Rich Harwood

President & foundeR, The Harwood Institute
author, speaker, coach

Rich Harwood teaches and inspires people to solve our pressing problems and change how communities work together. The Institute’s impact is a result of his decades-long effort to develop a toolset for empowering self-guided community change and increasing civic engagement. His work is actively used across the globe and has helped transform communities here in the United States.

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Rich keynotes events all over the world, discussing what we can do to make community a common enterprise and combat the divisiveness holding back progress.




Rich Harwood is dedicated to transforming our public and political lives by supporting individuals, organizations and communities in their quest to create change.

Over the past thirty years as Founder and President of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Rich and his team have developed tools and frameworks designed to inspire and guide people toward action rooted in the needs of their own communities. The Institute’s work with leading organizations like the United Way, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Library Association and AARP has helped strengthen community ties and create measurable impact.

Rich’s national and international speaking engagements largely stand at the intersection of current events and his turning outward approach. He is often a contributor for the American news media including MSNBC, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN's Inside Politics, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Special Report with Brit Hume, C-SPAN, and more. He has also authored several books, studies, and articles focused on some of the most vital community issues of our time.

The most important part of our work was creating both a shared vision for our community and a shared responsibility for that vision. Harwood helped us see that.
— Carolyn Akers (CEO, Mobile Area Education Foundation)