Kendall Square Association’s 12th Annual Meeting Kendall Together was a powerful moment for our innovation ecosystem–bringing our community together and celebrating our successes amidst global crises, and looking with optimism to the path ahead.

Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui thanked the Kendall community for everything we are doing to fight COVID-19. From raising philanthropic dollars for the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund to providing bulk regional testing and COVID-19 vaccine trials, we have been hard at work building solutions to the global pandemic.

“Right now as a community we are facing two pandemics simultaneously, COVID-19 and systematic racism,”

Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor of the City of Cambridge.

Mayor Siddiqui called on the Kendall community to step up and meet the challenges of the pandemic of systemic racism asking that we use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Black Lives Matter in health care, in education, in our workplaces and in every facet of our community.

“Those who are most vulnerable are best off in the context of zero prevalence. What’s best for one is best for all in this context. In addition to advocating for interstate compacts, there’s important public messaging work to be done — it is our civic duty to get a test.”

Danielle Allen, Harvard Professor and Political Theorist

Professor Allen shared her expertise on Pandemic Resilience in her keynote address — expanding on how Massachusetts has set the national standard for regional responsiveness by combining contact tracing, testing, and data management to control COVID-19. She encouraged us to continue to promote wide-range testing and collaboration amongst our networks, reminding all of us that inclusion always brings the best results.

KSA announced the launch of a program, more than a year in the making, Inclusion Drives Innovation (IDI). This program is a direct response to KSA members’ requests for expanded programming on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in order to help them continue to prioritize and get smarter about the strategies they use to build better organizations. It is an expansion of KSA’s DEI work that began in 2018 and 2019 with Civic Designers.

IDI is a ticketed professional development program led by a professional facilitator with a practical, tactical approach to identifying and scaling up DEI best practices. IDI participants will deepen their network, learn tools to measure their organization’s DEI practices and share thoughtful, scalable ideas for creating a more inclusive workplace.

This program is geared toward People managers, as well as HR, Talent, and CSR leaders involved in DEI programming and policy at the company level. Participants will be expected to fully engage in conversations focused on their greatest pain points and community successes, both personally and within their organizations. Individual and group tickets will be available for purchase in July.

“The Kendall Square Association is here to help steward,” said Lee McGuire, Chief Communications Officer, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “We create proximity, even when physical distancing is necessary. KSA can harness our connectivity to create new opportunities and as the Mayor said doing this well means creating new networks. Networks that include everybody, from many perspectives, thinking deeply about the inequities that drive inequality and a lack of access — and engineering opportunities to welcome people who we might not know well, but whose experience and insight are invaluable.”

Lee McGuire, Chief Communications Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was installed as KSA ‘s new board chair, replacing Sarah Gallop, Co-Director, Office of Government and Community Affairs at MIT who has served since 2016. New board officers and members were elected during Tuesday’s meeting including, Eileen Elliot, Site Lead, Pfizer, Lisa Girard, Director Strategic Communications, Whitehead Institute, and Maggie O’Toole, COO, LabCental.

Thank you to our sponsors: