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2 photos, 1 illustration
Innovation districts and anchor institutions—like hospitals, universities, and technology hubs—are celebrated for their ability to drive economic growth and employment opportunities. But the benefits often fail to reach the very neighborhoods they are built in. As CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Matt Enstice took a different approach. Under Matt’s leadership, BNMC has supported entrepreneurship training programs and mentorship for community members, creation of a community garden, bringing together diverse groups to explore transportation solutions, and more. Fostering participation and collaboration among neighborhood leaders, foundations, and other organizations ensures that the interests of Buffalo residents are represented. Together, these groups are creating a new model for re-energizing Buffalo—a model that has applications across the United States and around the world.
City Forward explains how BNMC works to promote a shared goal of equity among companies and institutions with often opposing motivations and intentions. When money or time is scarce, how can equitable community building remain a common priority? When interests conflict, and an institution’s expansion depends upon parking or development that would infringe upon public space, how can the decision-making process maintain trust and collaboration? Offering a candid look at BNMC’s setbacks and successes, along with efforts from other institutions nationwide, Enstice shares twelve strategies that innovation districts can harness to weave equity into their core work. From actively creating opportunities to listen to the community, to navigating compromise, to recruiting new partners, the book reveals unique opportunities available to create decisive, large-scale change. Critically, Enstice also offers insight about how innovation districts can speak about equity in an inclusive manner and keep underrepresented and historically excluded voices at the decision-making table.
Accessible, engaging, and packed with fresh ideas applicable to any city, this book is an invaluable resource. Institutional leadership, business owners, and professionals hoping to make equitable change within their companies and organizations will find experienced direction here. City Forward is a refreshing look at the brighter, more equitable futures that we can create through thoughtful and strategic collaboration—moving forward, together.
"Innovation districts must seek to not only to expand who has access to prosperity, but also listen to what community leaders think that could look like. City Forward offers valuable insights into how we might all come to the table and share the difficulties and joy in positive community engagement—affirming that we will all be better for it."
William Gillison, Pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Buffalo NY
"City Forward offers important insights for community engagement, drawing on pioneering collaborative work between Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and its community partners. Matt Enstice offers a clear-eyed look at strategies that work, as well as pitfalls to avoid. These strategies can set up communities and companies for authentic large-scale, mutually beneficial change."
Rosanne Haggerty, President and CEO of Community Solutions
"How can company leaders bring about positive change in their communities? They can start by reading this book. Entrepreneurship and innovation in large institutions should facilitate benefits for all—and City Forward provides a roadmap of how to get there. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to engage with communities in a thoughtful and effective way."
Desh Deshpande, Chairman and President Sparta Group LLC; Life Member, MIT Corporation
"Companies, community organizations, and all of us have an opportunity to learn how Matt Enstice and the BNMC approached neighbors from all parts of their city community to engage meaningfully with each other for inclusive and equitable economic and social growth — a challenging endeavor with immense rewards. City Forward is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to build together to thrive in a socially, financially, and historically complicated environment."
Megan Smith, former United States Chief Technology Officer; CEO and co-founder, shift7
Chapter 1: Good Luck, It Will Never Happen
Chapter 2: Ideas Must Be Good for Most of the People
Chapter 3: Check Your Ego at the Door
Chapter 4: Build a Table of Trust
Chapter 5: Speak with One Voice
Chapter 6: Talk about Us (Not “Them”)
Chapter 7: Steal Shamelessly
Chapter 8: Listen to the Visionaries
Chapter 9: Embrace the Activists
Chapter 10: Build Better Bridges
Chapter 11: Know When to Take the Back Seat
Chapter 12: Plan, but Be Flexible (and Open to Serendipity)
Conclusion and On the Horizon
References and Readings
About the Author
Join us for a virtual seminar led by Matt Enstice, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).
In his new book, City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community, Matt explains how BNMC works to promote a shared goal of equity among companies and institutions with often opposing motivations and intentions.
In this discussion, Matt offers insight about how innovation districts can speak about equity in an inclusive manner and keep underrepresented voices at the decision-making table.
This event is in partnership with Island Press.
Join the Smart Growth Network on September 27 with Matt Enstice, the author of City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community to hear more about promoting a shared goal of equity among companies and institutions with opposing motivations and intentions.
Matt Enstice is the President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., located in Buffalo, New York. In this role, he is leading a pioneering initiative to integrate innovation, health care services, life sciences, clean energy, health and well-being, entrepreneurship, and education in an effort to revitalize the city of Buffalo and the Buffalo-Niagara region. Matt has led the non-profit organization since its formation in 2002.
Participants of the live webinar are eligible for 1.5 AICP CM credits (live attendance required). To register, complete and submit the form at the link.
Read chapter 1 below or download it here.
In an op-ed published in collaboration with the Urban Resilience Project, Kyria Stephens, a key contributor to City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Stengthen Community, shares how we can save lives during natural disasters.
At one point during the Buffalo storm, elected officials were arguing about whether the city or county could do a better job clearing the snow-clogged roads. But the residents — thousands of whom had been without power for days — didn’t care. They just wanted to be able to drive to a friend’s house for heat, or to the grocery store for food. Putting egos aside to coordinate efforts can speed up the planning, response and recovery.
Read the full article published on Medium HERE.
Kyler Geoffroy is the Online Marketing Manager for Island Press