Corporate Social Responsibility and the Innovation Economy | City of Ideas

Posted 01/23/2017 by Tim Smith, Director of Innovation Partnerships & Pledge 1%, The Boston Foundation

Thank you to Cinny Kennard, Executive Director of The Annenberg Foundation, Leah Bernthal, consultant on AnnenbergTech, and the Annenberg Foundation leadership for having me.

I was thrilled to share more details and emerging best practices around partnerships in the Greater Boston innovation economy, and highlighted TBF’s collaborations with Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) and Life Science Cares. We share the importance of creating a group of local ambassadors in order to drive sustained impact, like our recently formed Innovation Economy Leadership Council, which includes leaders from venture capital, life sciences, technology, and leading trade associations in the region. I compared and contrasted different regional approaches to engaging the tech sector in philanthropy, including Full Circle Fund in San Francisco and Social Venture Partners network. An engaging discussion ensued, and we are excited to support Annenberg’s future efforts with expanding their tech and philanthropy work in Los Angeles and beyond. While leaders from the innovation economy may not be wealth inheritors or currently find themselves with flexible capital, they are certainly wealth creators. With millennials making up a growing percentage of the work force and wealth creation nationwide, it is important communities around the country and world connect them with nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. Pledge 1% Boston (launched in fall of 2016), a new regional model of Pledge 1%, is an option for helping to channel some of this future wealth to communities in need.

It was great to see so much engagement by leaders in the tech sector in Los Angeles, many of whom are already doing so much for their communities. Like the Boston Foundation’s civic leadership strategies, The Annenberg Foundation has begun to play an important and impactful cross-sector convening role. We look forward to continuing to engage the ever-growing innovation economy in our region, and serving as a model for other regions in the country.


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