Harwood Institute in Inner Sydney Voice

Turning outwards to listen to communities
Inner Sydney Voice
By Brian Smith

People want to make a difference but often don’t see wh at they can do that will amount to anything significant. Brian Smith explores the work of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation that is now being adopted in Australia.

It’s no secret that people are frustrat­ed with politics and public life. This is as true in the USA as it is in Aus­tralia. We are all tired of acrimony and divisiveness and nothing getting done about the problems that affect every­day people.

There is also a growing sense in our society that too many organisations, institutions and leaders are more focused on their own good than the common good. While there are no easy answers to these challenges, there are ways to get our communities on a different path.

Based in Bethesda, just outside Washington DC, The Harwood Insti­tute for Public Innovation was founded by Richard Harwood in 1988. After working on more than 20 political campaigns, earning a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton, and working for two highly respected non-profits, Rich, then 27, set out to create some­thing entirely different.

He was disappointed and impatient with non-profits with laudable missions but little real affection for the community or taking on the toughest challenges, and political campaigns that no longer sought to repair breaches but instead sought to win at any cost. In response to these discouraging trends, he set out to develop a highly-entrepreneurial approach to tackling tough issues and making society work better, while still operating with the highest integrity and ethics.

Read the full article: http://innersydneyvoice.org.au/pub/turning-outwards-to-listen-to-communities/