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The Patterson Foundation to Host Public Innovation Leader Rich Harwood at Free Community Speaking Events

October 22, 2019
SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2019) – The Patterson Foundation is bringing author and motivational speaker Rich Harwood back to the region for two free keynote presentations Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Harwood will discuss his new book “Stepping Forward” and encourage people to turn outward to work toward shared aspirations for their community. The events are open to all ages, families and community members, and no tickets are needed to attend.

Harwood is the president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, a nonprofit that teaches and coaches people and organizations to solve complex challenges and change how communities work together. For more than 30 years, he has innovated and developed a new philosophy and practice of how communities can solve pressing issues, create a culture of shared responsibility and deepen people’s civic faith. His new book “Stepping Forward” highlights this philosophy and shares strategies readers can use to channel energies and frustrations to get on a more hopeful path.

“At a time when many are seeking hope and community collaboration, Rich Harwood offers a path to connect so that we can rediscover our shared aspirations and focus our energies toward achieving them,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The Patterson Foundation is inspired by the insights in ‘Stepping Forward’ and excited to share them with our region.”

The pair of keynote events are free and open to the community. They will be held at the following venues:
  • Manatee Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4:30 - 6 p.m.
  • Riverview Performing Arts Center, Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 4:30 - 6 p.m.
To further strengthen our community and encourage collaborative conversations beyond Harwood’s visit, The Patterson Foundation is facilitating and supporting a series of book circles open to the public to explore “Stepping Forward.” The book circles are an opportunity for groups of eight or more individuals to discuss the themes of “Stepping Forward” while strengthening relationships and discovering shared aspirations. Additionally, each book circle comprised of eight or more participants who gather for three or more discussions has the opportunity to award $250 to a regional nonprofit with an up-to-date profile on The Giving Partner, a local resource for donors and funders that provides a year-round holistic view of a nonprofit’s impact.

“Time and again, I have seen individuals in communities like Manatee and Sarasota, Fla., Flint, Mich., Mobile, Ala., Youngstown, Ohio, Petal, Miss. and hundreds of others, step forward amid their own doubts and fears, tap into their own innate capabilities and create positive change,” said Rich Harwood, president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. “So much of our progress in American history started with small groups of people coming together and doing the unimaginable. It’s part of our can-do spirit.”

The speaking events and book circles are presented through Aspirations to Actions, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation that seeks to evolve community dialogue into positive actions in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties by applying the time-tested and proven techniques of The Harwood Institute of Public Innovation. Harwood’s latest visit follows a series of trips to our region to meet with community leaders and facilitate public innovator labs since The Patterson Foundation began engaging The Harwood Institute of Public Innovation in 2012.

To learn more about Rich Harwood and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, please visit The Harwood Institute's website.

People interested in leading or joining a book circle can submit an interest form. The Patterson Foundation will reach out to these individuals and share additional details for getting started.

About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.

About The Harwood Institute
The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that equips people, organizations, communities, and networks with the tools to bridge divides, build capacity, and tackle shared challenges. The Harwood Institute’s work is rooted in a philosophy of Civic Faith and the practice of Turning Outward. Founded in 1988, the Institute partners with some of the world’s largest nonprofits, and its approach has spread to all 50 states across the US and 40 countries around the world.

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