in coordination with the University of Arkansas System, established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and has since supported the Institute’s operations and programmatic activity. The Governor Winthrop Rockefeller Endowment, managed by the University of Arkansas Foundation, ensures that the Institute’s work will continue in perpetuity.