KSA in the News

Boston Globe - 11/20/19 "“You can’t find the cure for cancer while sitting in traffic.” It’s become a persistent refrain for the booming biotech companies of Kendall Square. Yet, sit in traffic is what many of their employees do, fighting their way through some of the country’s worst rush-hour congestion to get on with the work of changing the way we live, and maybe saving lives."

Boston Globe - 10/30/19 "Nearly every major business organization in Massachusetts has united behind a call for more government spending to expand public transit and improve the roads, with the hope that a new infusion of cash can help solve the congestion-related woes that vex their workers."

MassLive - 10/30/19 "Raising fees on ride-sharing services. Raising the gas tax. Setting a price on gasoline. Regional ballot initiatives to raise taxes for specific projects.
As congestion in Massachusetts worsens and public transit continues to struggle, the state faces an enormous burden of unmet transportation needs. As lawmakers work on a major bill to fund transportation, business groups are stepping into the forefront, backing a range of ideas for state policymakers to consider. And not all those groups agree with one another."

Boston Globe - 10/09/19 "The geniuses in Kendall Square created the microwave oven, invented the instant camera, and synthesized penicillin.

Now, they are putting their considerable brainpower to work on what could be a tougher task: fixing the transportation woes that bedevil them every day."

The Wall Street Journal - 7/11/19 "Bostonians are losing patience with their transit system.
In June, a 50-year-old subway car left its track and smashed signaling equipment, just days after a trolley derailed underground. The resulting commuting chaos, along with a July 1 fare increase and a plan to limit summer service for repairs, combined to overshadow the aging system’s slow-moving rehabilitation."

Boston Globe - 6/24/19 "Giant drug companies. Tiny biotechs. Landlords. Schools. Hotels.
It’s an eclectic mix — a group of CEOs and other managers from three dozen or so employers who sent a letter to state officials on Monday complaining about an increasing source of frustration: the daily commute.”

Boston Globe - 12/13/18 "C.A. Webb, president of the Kendall Square Association, cautioned against reading too much into a few big misses. She noted that smaller announcements, including expansions by Boeing Co. and French drugmaker Ipsen, also make a difference.

'Apple did a nice job making a splash with that announcement,” she said, 'It’s shiny and new, and it’s the story of the day, so we’re all going to obsess over it for awhile. But let’s not forget the other stories of this year.'"

Curbed - 11/6/18 "But YeSeul Kim, vice president of the Kendall Square Association, a local business-development group, goes one step further. Transit issues threaten the very competitiveness that makes it worth enduring a long drive to work.

'We can’t sustainably maintain an innovation district if we don’t address these issues now,” she says. “I really do believe if we don’t solve this, it’ll impact a [future] innovation that could change the course of humanity.'"

Boston Globe - 10/5/18 "C.A. Webb, president of the Kendall Square Association and one of the authors of a critical Boston Globe op-ed over the makeup of the initial slate of finalists, credited the council with responding quickly.

She said the issue is urgent because such awards events contribute to an important narrative about who has the power to innovate in Boston. Webb said she often hears people say men outnumber women in tech because women just aren’t interested.

'I have had variations on that theme repeated to me more times than I can count,' she said. 'What we must do is surface those women who are more than interested in technology. They have been working in technology for years and years and years. . . . It’s really damaging for anyone to turn up to one of these events and have those tropes repeated when it is not true.'"

Boston Globe - 8/29/18 "C.A. Webb, president of the Kendall Square Association, said she was thrilled that BioMed is buying the property. She said BioMed has shown itself to be a responsible landowner in the neighborhood, in part by hosting concert events and community skating on its properties. (BioMed is her group’s landlord, and BioMed executive Bill Kane sits on the association’s board.)

'I know they’re committed to building something on that site that really suits the community,' Webb said. 'They’ll run a thoughtful process to get input from all stakeholders, so they develop the right thing for that piece of land.'"

MIT News - 3/30/18  - The meeting included the official announcement of new KSA President C.A. Webb, who in 2015 co-founded Underscore VC, a tech venture firm, and led the New England Venture Capital Association for four years. She has served on the KSA board for years and as interim president for the past nine months.

KSA is a “connective tissue,” Webb said, that builds relationships around Kendall Square, gathers feedback from community members, and conducts research. “Then, we look for the actions that we can take that have the greatest impact, that best leverage our resources, and will respond to the needs of this community,” she said.

Boston Globe - 3/27/18 "C.A. Webb had agreed to take over as interim president of the 175-member Kendall Square Association, a part-time position, while the group sought a long-term, full-time replacement for Alexandra Lee. (Lee now runs the Hideo Sasaki Foundation in Watertown.)

Webb had left Underscore VC, the venture firm she had helped launch in 2015, last year before taking on the interim role at KSA. She says she was looking for a job with a bigger platform, one with more potential growth. So she turned down a full-time job at the neighborhood association but agreed to find and vet candidates."

Press Releases

Nineteen Kendall Employers Come Together to Address Transportation Woes
Kendall Square Association convenes business leaders to identify creative solutions for employee commutes

Cambridge, MA (October 9, 2019)— The Kendall Square Association (KSA) announced today, that as part of their Transportation ADVANCE initiative, it convened 19 of Kendall’s top employers to collaborate and find solutions to their employee's transportation woes. This group, which represents over 18,000 Massachusetts employees, will create data driven experiments and run pilots to find scalable best practices.

“This isn’t about solving Kendall’s problems,” said C.A. Webb, president, Kendall Square Association. “Together we will identify thoughtful solutions which make commutes easier and more enjoyable for workers across the Commonwealth in the short term, while we continue our work advocating for long-term solutions to our transportation crisis.”

Pilot experiments will engage employees and measure real outcomes to determine their impact. Potential pilot experiments include: creative parking strategies to incentivize more trips on transit; new approaches to carpooling; and infrastructure improvements (e.g. dedicated bus lanes.) The working group will meet over the course of 18 months to select pilots and review the outcomes.

The Transportation ADVANCE will share its findings at the end of their partnership so that employers across the Commonwealth can implement and scale real solutions.

“Sarepta is dedicated to doing its part and finding new solutions for the current commuting challenges that face Cambridge-based employees. Through Transportation ADVANCE, we look forward to being active participants in this endeavor and working closely with KSA and our local community,” stated Joan Nickerson, Sr. Vice President, Human Resources, Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc.

Between train derailments, service interruptions, and aging transportation infrastructure, the business community has faced significant transit challenges over the course of 2019. With a $150,000 grant from the Barr Foundation and contributions from working group companies the business community is committed to finding solutions. 

"The Transportation ADVANCE will challenge us to change the way we think about our transportation community," said Brian Dacey, President, Cambridge Innovation Center. "CIC fully appreciates how collaboration and shared purpose drive innovation, and this ADVANCE will bring the brightest minds together to build a resilient and evolutionary transit system to support our growing talent base."

With over 30 industry sectors and 13 of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies in the world, Kendall Square serves as one of the region’s largest economic drivers.

“The Transportation ADVANCE working group is a great example of the broader Kendall Square community collaborating to foster creative new solutions to our transportation challenges,” said Johannes Fruehauf, co-founder and president of LabCentral. “As LabCentral continues to grow in Kendall Square, an efficient, resilient and multi-faceted transit system plays a critical role in the work/life balance of our employees and residents so they waste less time commuting and can focus more on scientific breakthroughs and biotech innovations.”  

Working group members, include:

Cambridge, Mass., December 10, 2018

The Kendall Square Association (“KSA”) is delighted to partner with Ceasar McDowell and the Civic Designers team, Vatsady Sivongxay and Holly Harriel, to meet the ambitious challenge set at the KSA 2018 Annual Meeting, focusing on the Greater Boston’s racial inequities. After the Boston Globe team presented at the Annual Breakfast, the KSA members asked: can Kendall Square, as a unique innovative ecosystem, pilot and scale powerful new ways of building inclusive institutions, by applying its R&D mindset to the DEI issue?

Former head of New England Venture Capital Association will drive Kendall Square’s continuing evolution

Cambridge, Mass., March 26, 2018

The Kendall Square Association (KSA) announced today that C.A. Webb has been named as the organization’s next president. Webb will focus on expanding the association’s mission to grow Kendall Square into a global center of innovation a destination for people and companies creating breakthrough technologies and life-changing therapeutics.