Shelburne Institute is a research environment in Shelburne, Vermont. Through our work, we seek to reimagine the stories, structures, and systems that shape our collective experience — seeding the future with new possibilities. Our rural campus is located at High Acres Farm, a 176-acre working farm within the larger campus of the educational nonprofit, Shelburne Farms. Over time, we hope to establish a community of living and learning here in this place, integrating craft, commerce, and culture.
Our insignia depicts an archetypal stone from Lake Champlain — gray Iberville Shale bisected by a vein of white calcite, made from the shells of ancient sea creatures who lived in these waters five hundred million years ago, when Vermont was covered by a tropical ocean and located near the equator.
These so-called “linestones” provide an iconic connection to a deeper sense of space and time. When arranged side by side, so the white lines of each stone connect with those of its neighbors, a longer and collective line is formed, pointing to an underlying pattern of wholeness — forgotten, yet still within reach.
Inspired by the writing of architect Christopher Alexander, we are committed to following what we call “the unfolding process” — at each point, doing the next clear thing, and trusting that the path that emerges will be the best possible path, without needing to know where it is going. In this way, we hope that our actions (and the systems and structures that grow from our actions) can be in greater alignment with the natural unfolding of life.
Shelburne Institute is directed by Jonathan Harris, in collaboration with many friends and partners who help to shape its evolution.