Overseeing an agenda for sustaining Boston's culture of innovation

At any one time, the Collaborative is working on a number of projects related to catalyzing new ideas.  Sometimes these take the form of task forces, and sometimes are staff driven.  Such projects include:

What’s Up Boston?

As part of efforts to jump-start civic conversations and get people “talking” live and publicly about important topics of common interest, the What’s Up Boston task force has developed an innovative way to facilitate more public dialogue.  The pilot public conversation medium, an "electronic whiteboard" though which participants can share their experiences and solutions in real time by sending text messages to a publicly located screen, will be part of the Oct. 4 IdeasBoston conference.

Task force members include: Janey Bishoff (Bishoff Communications), Rick Borovoy (nTag), Julian Bourne (Proxpro), Steve Crosby (McCormack School/UMass-Boston), David Feigenbaum (Fish & Richardson), Ellen Goodman (Boston Globe), Marion Kane (The Barr Foundation), and Clara Wainwright (artist)

Universal WiFi for Boston– Stimulating Innovation

Which major city in the world is going to be the first to have universal low-priced WiFi to help with economic development: Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, or Boston?   A Trustee-led task force met in 2005 to focus on the need for the region to become a hub of wireless Internet access, or WiFi. 

The group adjourned in February 2006 soon after Mayor Thomas Menino incorporated much of the group’s work in announcing his initiative to make Boston a universal broadband city.   Since then,, a private, non-profit corporation has been formed to develop, implement and operate the network that will provide affordable WiFi throughout the City.

Diversity & Innovation

The Collaborative’s Diversity and Innovation task force formed in 2006 to catalyze attention to the challenges facing the region in competing for diverse talent with other urban areas. The taskforce designed an initiative that would draw on the region’s unexpectedly rich history of diverse innovators to reinforce talent recruitment and retention efforts on the part of area universities, businesses and non-profits.

Recently funded by the Boston Foundation and CitizensBank, among others, the initiative has also helped inform the thinking behind the Boston Diversity Project at University of Massachusetts-Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, which is examining ways to help Boston progress in the area of racial relations and attitudes.

Click here
to learn more about the Collaborative’s Diversity & Innovation Project.




“Bump and Connect”

The "Bump and Connect" -- Boston's unique ability to mobilize new ideas, funding, and networking-- has driven innovation in this region for over 400 years.

People “bumping into one another” and sharing their ideas, opinions, and services is how we are able to sustain & strengthen Boston’s culture of innovation.


Trustees Meeting 2005