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Regional, Cross-Sector Laboratories for Social Innovation:
The Friday Labs
 Creating Cultures of Collaboration throughout North Carolina to Strengthen Democracy
 We offer connection, authenticity, respect, and the joy of belonging and community as a counteractive response to today's divisive, fractured, contentious, and polarized landscape.
Engaging anyone who wishes to participate, we build shared language, values, analysis, strategies and action plans, leadership and learning practices, and avenues for collective learning and reflection.
Critical to this work is the cross-sector network of 200+ Friday Fellows who represent the diversity of our state and who lead with integrity, intention, and inclusion. Their grounding in Fellowship leadership core practices, broad spheres of influence, and diverse areas of expertise will enhance and advance the work of the Labs.
Building Leadership Capacity

Trainings and workshops on core leadership practices from The Friday Fellowship for Human Relations will be offered at regular intervals to Lab participants. Topics include: Circle Process, Systemic Analysis, Complex, Adaptive Leadership, and leadership of traditionally excluded communities.

Fostering Relationships Across Differences

We are committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming space where every person has the experience of being seen, heard, respected, valued, and honored for their full, authentic self. This creates a level of trust and a willingness to see "differences," in all their variations, as assets that can lead to more innovation and greater success in reaching shared goals.

Practicing Civil Dialogue

Dialogue, from the Greek "dia-logos," means "to see through to meaning." Through deep listening, thoughtful questions, managing emotions and reactivity, and sharing perspectives, beliefs, and concerns with the attitude that seemingly contradictory views of the world could both be true, we engage in civil dialogue, broaden our understanding, and create shared meaning. "The act of collaboration must start with dialogue." -Daniel Yankelovich, The Magic of Dialogue

Creating Action Plans for Change

A shared analysis and a structured process of exploring options, considering trade-offs, and weighing others' views, enable Lab participants to problem-solve and find common ground, resulting in high engagement, high impact action plans for change.

Continuous Learning Ongoing Support

As the Friday Labs implement their plans, they fully realize their purpose as spaces of experimentation, of "trying on" new ways of being and relating, and of collaboration and innovation. A key component of WLI's mission is supporting the Labs as they implement, reflect, learn, and generate new action plans, thus becoming engines of innovation and progress in their communities.


Local communities come together in informal settings.  Individuals first get to know each other and where each other comes from.  Then, a deliberate process of collaborative decision making begins.

Shannon Moretz


"The Tertulia in Reidsville to launch the Friday Lab in our area was such a joyous experience and made me feel welcome. I am so grateful to each of the other fellows, staff members, and neighboring communities for seeing and including my local community."
-Shannon Moretz, Friday Fellowship Class of 2017-2019


Wildacres Leadership Initiative is connected with Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, NC.