A year ago the CEO of Karmaloop, a Boston based retail business, decided he needed to help Boston be a world class city. Greg Selkoe grew up in Boston and knows Boston’s complicated history. He also knows Boston is no longer that city, yet the new Boston still operates like it’s power base is in Southie.
Fifty percent of current Boston residents moved here in the last ten years and were not a part of black marks in our history like school busing and Charles Stuart. These new Bostonians moved here to build better lives for themselves and families. Indigenous Bostonians that have stayed are the life blood of Boston economy, they work the jobs that help our institutions run. They start small businesses and work hard to stay here. The city has not kept up with the changes in demographics nor has it worked to fix its talent retention problem.
We believe there are many reasons for this. One of the biggest being Boston’s siloed culture has not allowed the assumptions of Boston to be challenged. Students are still told not to ride the red line towards Ashmont or ride the orange line towards Forest Hills. Nightlife is policed like all Boston residents are underage college students looking for a good time and is guided by the assumption that diversity causes crime, (check out the dress code in this link).
This criticism of Boston comes out of love and a desire to see the city’s greatest potential reached. We reject the defensive and insecure attitude that if you criticize Boston or then you should leave. We believe whole heartedly Boston can once again be the premiere global city for arts, culture, ideas and innovation.
The Future Boston Alliance will launch this spring. Its goal is to get all parts of Boston to begin talking to one another and to figure out ways to increase the quality of life for all Bostonians. Future Boston Alliance will be a hub for young professionals and engaged citizens to take action on small parts of the big picture. We will connect citizens to each other to form a support network to encourage innovation and the growth of the creative economy.
Our programming will use technology to help deepen Bostonians relationship with one another and the city. It will host spaces for ideas to become solutions, connect people and neighborhoods and help Boston tell its story. Over the next few months we will post blogs highlighting solutions to making Boston a great city once again and allow you to watch an organization being born. We hope you will follow us and post your feedback.
– Malia, FutureBoston Director