The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority’s Forward Fund (the Fund) is a micro-grant program intended to reinvest development funds generated in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Area to fund pilot projects by non-profit organizations, community groups, and small businesses across the City of Cambridge. The Fund supports specific physical improvement projects that better Cambridge’s built environment for the benefit of all the city’s residents, workers, and visitors.

Innovators for Purpose is extremely excited to have been chosen as a recipient of the 2017 Forward Fund grant program (click here). This is an incredible opportunity to do an amazing project that has been brewing since our first discussions with students at Fletcher Maynard Academy in the Fall of 2014. It was evident that pathways to opportunities in student’s own backyard weren’t obvious. Our project, WayFinders, hopes to begin paving the way:

WayFinding can be defined as spatial problem solving.  It is knowing where you are (history), knowing where your desired location is (aspirations), and knowing how to get there from your present location (pathway).  Our project connects youth with Cambridge’s rich history and its thriving innovation economy.  Most importantly, it connects the dots to pathways for them to become part of the success.

WayFinders is a digital storytelling platform and wayfinding signage system that will connect youth with Cambridge’s rich history and its booming economy.  Using the latest digital media technologies and novel distribution channels, youth will retell stories of Cambridge’s transformation from a leading New England Industrial City into home of the most Innovative Square Mile on the Planet.

WayFinders will:  

  • Connect youth, especially those in underserved communities, to Cambridge’s past, present and future.
  • Connect youth to pathways to Cambridge’s Booming Economic Success.
  • Connect businesses to the hopes, dreams and aspirations of an untapped source of future designers, scientists, technologists & entrepreneurs.

Business partners are needed to help students discover the innovation economy. More details will be forthcoming.

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Michael K. Dawson

Co-Founder, Chief Doer, Innovators For Purpose, Inc. Creative Doing - the act of changing or influencing with the intent of leaving a mark on the world...