Institute Chief Strategy Officer Carder Hawkins welcomed our Arkansas Education Policy Initiative cohort to their third in-person meeting today. His observations on our Rockefeller Ethic as a new member of the Institute’s senior leadership team, and his words of encouragement, have been transcribed below.


Before I came to work at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Janet Harris invited me to sit in on the first day of your June 2022 Arkansas Education Policy Initiative convening.

It was my first real exposure to what we do at the Institute and I will never forget my first time seeing the Rockefeller Ethic in practice. I could see and feel the importance of the work in the room. I was in awe at the meeting design, facilitation, and, most importantly, how each of you came together to collaborate.

After I started here as Chief Strategy Officer last July, I learned about all the work and communication that goes into a convening of this size — the mindset, planning, and thoughtfulness that goes into each part of the agenda.

Carder Hawkins, Chief Strategy Officer

I also learned just how much work goes on between your sessions on Petit Jean Mountain. Being together at the Institute is important for this program, but the work you do in between those sessions is what makes it work.

While you’ve been chipping away at goals in your working groups, our staff has been there to support your efforts and plan the next in-person convening. Now we’re back together again. It’s go time. Today, we bring all of the pieces together to continue Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller’s collaborative approach to creating transformational change. We do this through our method, the Rockefeller Ethic.

We use our place, our process, and our people to help you do the work. The Institute is a place to relax and escape the day-to-day operations and fires that each of you deals with professionally. 

We use our process to design efficient, meaningful sessions and facilitate without assumptions or preconceived outcomes.

We will use our people to unburden you, help you relax, feed you, help you think ahead, and help you work together. 

Together, we will help you articulate what’s been done so far, find new opportunities to collaborate, and plan for what’s next. I’d like to leave you with a quote from Winthrop Rockefeller:

“I hope that I will never reach a time when I will not be able to work with people whom I disagree with if we can reach a common goal by doing so.”

Now, let’s get to work!

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