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Where Futures Converge by Robert Buderi
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Where Futures Converge

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Where Futures Converge by Robert Buderi
Hardcover $34.95
May 10, 2022 | ISBN 9780262046510

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Where Futures Converge: Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub by Robert Buderi (MIT Press) is a biogeography of the area, a compelling history of the place, and a lively portrait of what it is today. He treats the area as an ecosystem, one that’s in constant flux…He talks with professors, entrepreneurs, members of the Kendall Square Association, historians, scientists, in trying to understand what makes the place what it is, as well as the challenges it faces: it has some of the highest rent in the country, people can’t afford to live there, it’s dead in the evenings and on weekends, lowering the opportunity for serendipitous encounters that lead to bigger brainstorms and even more fresh ideas. And he looks towards what’s possible in Kendall Square’s future, making stronger links between the science and the humanities, and continuing to change the ways the world approaches climate change, medicine, energy, transportation, and tech. It’s not only a look the biotech jungle, but a history of some of the most important developments in the last century.”
The Boston Globe

Where Futures Converge dives into the dynamics that make Kendall Square such a powerful engine of scientific breakthroughs and startup formation.”
—The Boston Globe 

“Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been dubbed ‘the most innovative square mile on earth.’  Neighbouring the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is a centre for life-sciences companies, tech firms and start-ups, from Moderna to IBM. One building with a history including the first long-distance telephone call now houses almost 70 biomedical start-ups. Entrepreneur and Kendall Square inhabitant Robert Buderi considers the area’s past, present and future by interviewing local notables.”

“The book works as a narrative history—well researched and filled to the brim with local voices and anecdotes…Within the pages of his new book, Buderi takes readers on a journey through the timeline, making important milestones. A page-turner.”  
Boston Common Magazine

“In Where Futures Converge, Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub, Robert Buderi, a well-known business and technology writer, tells the story of the movers and shakers, the policymakers and planners, and the places and events that shaped the region’s knowledge economy. He offers a fascinating account of the history of innovation in Kendall Square, which is at the confluence of world-class research institutes, academia and hospitals, all within walking distance of each other…The future of Kendall Square is again rife with possibilities. Now is a good time to pick up this informative and lovingly written book.”
Frontline, India’s National Magazine

Table Of Contents

Introduction 1.0, or Preface: The Kendall Theory of Biogeography ix
Introduction 2.0: The Best Place to Have These Problems xiii
1 The Most Innovative Square Mile Kilometer On Earth 1
2 Model of Innovation 9
3 The First Economic Vision for Kendall Square is a Bust 21
4 Charles Davenport and the Square’s Transformation 25
5 Kendall Becomes Kendall 33
6 Davenport’s Failed Dream Opens the Door for “New Technology” 37
7 “A Canopy of Industrial Haze” 47
8 Rad Lab: Kendall Square’s Tipping Point 55
Spotlight: The F&T–Place-Making’s First Place 65
9 Urban Marshland to Urban Renewal 69
10 Kendall, We Have a Problem 77
11 Tech Surge: Lotus to AI Alley 87
12 The Ordinance and Biogen 99
13 Beginnings of Gene Town 111
14 Bubble Days: Media Lab to Akamai 119
Spotlight: Lita Nelsen on Technology Licensing and How “Clusters Feed Themselves” 133
15 Cambridge Innovation Center: Kendall Square’s Startup Heart 137
Spotlight: Innovation Space Zoning–How Kendall Square Hopes to Keep Its Startup Community Vibrant 147
16 “Nibber”: Big Pharma Ups the Ante 151
Spotlight: Bob Langer–Personification of Kendall Square’s Secret Sauce 159
17 Homegrown Biotechs Make Their Mark 163
18 Road to the Broad 179
19 The Corporatization of Kendall Square 193
20 Venture Migration and the Tech Startup Squeeze 205
Spotlight” Flagship Pioneering–Kendall Square Company Creator 217
21 Forty Missing Companies 223
22 700 Main: The Story of Kendall Square–In One Building 237
23 Nexus of Collaboration 249
Spotlight: Mapping the Moderna Network 257
24 Challenges and Regional Advantage 261
25 Voices of the Square 273
26 Eleven Decisions that Shaped Kendall Square 283
27 Lessons and Observations 287
28 Converge and Consilience 295
Acknowledgments 303
List of Interviews 305
Notes 309
Bibliography 337
Index 359

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