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Carroll School of Management

Boston College Citizen Seminars: March 9, 2006

sponsored by the chief executives' club of boston

Innovate Boston!

Shaping the Future from Boston's Past: Four Amazing Centuries of Innovation

Co-Sponsored by The Boston History & Innovation Collaborative

At right, Fr. William McInnes (Current Faculty Member at Boston College and Former President of the Association for Jesuit Colleges and Universities) welcomes the crowd to the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Report: Innovation key to Bay State economic rebound

Massachusetts has done it before and can do it again- innovate its way out of an economic malaise, according to a new report.

The chief conclusion: Nurturing young technology firms is more important than most other policies pushed by business and political leaders.

"It's not just about housing costs and having universities," said Robert Krim, executive director of the Boston History and Innovative Collaborative, which will release its report today at a Boston College Citizens Seminar.

Krim said Massachusetts' economy is clearly going through tough times, with slow employment growth, the loss of large corporations headquartered here and with young people leaving the area.

But the region has rebounded before from hard times, due mostly to a "history of great innovation," from being the first to jump into textile manufacturing in the 19th century to being the first to tap into biotechnology last century, the report says.

Still, the state's rebound from current woes is "no slam dunk," Krim said, arguing the business community needs an "action plan" that doesn't rely solely on government policies.

An analysis of past boom-and-bust cycles shows that the state usually crawled out of economic trouble via entrepreneurs or teams of leaders; a strong local network of business leaders working together; local funding of new firms and technologies; and local demand for products produced by entrepreneurs, the report says.

Article by Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, Thursday, March 9, 2006

Left to Right: Cleve Killingsworth (President & CEO, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MA) and Robert Reynolds (Vice Chairman & COO, Fidelity Investments) listen to the presentation.

The panel of speakers offer responses to questions from the crowd. (Moderator: Richard M. Freeland, Ph.D., President, Northeastern University; Panel, left to right: Peter Slavin, M.D., President, MA General Hospital; Robert E. Smyth, President & CEO, Citizens Bank of MA; Phillip L. Clay, Ph.D., Chancellor, MA Institute of Technology; Ellen Goodman, Editorial Columnist, Boston Globe)

Attendees eagerly become involved in the table discussion.