With an incomparable view of the Charles River from Microsoft’s NERD Center, some 300 leaders from around Kendall Square gathered to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Kendall Square Association (KSA), and look ahead at how to shape their shared future. The past, present, and future were all on the agenda for the two-and-a-half-hour event. The goal? To appreciate Kendall Square’s history and envision Kendall Square’s future as the leading purpose-driven, vibrant, inclusive innovation ecosystem committed to improving the human condition around the globe.
KSA members enjoyed some of the best of Kendall’s cultural scene, kicking off the afternoon with food from Fuji, Mex, and Smoke Shop BBQ, while connecting with colleagues, friends, and peers. A string quartet from Kendall Square Orchestra played both classical and contemporary hits in the background, before the evening’s program commenced.
The festivities began with a celebration of the KSA Founders and a video compilation of interviews and images telling the organization’s origin story and highlighting the transformation of Kendall Square through collaboration. The founders shared advice for their successors, and contemplated a future which has not yet been written, but in which Kendall Square will lead. Next up, was the introduction of the KSA’s new Board Officers and Directors to carry on the legacy.
A dynamic presentation from Cambridge Historical Tours’ Co-Founder, Daniel Berger-Jones underscored Kendall’s long history of agile innovation.
Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao shared her pride, optimism, and commitment to bolstering Kendall Square and the Commonwealth’s innovation economy. A Cambridge resident and long-standing advocate of the Kendall community, Secretary Hao secured both the Northeast Microelectronics Coalition Hub for Massachusetts and the ARPA-H Investor Catalyst Hub at CIC in Kendall Square, and has plans to do more.
The event culminated with a future-focused panel discussion featuring AI industry leaders Mehrtash Babadi (Broad Institute), Chris Marra (Meta), Soundar Srinivasan (Microsoft), Kendall entrepreneur Jeremy Wertheimer, and Cambridge Rindge & Latin student Jennat Jounaidi (Innovators for Purpose), and facilitated by Lee McGuire, KSA Board Chair and Chief Communications Officer at the Broad Institute. Together they engaged in a candid conversation about the opportunities and implications of AI, including its impact on the future of work and human health.
This extraordinary event showcased the collaborative spirit of innovation that has established Kendall Square as a nucleus for pioneering advancements. It left attendees eagerly anticipating the promising future ahead. KSA’s members are poised to continue shaping the innovation economy, firmly positioned at the forefront of building a better world for us all. Read more about the event in Zach Winn‘s full MIT News coverage here.