Named Boston Magazine’s Best Walking Tour of 2023, The Innovation Trail stands out as a genuinely exceptional trail of exploration and discovery, weaving together the most cutting-edge advancements, ingenious ideas, and visionary minds in innovation. With each step, participants are captivated by the transformative impact of Massachusetts innovations on industries, communities, and the global landscape. 

KSA recently sat down with the Trail’s new Executive Director, Anna Dunbar, to discuss the tour, its engaging and entertaining narrative, and her vision for the future – including a limitless opportunity to tap Kendall’s talent pool.

Tell us about yourself. How did you come to the Innovation Trail?

I have been working in the non-profit sector for over ten years, primarily in health and human services. I was the Financial Manager for Gateway Arts in Brookline, a studio-art center for adults with disabilities, and was the Executive Director for the Talking Information Center, based in Marshfield, which provides reading services for individuals who are blind or living with low vision. It is very important to me to work for an organization that focuses on making a difference in people’s lives. I was so thrilled to come across The Innovation Trail’s job posting. I immediately fell in love with the mission and was excited to be a part of an organization from almost the very beginning. Beyond work, my husband and I live on the South Shore and are the parents to our beautiful daughter, Juliette, and our cat and dog. I love yoga, Crossfit, boxing, running, and paddleboarding. I am also a huge video game and movie nerd – you can often hear me quoting a very obscure line from a movie or tv show. 

What’s the most important thing you want tourists to walk away with?

I want tourists to walk away feeling informed, awed, and inspired by what they learned on The Innovation Trail tour! I know tourists will walk away feeling ready to make their innovative mark for the betterment of humanity. 

What surprised you most about or on this tour?

I knew the tour would be good but I was unprepared to be completely blown away. I have never been so thoroughly entertained during a tour. Daniel and his team keep you laughing, engaged, and entertained all while sharing valuable information about the global impact Greater Boston has had with its many innovations. And considering many of the stops on the tour are based in STEM, the narrative is surprisingly poetic and romantic – all of these inventions came about because groups of people got together to make the world a better place. What’s more beautiful than that?

How do you hope to partner with the Kendall community?

There is nothing but opportunity to partner with the Kendall community! I want to help promote tourism in Kendall Square and bring new people to the area. I also want to re-engage those who think they know what Kendall is all about. I would love to partner with the local restaurants so that our tour participants can be encouraged to grab a bite to eat after the tour is over. We are so grateful for all of the people and businesses who have already been so supportive such as the Marriott, Boston Properties and The Link, CIC, the Kendall Square Association, Akamai, and Johnson and Johnson Innovations – just to name a few! 

Charleston Chews, Junior Mints, or Necco Wafers. What’s your favorite?

Junior Mints! And we need the world to know that every Junior Mint is made right here in Cambridge – you’re welcome, world!

The Boston Innovation Trail celebrates the spirit of progress and invites you to witness the magic of innovation firsthand. Join us for an adventure that will leave you informed, motivated, and ready to embrace your own innovative mark for a better future! Sign up for an upcoming tour here.