Proverb attends IEDC Conference in Toronto

This year, Proverb’s Managing & Creative Director, Daren Bascome, was honored to attend the IEDC conference, in Toronto, Ontario, alongside President & CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Travis McCready, as a guest speaker.Their presentation focused on the innovation that is made possible when traditional economic development theory takes a reductionist approach to institutions, technology transfer, venture capital, commercialization and government support. Their belief is that in practice, too little attention is paid to understand or appreciate the role of individual actors, great places that people love, and building a brand for the environment that empowers and calls to the outside world. Using examples like Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA; Brooklyn Heights, New York City, NY; and Silicon Valley, California, they uncovered the real heart and soul of innovation districts, revealing the idiosyncratic, iconoclastic and oft-times underappreciated leaders that power these areas, and provide economic development professionals with concrete recommendations on how to find a place’s inner muse. Part community development theory, economic development analysis, and creative economy, they ensured that session attendees never look at an innovation district as merely an aggregation of institutional assets again.

2-Why did you decide to present this topic with President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Travis McCready, whose core business is very different from Proverb’s?

In many ways, we’re addressing similar challenges in both of our businesses. In speaking with one another, we realized the net effect of our work is increased vibrancy, economic activity, and attractiveness of a place. Massachusetts is one of the best places in the world to live and for industries to do business. Branding can play a fundamental role in that. At Proverb, we’ve worked for municipalities, culture institutions, and commercial real estate developers, to harness research and insights, experienced design, and powerful branding and storytelling.

3-Did you receive the engagement you were hoping for during your presentation?

It was exciting to see such a wide and varied audience. At Proverb we work across the country, and the projects we presented:

  • The Batch Yard
  • Corsair
  • Hecht Warehouse

are 3 cases in parts of cities that have been overlooked and underutilized. Before these projects came to life, each of those three buildings were vacant for more than 30 years.

4-Do you think your audience understood your message

Absolutely! People were highly engaged. We are familiar with the power of storytelling and design and the power it can play. I felt our message resonated well with the conference attendees.

5-What was the most important aspect of this presentation for you?

The key takeaway of our presentation was really about how you can use culture, narratives of storytelling, and design to make a place more special, and to influence and build cultures in the sense of shared purpose.

6-How satisfied were you with the event?

We were there for a small slice of the event. However, the size and scale of the event were impressive. It was an honor to be there.

Like what you read? Give Ornella Duval a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.