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What's the Big Idea?


winning designers.
Innovation Odyssey
for School Groups


through the web.
Teaching American History Seminar

Award winning designers.
Books and Publications


The Collaborative has partnered with schools, foundations and civic organizations to create one-of-a-kind resources which bring Boston's history to life.

  • What's the Big Idea?
    Thanks to a grant from the Yawkey Foundation, we developed a live performance for 3rd graders aligned to state Social Studies standards. The show is performed in conjunction with CityStage and the Boston Children's Museum. Schedule Information is available by calling (617)-426-8433.  An accompanying book is currently in production. <Press Coverage>

  • Teaching American History
    In cooperation with the Boston Public Schools, the Collaborative hosts an annual summer colloquium for history teachers.  Past Teacher's Institute topics have included: "The Inventive Foundations of Early American Industrialization" and "Colonial Settlement to the Revolution." Professors Merritt Roe Smith and Pauline Maier, leading historians at MIT and authors of the textbook Inventing America, have lead the 4-day institute for middle and high school teachers that will focus on the theme of innovation and invention--political, social, and technical.

  • Innovation Odyssey: Boston
    People & Places Behind Boston’s Inventions
    A performance and tour highlighting the sites and stories that have made Boston and Cambridge a nexus of innovation. Through a live performance, tour guests meet the creative, ambitious, and rebellious inventors of Boston and hear their stories of passion and perseverance. Stops on the tour include Massachusetts General Hospital's Ether Dome, the MIT Museum, and the Mary Baker Eddy Library. <Press Coverage> **We are not currently offering the Innovation Odyssey Tour, but may again in the future.
  • Books and Publications
    In 2003 the Collaborative published a landmark collection of innovation vignettes which provides the most comprehensive view of the city's historic culture of innovation. In 2004, the Boston Foundation supported the creation of a guide to Social Innovation, which includes breakthroughs in education, civic life and the arts.

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