The Commonwealth continues to take a leadership role in civic engagement. Following on the first ever (that I know of) state summit on civic engagement in November (blog post here), some 700 delegates attended the first ever (that I know of) city-wide civic summit on May 3, 2008. I laid out a “big hairy audacious goal (BHAG)” in my lunchtime keynote that we might strive by 2020 to pack the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center that held the summit, by attracting 30,000 delegates. [One way to increase the numbers would be to invite more youth and teachers of young Bostonians.]
I hope that these city-wide and state-wide summits become annual events since they are a great way to inspire people working on the front lines and help them network and learn from others that are innovating in this area. I also hope that other states and cities pick up on Massachusetts’ and Boston’s leadership in this area.
The Boston Civic Summit on May 3, 2008 was co-organized by Maureen Feeney, Boston City Council President and James Rooney (Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority).
The goals of the Summit were:
To begin a conversation on city-wide strategies to improve and expand overall civic engagement and foster better cooperation and communication between communities and neighborhood organizations.
To provide current and prospective community leaders with tools, training and support to make their exercise of civic responsibility more effective for city residents.