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City Awake Launches City Awake Delegates

September 21, 2016

Boston, MA – City Awake, the civic innovation lab of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce City Awake Delegates, a nine-month interactive platform designed to mobilize and empower young adults to become active stakeholders in the civic dialogue of Greater Boston. Throughout the nine months, 500 delegates – diverse in gender, ethnicity and industry, and ranging in ages from 21 to 39 years old – will participate in a series of programming focused on building community, exploring various issues facing Greater Boston and formalizing shared priorities as a generation.

Delegates were nominated by a diverse coalition of 300 businesses, nonprofits and elected officials. The program also includes a Leadership Council comprised of fifty of Boston’s most influential leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors who have demonstrated that age is not a barrier to making a difference. A list of Leadership Council members is included with this release. The program is free to participants, thanks to partnership with the Barr Foundation and John Hancock, presenting sponsors of City Awake Delegates.

City Awake Delegates will launch in conjunction with HUBweek activities on September 26, 2016, with a day-long summit called Our Convention at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, where all 500 delegates will attend an orientation and begin dialogue about the Future of Boston. Our Convention will include a keynote address from Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, and forums where delegates can hear from local business and government leaders and participate in conversations related to the most important issues facing Greater Boston.

Following Our Convention, the program will transition to more focused breakout retreats, where Delegates will convene in smaller groups throughout the year for a deeper dive into specific issues and begin developing and prioritizing possible solutions.

Topics for these retreats will include:

  • Cultural Vibrancy and Support for the Arts
  • Health and Healthcare
  • Economic Mobility and Workforce Development
  • Affordable Housing and Homelessness
  • Education
  • Public Safety and Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Transportation

The program will culminate in May 2017 with a report that summarizes the City Awake Delegates experience, captures how young adults perceive Greater Boston, and identifies the key issues and potential solutions prioritized by this cohort of 500 emerging leaders.

"Boston is home to the largest proportion of young adults of any other U.S. city, and Greater Boston is known for having the most talented young workforce in the world," said James E. Rooney, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. "City Awake Delegates is designed to tap into this incredible and powerful demographic in way that emboldens our region’s young talent to play an important role in shaping the future of Boston and the Commonwealth."

"Our young adults are more than just a powerful economic engine for the City of Boston, they are our competitive advantage," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Thanks to the talent of our young people, Boston is poised to remain a strong competitor in the global economy. City Awake Delegates will ensure that our young leaders stay connected and have a voice in the future of our city. "

"City Awake Delegates is exactly what Boston needs right now: a platform to highlight, energize, and connect the next generation of leaders from all backgrounds and sectors," said Boston City Council President Michelle Wu. "I'm counting down the days until we convene and look forward to the conversations and collaborations that will follow."

"The engagement and leadership of these City Awake Delegates will be critical to the future of Boston and our region," said Jim Canales, president of the Barr Foundation. "Investing in leaders is a core value at the Barr Foundation. And we are pleased to be able to provide this support."

"John Hancock is proud to join the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for this special HubWeek event to kick off City Awake Delegates," said Tom Crohan, AVP & Counsel, John Hancock. "This innovative program empowers young leaders to bring their ideas and their energy to help solve the most pressing social issues facing our region, and we are excited to participate."

Other sponsors of City Awake Delegates include Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The partnership between The Greater Boston Chamber and City Awake was announced in May 2016, when Justin Kang, the founder and director of City Awake, joined the Chamber as its new Director of Social Innovation. Goals for the collaboration include increased exposure and opportunities for current and prospective Chamber members as it pertains to social impact and corporate social responsibility; more member engagement opportunities through new and diverse offerings for a younger Chamber member audience; and a stronger bond between the Chamber and the next generation of business leaders.

For more about City Awake and City Awake Delegates visit www.CityAwake.org.