Photo: #TurnOutward with bullet points of examples

Turning Outward in a Time of COVID-19

Posted on May 05, 2020 by Deborah Gauvreau, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation (TPF) and its Aspirations to Actions (A2A) initiative is engaged for the fourth time as a sponsor of participants in the Harwood Institute Virtual Lab. The lab teaches participants, called public innovators, about approaches to leading us forward to solve vexing community challenges, both large and small. These public innovators engage in a practice called Turning Outward — using the community, not the conference room, as the reference point for having conversations and making decisions.

How timely for the eight week spring 2020 online Harwood Institute Virtual Lab to be a resource as COVID-19 has affected every person, organization, and community in our region. There are 48 lab participants from around the nation, including four Harwood coaches-in-training and eight individuals supported by TPF. Each person below was recommended as a candidate to quality for TPF support by a leader in the region:
  • Cheryl Humphrey, Manatee Performing Arts Center
  • Kristi Hagen, Manatee County Government
  • Tammy Parrott, Manatee County Government
  • De’Ja Rivera, Manatee County Government
  • Nikki Second, Manatee County Government
  • Jennifer Torres, Manatee County Government
  • John Ferguson, The Patterson Foundation
  • Abby Rolland, The Patterson Foundation

Here are just a few comments about aspirations from this region’s participants:

"I hope to connect with my new community and build trust. I look forward to diving in deeper and gaining a thorough understanding of turning outward. I think doing this training now will be so beneficial as the communities we thought we knew are likely going to be fundamentally altered by COVID-19 due to isolation, job loss, and social upheaval, in ways we can't anticipate."

"I hope to gain and utilize knowledge of tools and skills I can learn to grow to stay authentic to myself while connecting more with the community. With this crushing pandemic we are in the midst of the communities as we knew them will be needing and wanting adaptability, change and reassurance." 

"I'm hoping to learn better about how to turn outward during this time, as well as in the future. I'm participating in the lab to be more oriented and outward-facing with my community. I'm looking forward to learning the skills needed to engage with my community."

TPF has supported more than 250 people in virtual and in-person labs to strengthen community efforts in our region and is dedicated to caring, connecting, collaborating, contributing, and creating positive action resulting in the realization of community aspirations. 

Help me welcome our newest group of Public Innovators!


5 5 20 A2A Lab Participants

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