Photo: Fall 2021 Cohort

Discovering New Possibilities Through Shared Aspirations

Posted on November 01, 2021 by Connor LaGrange, TPF Fellow 2021/22
A fresh group of possibilitarians are embarking on their journey to become Public Innovators by participating in the muscle and connective tissue building exercise that is The Harwood Institute’s Virtual Public Innovators Labs.

Through the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, five individuals are stretching their capacity, learning to turn outward, and taking steps forward to see holistic change in our communities.

Falling under TPF’s fellow-led Aspirations to Action initiative, the Public Innovators Lab gives participants five weeks of virtual sessions hosted by Harwood Institute Founder and CEO Rich Harwood himself. These sessions consist of community leaders across the country from a plethora of backgrounds who all share one common goal: seeing their communities thrive. The Harwood Labs are supplemented by three TPF labs (pre-mid-post) where TPF Fellows Connor LaGrange, John Ferguson, and longtime TPF consultant Josephine Eisenberg offer space for participants to share their ongoing thoughts, reflections, and learnings.

The fall 2021 cohort consists of:
Michael Zimmerman – TPF Fellow
Ranata Reeder – Vice President, Knowledge and Equity, Community Foundation of Sarasota County
Renee Isrel – Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Consultant
Cinthia Pena – Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Consultant
Elsie Merril – Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Consultant

As a recent graduate of The Harwood Institute’s Virtual Lab myself (having completed the program in the spring of 2021), I know from first-hand experience just how helpful the lab can be. Harwood offers the opportunity to learn new and enlightening perspectives of how to participate in community and spur on change. The Harwood approach is a great example of how TPF works collaboratively in community as we move from Silos to Systems and learn that change happens when we all begin to work together.

We await with joyful anticipation this cohort’s journey through learning this innovative new approach to doing community. We know that each of these remarkable individuals will take their findings from the Public Innovators Lab and put them into practice in their own unique ways. By doing so, they will continue strengthening the efforts of people and organizations and will subsequently continue to change the world for the better.

More to come!

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