When The Patterson Foundation team brainstormed the idea for A2A Live!, we knew there were amazing individuals who were using the time-tested practices they had learned from the Harwood Institute Public Innovator Labs. The opportunity to attend the 2019 Harwood Summit in Philadelphia was a way for The Patterson Foundation to recognize an individual dedicated to going above and beyond in their mission to #TurnOutward, while learning about the work of many.
While being able to shine a spotlight on a great public innovator is meaningful, the best part of this project was reading all of the testimonials. Although our call for submissions was regional, we had entries from up and down the eastern seaboard. It’s incredible to know that people far and wide are inspired to do community-changing work.
My favorite question that we asked wasn’t actually one of the testimonial prompts, but rather, “When you put on your superhero cape after work, who are you?” This question creates the bedrock of being awesome. It gives depth to who we are as humans and sheds light on the context of how and why we seek to create change. Parent, grandparent, coach, athlete, teacher, friend, sous chef for family dinners, and more, the list of superhero positions is varied but so fun and meaningful as we think about what superpowers everyone can bring with them as they turn outward.
The author selected to attend the 2019 Harwood Summit is Bronwyn Beightol, surely a superhero in many ways. Bronwyn’s essays, which I hope you’ll read in a future blog, highlight how deeply she has embraced the Harwood principles and practices. From everyday interactions transformed into opportunities to learn to her professional leadership, which ignites a new view of community planning, Bronwyn is a shining star in turning outward.
As we each continue to use our gifts, look for ways to engage with A2A alumni through the Aspirations to Actions Facebook page.