June 15, 2016

Kate Barrett, Executive Director GreenLight Boston

The GreenLight Fund was thrilled to participate in the Collaborative on June 15 in Boston and have the chance to engage in a rich conversation about Boston’s pathway to becoming an epicenter for global entrepreneurship. Margaret Hall, our National Executive Director, joined Geoff Mamlet of Impact Hub Boston, Kerry Healey of Babson College, and Sarah Gallop of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a mainstage panel moderated by the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s David Brown.

The panel addressed several key themes, including:

Boston has always been a leader in social movements. We were first in the nation to advance major progress on gay marriage, universal health care, and other key areas. The spirit that carries forward social movements also nurtures innovation and impact, something that has become a part of the fabric of our hometown.

Part of what makes a community a center for entrepreneurship is being open to new ideas, innovation, and collaboration. That means welcoming ideas from other places that can significantly impact key issues facing Boston. That’s a role GreenLight is proud to play year over year through our work. As GreenLight’s national network grows, we will ultimately become a net exporter of innovation. By being grounded in a community like Boston, we can help get our homegrown innovations to new communities that need them. The more we export, the more we attract the quality of social leaders, entrepreneurs, and other innovative organizations that have the potential to – together – imagine an even greater future for our city.

At the same time, there are risks that come with being a center of innovation and growth. In spite of the success of the technology sector and for-profit innovation, Boston also leads the nation in income inequality, in part, due to the economic success of that sector. This drives home the importance of ensuring we invest in a robust social sector to identify ways to create pathways to opportunity for all.

It was thrilling to be among an impressive crowd of innovators, and we look forward to our continued partnership with Boston as we announce our 10th portfolio organization later this summer. Thank you Classy and the Collaborative for inviting us to be part of such an important convening and conversation!