Summary Review of WCCP’s 2011 Policy Exchange to Barcelona
The mission of the World Class Cities Partnership is to bring together civic, business and academic leaders from cities spanning the globe for the purpose of creating sustainable social change through policy research, and development and implementation of best practice solutions to common challenges. The goal of the first annual Policy Exchange Mission was to explore firsthand best practices in innovation-related public policy initiatives in Barcelona and Madrid. The focus of the 2011 Policy Mission was “Innovation as a Driver of Economic Development and Job Creation” with an emphasis on talent attraction and retention. To leverage the talent and promise of Boston, WCCP traveled to Barcelona and Madrid, Spain exploring lessons learned and past successes each city has experienced.
- What is the role of WCCP in implementing new programs and policies?
- What is the role of WCCP’s network/partners in implementing new programs and policies?
- We need to make sure that projects and ideas are practical – there is a fear that a policy paper will sit on a shelf and never get implemented.
- What is the common ‘thread’ that will link together all of the ideas we have and the programs that are already happening in the city?
- Is there a role for WCCP to take policies off the books to make implementation easier?
WCCP can assume four different roles, depending on the project:
- Catalyze and Champion
- Convene and Coordinate
- Amplify and Promote
- Partner and Support/Cheerlead
Seven ‘action areas’ and the characteristics of those areas:
Marketing/Branding: Storytelling, a ‘welcome package,’ a big event, creating a brand
Talent: Development, attraction, retention, leveraging universities/community colleges/vocational schools
Innovation Ecosystem: Entrepreneurship, the funding ecosystem
Barriers to Entry: Innovative housing, a ‘catcher’s mitt’ for global businesses, permitting
Connections: Community engagement, leveraging consulates, transportation
Placemaking: Public realm in architecture and design, visual branding, ‘innovative buildout’
Future Infrastructure: High speed rail, electric vehicles
From these areas, delegates selected those with the best potential for implementation and created objectives and roles for WCCP:
Objective: Change the narrative and create a positive reputation and story for the good things happening in Greater Boston. Exercise discipline and consistency in delivering the message.
Geography: Greater Boston – ‘The Innovation Hub’
- Innovation Hub – catalyze, convene
- Innovation Expo/Big Event: catalyze, convene
- Marketing Presentation: catalyze
- Innovation Plaques/Tour: partner
- Engaging Boston Alumni: amplify
- Welcome Package: amplify
Objective: Create a sense of place and energy
Geography: Innovation District
- Maps/Signage/Wayfinding – convene, amplify
- A ‘Lighthouse’ Facility – convene, amplify, support
- iPhone app tours – amplify, support
- Street Furniture – convene, amplify, support
- Programming the Innovation Center and Public Spaces – catalyze, convene, amplify, support
Barriers to Entry
Objective: Create systematic efforts to identify barriers and help develop strategies to address them. Need to look at high housing costs, innovative housing research, and identifying inbound connections for people outside of Boston
Geography: Greater Boston
- Best practice research on innovative housing – catalyze, convene
- Filling the void on global connections – catalyze, convene, amplify, support
Objective: Enhance and inform nascent efforts to develop talent and address the mismatch between workforce and needs, including the role of schools (primary schools and up)
Geography: Greater Boston
- Conduct a scan of current efforts in Greater Boston: catalyze
Hold Roundtable on Talent Efforts: convene, coordinate