My work: Transforming public TV into interactive forums for discourse by showcasing citizen-inspired social innovations.
Check out this video for more on Harry's work:
Through a unique combination of media and civic action, Dale Bell and Harry Wiland are shining a light on citizen-led initiatives that present promising solutions to social problems. Through their work, the ordinary and the extraordinary meet in new and exciting ways and foster change in families and cities across America.
Harry grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a salesman. As a child his mother took him with her to the children’s hospital where she volunteered. He took to heart this lesson on the importance of giving back. Harry skipped two years between junior high and high school, winning scholarships to support his education. He planned to become a scientist, but maintained and nurtured a deep connection with the arts.While enrolled in a molecular biology Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts, Harry realized that he was more interested in the impact of science on society than in labwork. He came upon C.P. Snow's The Two Cultures, on the chasm between science and the humanities, and felt as if it had been written for him. He had the opportunity to meet Snow, who had left a career in physics to become a writer. This meeting spawned a 10-year friendship. He also met and was influenced by James Watson and his book on the creative process, The Double Helix. Inspired by these mentors, Harry transferred to Colombia University's Film & Television program, where he earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in 1970. Both Harry and Dale were part of an emerging independent film group in New York in the late 60s and early 70s. They experimented with new ways to tell stories, and with technology that allowed documentary filmmaking to be more portable and interactive. Harry moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a multimedia producer/director. His interest in education led him to co-found and serve as CEO of an educational software firm, Leonardo Internet. He went on to produce distance learning teacher training programs, and in 1995 he founded CyberSchool to deliver quality educational content via web-based interactive courseware. Like many of Harry’s ideas, CyberSchool was ahead of its time. In 1999 he joined forces with Dale to fulfill a vision that they felt was so big they could only accomplish it together.