Aspirations to Actions: The Harwood Institute

August 2012 – Present

Aspirations to Actions: The Harwood Institute

The Purpose

Through the expertise of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, a nonprofit advancing positive community action by inspiring people and communities to “turn outward,” Southwest Florida is making community — not the conference room — the reference point for change.

Individuals and organizations have the power to realize shared aspirations by connecting and engaging within communities. The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s time-tested and proven techniques provide an opportunity to evolve community dialogue into positive actions in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.

Strengthening the Impact

Working with Rich Harwood and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s coaches since 2012, The Patterson Foundation supported strengthening efforts in our region by training over 200 people representing diverse geographic areas and issues in Southwest Florida during public innovator labs. By encouraging learning, sharing, and evolving together, these public innovators developed a deeper sense of how this practice strengthens individuals, organizations, and communities. With group-learning sessions and consultants provided by The Patterson Foundation, individuals and teams are continuing to make a difference.


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why does The Patterson Foundation support this initiative?

The Patterson Foundation is strengthening the efforts of people, organizations, and communities through the Aspirations to Actions initiative. By providing time and space for people to learn and share together using The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s techniques, the foundation is supporting the evolution of community dialogue into positive actions that will achieve aspirations in our region.

Why is The Patterson Foundation engaged with The Harwood Institute?

The objective of the Aspirations to Actions initiative is for our community to take aspirations and turn them into actions that will result in positive change. By engaging with The Harwood Institute, TPF is providing the community another potential tool to change the way our community approaches issues and the way it develops innovative, collaborative partnerships that may not have otherwise formed.

What is the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and why was it chosen for this initiative?

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that teaches and coaches people and organizations to solve pressing issues and change how communities work together. The people they teach become known as public innovators. The Harwood Institute's unique approach breaks down barriers and empowers people to make progress in improving their communities.

What is the value of this initiative to our community?

Harwood principles and practices have the potential to change the way our community approaches challenges and issues. As the Harwood principles have been employed across the region, we are discovering a new and innovative approach to community conversations that informs decisions we make before we make them. In addition, organizations will exhibit enhanced leadership and new competencies. Organizations will be focused, aligned, and making tangible progress on issues. There will be an environment of innovation and learning and the forming of new partnerships.

What is the timeframe for completing this initiative?

Since 2012, The Patterson Foundation has supported more than 200 community members in completing the Public Innovator labs with The Harwood Institute both in person and online. Lab cohorts happen on rotation in the fall and spring, but The Patterson Foundation doesn’t always send new groups. It depends on the appetite of the community.

Who can I contact about the Aspirations to Actions initiative?

For more information, contact Aspirations to Actions initiative lead Cheri Coryea:
Learnings from the first year of Aspirations to Actions
(total time: 6 minutes 16 seconds)

Share This Page