Co-hosted by United Way Worldwide and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, The National Public Innovators Lab is a 2.5-day experience to help you and your organization learn what it means to Turn Outward – to use the community, not your conference room, as your reference point for choices and action. This year’s Lab will take place December 11-13 at the Mary M. Gates Learning Center in the Washington, DC area (Alexandria, Virginia).

Get off the path of the status quo, learn to Turn Outward and use the community as the reference point for your actions, and get on an alternate path of possibility and hope.


The Lab is for people who are leading or supporting work to help address community problems. We call these individuals public innovators. They can come from nonprofits, faith organizations, businesses, government, academia and other areas. 

Labs are especially suited for these kinds of people:

  • People who play a key role in driving the execution of programs or initiatives that address community challenges
  • Senior staffs that lead programmatic areas or are responsible for coordinating community initiatives
  • CEOs of organizations that are of such a size that the CEO is often engaged directly in ensuring that community work gets done (usually smaller or mid-sized nonprofits)
  • People responsible for community outreach, volunteer engagement, donor engagement or other areas around strengthening support of the community


  • How to listen to and understand the community your organization serves
  • How to use what you are learning to improve your programs and initiatives
  • How you can help your community solve problems and improve the way people and organizations work together
  • What it means to hold genuine authority, authenticity and accountability in your work - and how you can stay true to those values


  • Access to more than 2,000 public innovators worldwide through our Public Innovators Listserv
  • Three months of weekly tools, real world case studies, and tips on using what you’ve learned plus our monthly newsletter and Rich Harwood’s blog
  • A Public Innovator Toolkit print ready for you to use with your staff and partners
  • A library of videos  that you can use to spread what it means to Turn Outward


Be prepared to work! The Lab is intensive, it will require you to think through real scenarios and apply your own challenges to the frameworks and tools being presented. It's not for passive learners. There will be group work, projects, small discussions, reflection time, and loads of application. 

Click here for a basic Lab agenda.


  • $995 per registrant; after November 2, the registration fee is $1095
  • United Ways can use flex credits towards this training

The fee covers your materials, a license to use the content with your colleagues and local partners, your training, and breakfasts and lunches during the training. Travel expenses, hotel and dinners are separate.

Register Today!

Space is limited and reserved on a first come, first served basis. 

United Ways can use flex credits towards this training.

Location & Accomodations

The National Public Innovators Lab will take place at:
Mary M. Gates Learning Center
701 N Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Preferred hotels are listed on the registration page. Participants will need to contact the hotel directly for room reservations.