Guest Post: Getting to know our community's change agents

Guest Post: Getting to know our community's change agents

Posted on December 21, 2012 by John Annis

In preparation for the Harwood Institute’s Public Innovators Lab, I spent some time on websites checking out the missions, visions, values and goals of the organizations represented by our Sarasota delegation. I knew some of the people I would be traveling with and had a general idea of the work they do on a daily basis, but I hoped to learn more by doing just a bit of research.

Our shared experience brought us closer together, and I feel much more connected to them and their personal and organizational aspirations. Here are just a few things that their respective organizations feel are important. Can you guess the organization?

1) “…provide and enhance quality programs, services, and facilities

that reflect the goals of the community while always promoting health, safety, public

welfare and quality of life for our citizens.”

Also includes: “Develop successful partnerships that provide human services.”

2)  “…achieve meaningful impact by connecting with others to create

New Realities.”

Also includes: “Realize that being accessible and engaged with others is essential to

our work.”

3)  “…connect and inspire citizens to create a better community.”

Also includes: “…provide opportunities where all citizens’ voices are welcomed and


4) “We Value: Integrity and social responsibility in an interdependent


Also includes: “Diverse community that serves as a source of empowerment.”

5) “Our vision is not about having more. It is about having better.”

Also includes: “…a community abundant with talent, embracing of technology and

encouraging of diversity.

Our training took place in United Way Worldwide Headquarters. While there, I had achance to take a look at their mission. I love this part:

“Galvanize and connect all sectors of society – individuals, businesses, nonprofit

organizations and governments – to create long-term social change that produces

healthy, well-educated and financially-stable individuals and families.”

The Harwood experience galvanized and connected a few of us. I hope many more residents will want to learn more about each other and our collective aspirations in the very near future.

John Annis is the Vice President of Community Investment at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County -

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