Treehouse Community Innovation Fellows

Treehouse Fellows are young people, early in their careers, with an emerging body of inter/multi/anti disciplinary work that will have positive economic, social, and ecological benefit to their communities and Maine. Fellows are generally twenty-somethings who are recent college grads.


The Treehouse Community Innovation Fellows, guided by Treehouse Institute cofounder Adam Burk, will assemble talented young leaders to begin Portland’s Global Shapers Hub.  The Hub will identify a local issue to tackle, drawing inspiration from the efforts of their peer hubs around the world:  Global Shapers in Bamako, Mali set up public WiFi spots in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Atlanta’s Global Shapers built a financial literacy program.  Zurich’s Hub promotes green transit, Manila’s constructs libraries, and Minneapolis’s cultivates a community owned solar power garden.  Portland’s Hub will share the learning from their project with the community and peers all over the world.

The Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum, a nonprofit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation while remaining independent and not tied to special interests.  The World Economic Forum purposefully engages young leaders to build solutions that shape the future.

Want to get involved? Drop us a note!

Meet Our Inaugural Fellows



Serena became a community innovator at the age of five, at the beach. She discovered then that sandcastles created two things: fantastic shapes out of grains of sand, and lightning-fast friendships. Now, graduated from Clark University and having traveled to places where she built many sandcastles, she builds real places for young people to catalyze their ideas and communities in Southern Maine and New Hampshire. Ask her about experiential education, intentional housing or her hometown on the Salmon Falls River.



Maina Handmaker is a farmer and artist passionate about place. She is manager of The Brunswick Farmers’ Market Project, an effort to revitalize two hundred-year-old freight shed barns into a year-round farmers’ market and community gathering space for Brunswick. She is a farmer at Six River Farm, a diverse organic vegetable farm on the shores of Merrymeeting Bay in Bowdoinham, where she also co-founded and operates Browns Point Press, a letterpress print shop dedicated to making work that celebrates food and agriculture.



Eli is a proponent of open source technology, and is generally a fanboy for sharing. He designs tools that empower folks to become aware of and to inhabit awarenesses other than their own—to connect, and to share. He is a vanquisher of anomie, who, working as a designer and narrative geographer, makes systems and spaces that help to foster collaboration and communication. He is currently exploring how literacy leads to interaction—while simultaneously disrupting notions of what “literacy” is. He is a Treehouse Fellow.

Benefits to Treehouse Innovation Fellows include…


    Mentorship from Treehouse Institute CEO and Founder, Adam Burk

  • 02 NETWORK

    Build a powerful network in Maine and globally


    Executive communication coaching


    Scholarship to attend TEDxDirigo

  • 05 SPEAK

    Opportunity to speak at TEDxDirigo