Today, more than ever, our understanding of interfaces (nexi) between ecological/environmental systems and human cultures requires integrated inquiry and new problem solving techniques. To meet these challenges, the Wright-Ingraham Institute conducts and applies multifaceted research to site specific field study programs that engage with and benefit graduate students, leading academic thinkers, scientists, professionals, policy makers and stakeholders. Our goal is to model ways of understanding and interpreting complex systems that contribute to meaningful solutions in the service of society.
The Wright-Ingraham Institute is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) education and research institution established in Colorado in 1970 by its Founding Director, the late Elizabeth Wright Ingraham. Elizabeth was a prolific author, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a champion of women’s issues, and a highly regarded innovator who served on numerous boards and committees throughout her illustrious career. She is credited with the design of approximately 150 buildings throughout the Southwestern United States and was posthumously inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright, and strongly influenced by the teachings of George Bernard Shaw, Elizabeth was passionate about architecture, community, conservation, and creating synergistic relationships between natural and built systems. She created WII to promote, direct, encourage, and develop opportunities contributing to the conservation, preservation, and responsible use of human and natural resources. Under her direction, the Institute opened the Richard T. Parker Advanced Center for Research in 1973 at its Running Creek Field Station site. The field research and educational workshops, developed to study the ecosystems of the Front Range of Colorado, remain cornerstone to WII’s programming mission.
The next three to five years present the Wright-Ingraham Institute with an important horizon toward which we will set our sights to grow incrementally with the goal of building both our programs and our infrastructure. We envision a future in which our basic core operations are covered by a modest annual distribution from our endowment. Programs, projects, communications, and event-related expenses will be covered through a combination of earned income from individual gifts, program fees, and other support. To date the Institute’s programs have been initiated by the WII Board members and incubated under their leadership. We envision continued engagement of Board members in program development in coordination with senior staff who will provide program leadership. Over the next three years our growth strategy centers upon developing the infrastructure to direct, manage and sustain our programs and projects with incremental additions to the Institute’s staff, expansion of our income strategies, deepening our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, and evolving our programs to ensure a wider impact and increase the number of individuals and institutions engaged in our work.
The Wright-Ingraham Institute’s Organizational Statements represent the core beliefs of our Institute. They inspire and guide our choices in the way we operate and deal with people. They help determine how we approach our decision-making processes and how we implement our programming.