“Community is a common enterprise. We can’t go it alone.”

 - Richard C. Harwood, President and Founder


It’s no secret that people are frustrated with politics and public life. They’re tired of the acrimony and divisiveness and nothing getting done about the problems that affect everyday people. There’s a sense that too many organizations and leaders are more focused on their own good than the common good. People want to make a difference but don’t see what they can do that will amount to anything significant.

Unfortunately there are no easy answers to these challenges. The good news, though, is that there are ways to get our communities – and the country – on a different path.

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit that helps people and organizations address community challenges, improve their own effectiveness, and do their work in a way that makes communities stronger. With a proven 25-year track record, the Institute’s approach to change has spread to thousands of communities across the U.S. and more than 40 countries worldwide.

We teach and coach people and organizations how to develop a deep understanding of their communities and then use that knowledge to fundamentally change the way they approach their work. We call this “turning outward” – using the community as the main reference point for both day-to-day and strategic decisions. The people we teach and coach are called “public innovators” – they have a deep affection for their communities, are focused on getting things done, and do their work in a way that is turned outward day in and day out.

 ”When people and organizations turn outward, efforts to solve challenges have a much greater chance of having a lasting impact, generating more support and resources, and creating a community that is better equipped to sustain the change – AND tackle other challenges.”

Our organizations, our communities, and our country need public innovators that are turned outward now more than ever to help make a real difference on the challenges we face and to change the way we work together. The Harwood Institute invites you to join us and become part of this growing cadre of authentic change leaders.

Be A Public Innovator

your community needs you