The central challenge facing Winchester and Clark County—like so many other places throughout our country—is how to make community a common enterprise again. At the conclusion of this report, there are seven key steps to do just that. Making progress—real progress—is doable and achievable if people come together to act.
This report illustrates the results of the conversations that the Harwood Institute had with board members across America. The results pointed to a series of challenges boards face both in recognizing the need to be more connected to the community and also engaging in behaviors as a board that would make that connection more likely.
The Ripple Effect is about how change happens in communities. It comes at a time when people throughout the country yearn to find alternatives to prolonged political gridlock, toxic public discourse and mistrust in a whole host of institutions, organizations, and leaders. At a time when significant trends, which have emerged over previous decades, are reshaping society – including dramatic shifts in family structure, widening income gaps, an uneven economy that undermines the vitality of many communities and poor education systems that fail to give many youth a real shot at the American Dream.
"Putting Community in Collective Impact" lays out five key characteristics of civic culture, explore why they matter, and how paying attention to them may be the difference between a collective impact effort getting stuck – even falling flat – or generating the kinds of results we seek. A collective impact approach holds enormous promise for bringing about meaningful change – but only if such action is taken with communities, not apart from them.
After months of work with boundary-spanning organizations in Youngstown, OH, The Harwood Institute presented its final report to the Academic Distress Commission on the Youngstown City Schools last month. In the report, Rich Harwood found that there were a variety of issues facing the people of Youngstown, including that the schools appear as though they are in constant flux, there is a short supply of trust in the community, and that community responsibility is essential for moving forward on a new path.
What does engagement look like when it works well? “The Engagement Path” is a report from The Harwood Institute that pulls together years of experience in working with communities to detail the way people handle on issues over time in a constructive, meaningful way.
Why is it that some initiatives take off in one community but seem to fall flat when you try to replicate them in other places? The five stages of community life help explain why some communities move faster and others slower when it comes to change.
The formation of authentic public opinion requires confrontation with political realities and open discussion. This report presents findings of a study that sought to describe the nature of the process through which citizens learn about public concerns and engage in them. The report argues that the seemingly chaotic process of forming opinions is actually one composed of meaningful patterns and principles.