Join us on one of our out-of-town brain-activating weekend retreats!

A 3 day out-of-city and perhaps out-of-mind experience. An annual event. Small group of established professionals interested in change-making. A beautiful location in Upstate New York. Cerebral stimulation. Curated community events.  Brain-Activating Adventures. workshops. Amazing Food. Summer. By application or invitation only.

un-school weekend retreats for social change agents

Un-School’s annual Weekend Fellowship Retreat is a brain activating adventures hosted in an amazing upstate New York property. With a curated group of social innovators and top facilitators, this program is designed to make your stimulate your brain and get your re-energized. Think of it as a friends getaway with fascinating people, experienced hosts and fellow weekend retreaters imparting knowledge and an opportunity to massage your brain while building your entrepreneurial leadership, sustainability and social innovation skills.

During the day you’ll explore, share, learn and expand your mind through fun inspired experiences and at night you’ll enjoy organic food that ignites the senses. All of this is combined with brain-activating workshops that cover ideation, design, systems thinking, sustainability, project activation and cognitive sciences to enhance leadership skills.

We curate the groups of complimentary but excitingly diverse people and we invite along superb mentors to join us for the weekend. We share food, knowledge, and aspirations, nourishing growth on the individual level as well as cultivating strong connections between our weekend adventurers. And of course, these summer brain-activating weekends also involve swimming, refreshing drinks, seasonal and sustainable food, and a piñata full of surprise experiences.

Participation is by application or invitation only. Applications are accepted until spots are filled up. The small groups differ slightly in size depending on accommodations at the surprise locations and our curatorial instincts.


Name *

Weekend retreat FAQs

What does the curriculum include?

The content for the weekend is tailored to the guests and draws on our extensive curriculum on systems, sustainability and design. Expect workshops in: 

  • Authentic leadership

  • Creative communication and presentation

  • Socially motivated project design and implementation

  • Sustainable social innovation

  • Cognitive sciences

  • Systems thinking

  • Disruptive design techniques

  • Designing interventions

  • Creative confidence 

What is the deal with accommodation and food ? 

We are into historical and beautifully restored/furnished places that have character, ambiance and a relaxed vibe. We handpick places that are unique and character filled for our weekends. For a sneak peak of the beautiful upstate country estate we will be staying at for the July Fellowship, see the very bottom of this page. A few extra special features: private lake, fire pit and a rope swing!  As far as food goes, we are known for our amazing secret dinner parties, excellent cocktails and organic, vegetable centric feasts (and pancakes!) 

What is the schedule for the weekend? 

You need to take the Friday off work, but we will have you back in the city by Sunday night.

Friday 8.30am: leave NYC

Friday 10.30am – 12.30am: welcome tour and introductions

Friday lunch till Sunday 3pm: Amazing adventures, food, workshops, walks, talks and drinks. The rest is a surprise! Fun and brain-activating experiences guaranteed!  

Sunday 3pm travel back to NYC, arrive back by 5.30pm 

What are the costs for a weekend adventure retreat?

Each weekend away is jam-packed with activities, brain-activating workshops, dinners, drinks and adventures. The costs cover tuition, beautiful accommodations and amazing food over the 3 days. The cost for the weekend is between $500-$800 depending on your accommodation selection. As you can imagine, the preparation, accommodation expenses, organic food, drinks and travel costs for a small group of people can be quite pricey. We try to keep the weekend costs accessible as we can, whilst not sacrificing the quality of the experience!

How does the application process work?

You complete the application. Our team and assess the applications. We offer places to a select few to join us based on the best fit for the weekends. 
We aim to have a diverse group of people along for the ride and selection is based on a range of criteria.

Who is this adventure for?

We offer these weekends away for stuck professionals, would-be world changers, creative rebels and frustrated people wanting to take the time to build their thinking and doing skills in meaningful ways. These are geared towards professionals in the 25 - 55+ range. Our curriculum and workshops are designed to assist you with your specific career and project goals. Once accepted, we work on tailoring a unique and value-packed experience for you. 

Who will be facilitating?

Each weekend, our Un-School team, lead by Leyla Acaroglu, and our amazingly talented facilitators curate the experiences along with our invited mentors. In July we will have two mentors joining us. Our weekend is focused around activated leadership, communication and effecting positive change.