The Greater Clark Foundation, Harwood Institute partner

Published 11:27 am Friday, October 7, 2016

The Greater Clark Foundation (GCF) is partnering with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation on a three-year project to help Clark County-area residents become better equipped to work together on moving the community forward.

 The Harwood Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Maryland, teaches, coaches and inspires people and organizations to solve pressing problems and transform how communities work together.

In December, GCF sponsored five area residents to learn about the Institute’s approach to change at their national Public Innovators Lab.

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Jen Algire, GCF president and chief executive officer, said the five participants helped determine whether this approach could benefit the area. The Institute develops community leaders they call public innovators to “Turn Outward” — to develop a deep knowledge of their community and use that knowledge to make more intentional choices and judgments to solve problems and create greater impact. The Turning Outward approach was developed through the Institute’s 30 years of experience working in communities across the U.S.

“Strong communities are foundational to solving problems,” Algire said. “Partnering with The Harwood Institute will further our mission to develop a pipeline of local leaders armed with the tools to successfully lead our region into the future and achieve long-term goals.”

The Institute is leading conversations with key leaders and other residents in Clark County through the end of the year to give people a chance to share more about the kind of community they want to live in, the challenges they see in making progress and possible ways to move forward.

Themes will be shared in a report that will be released leading up to AMBITIONFest!, to be hosted by GCF in early 2017. 

The conversations will also help surface potential leaders who could be trained and coached in the Turning Outward approach beginning next spring.  

“We are honored and humbled to have the chance to partner with GCF and work with people in Clark County so that they are better equipped to strengthen their own community,” Richard C. Harwood, president and founder of The Harwood Institute, said. “If we are going to build a society that works for everyone, we have to make community a common enterprise again.”