Harwood Public Innovator's Lab

Co-hosted by United Way Worldwide and The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, The Harwood 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.

Applied learning. Real-life scenarios. Action, not theory. 
Learn how to make the community - not your conference room - the reference point for your choices and action.

This year’s Lab will take place December 11-13 at the Mary M. Gates Learning Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

If you Turn Outward and make more intentional judgments and choices in creating change, you will produce greater impact and relevance in your community. The Harwood Institute has partnered with some of the world’s largest nonprofit networks including United Way Worldwide, AARP, Goodwill Industries International, the American Library Association, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and others to spread this approach, which is being used across the U.S. and increasingly worldwide.

The Lab was recently redesigned to be more applied, more practical, and more hands-on. You will leave with a clear action plan for things you can do to increase your impact the day you return home. Additionally, all Lab alumni receive:

  • 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 “Redeeming Hope” 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

The Public Innovators Lab is foundational for any organization seeking to drive change in their community. We encourage you to bring a cross-functional team if possible or at least another colleague to share the experience. The Lab is designed for senior teams or individuals that have responsibility for developing strategy and driving execution.

Click here for a previous program agenda.


The Harwood Public Innovators Lab will be held at United Way Worldwide’s Mary M. Gates Learning Center located at 701 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Information on local hotels can be found here. See the VISIT US tab at the top of this page for more information on transportation and travel to the area.

Dates and Locations
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