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Public Innovators Labs

Applied learning, real-life scenarios, and action beyond theory.


The Harwood Public Innovators Lab is built 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. 

Join us for a 2.5-day intensive training specially designed for professionals, community partners and supporters like you. You will leave the Lab as the next class in a global group of thousands of Public Innovators. You'll receive resources to continue your practice beyond the Lab—the Harwood Action Plan, Toolkit, and our Community Conversation Workbook.

That Lab itself is a combination of discussions, hands-on-activities, and breakout groups where we focus on key areas in which you need to make choices, and how to approach those decisions. Learn how to:

  • Tap your organization's community engagement value
  • Surface people’s shared aspirations and help bring them to life
  • Turn Outward and become a steward of public knowledge
  • Convene and lead productive and insightful community conversations


Who should attend

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. Their organizations can be any size from any size community.

  • 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 engage and understand your community the right way
  • How to use what you learn from the community to gain new allies 
  • How to improve your programs and strategies so they work for your community - not just for the experts
  • How to get work moving with the right partners in the community when it seems like everyone is stuck and there's talk but no action
  • How to be a more intentional community leader that exercises genuine authority, authenticity and accountability



  • Attendance to our Public Innovators Lab
  • Weekly emails over three months containing tools, tips, case studies, and more.
  • A toolkit with materials you can use with your colleagues 
  • A library of videos on topics we cover in the Lab



Be prepared to work! The Lab is intensive, 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. 




Harwood Public Innovators Lab for Libraries ›
Co-hosted by the American Library Association
Oct 9-11, 2018 — St. Louis, MO

Check out our upcoming Virtual Labs ›

Still have questions?


A team of Public Innovators, 
at your service.

Each of our coaches are certified in the Harwood approach, often leads or is central to many of our other projects, and maintains their own practice in addition to the work we do together. You couldn't be in better hands.