The stresses of 2020 have reaffirmed how critical connectivity, serendipity, and collaborations are in problem solving and advancing our individual and collective interests. As 2020 winds down, we wanted to reflect on the smart ways KSA was able to keep our community connected by building new networks and sharing critical information to help advance our innovation community.
When this all began in March, we could not have imagined how much our lives and organizations would change in the face of a global pandemic. While few of us have time to keep a pandemic journal to help remember all that we are experiencing right now, we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on all the ways our community has led through action on creative collaborations to reimagine the future of our innovation ecosystem.
- The Future of (how we) Work Task Force was established to answer critical questions about how our innovation ecosystem will return to work in a post-COVID-19 world. Addressing topics including transportation, workplace safety, open space, and supporting small businesses, Task Force meetings build on our individual learning enabling shared progress.
- We built on two years of insights drawn from the KSA Diversity Equity and Inclusion learning community to launch Inclusion Drives Innovation, focusing on addressing racism as the critical starting point that enables change. This twelve-week professional development program, which launched in September, was designed by and for Kendall Square Association members with a focus on building anti-racist organizations, understanding cultural and social identity, unpacking bias, microaggressions, allyship, and leading across differences. Registration for spring 2021 programs will open in January.
- We shared snapshots of the people in Kendall Square who are leading, pivoting, and problem solving to drive real change. With the Kendall Collective, you met CEOs who told us that this pandemic is taking them back to their early careers in startups, how every day they get to creatively problem solve mass testing their employees. You met restaurant owners who are fighting to keep their business alive and, of course, you met scientists who have repurposed their labs to solve COVID-19. In 2021, you’ll continue to get to know your neighbors and learn about what they’re working on with this storytelling campaign.
- Kendall Square got a new front door! As we all adjusted to an increasingly virtual reality, we also introduced a shiny, new www.kendallsquare.org. The form factor and features reflect Kendall Square’s creativity and we hope you’ll continue to find it to be a resource you depend on and share widely.
- We tested a new experimental solution to support our independent restaurants. Toast Drop, sponsored by Google Cambridge, allows employers the opportunity to safely feed their on site staff with local food they love and the flexibility they need, especially as offices adapted to new shift work and other capacity changes. This platform minimizes the risk of contamination by leveraging aggregated, free deliveries and offers employees benefits they haven’t been able to access since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to call on you to support our resilient restaurant community this winter, as we celebrate our employees with the food we love and miss.
In Kendall Square, we know that working together is the only way to advance our vision for a better, more inclusive, global innovation community. Thank you for all of the energy and agility you brought to our ecosystem this year – imagine what we’ll accomplish in 2021! Please let our team know how you’d like to make the most of your KSA membership next year or if there’s a topic you’d like to collaborate on with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.