As the leaders crafting Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games mull how the area’s colleges and universities can contribute, they should think beyond stadiums, swimming pools, and dorms and focus on academia’s most valuable resource: ideas.
If we’re seeking innovative solutions to the challenges of hosting the Olympics, there’s no better place to look than to our celebrated cluster of academic expertise, innovation, and brain power.
Our colleges and universities, after all, are our international calling card. What other area can claim a constellation of schools like Boston College, Brandeis, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Tufts, the UMass campuses, and Wellesley, to name just some of Greater Boston’s better-known institutions of learning?
Every phase of the games could showcase and benefit from these schools’ great ideas. No, Boston might not be in the global top 10 in population, wealth, or industry, but it has a strong claim to being the innovation capital of the world in asset management, life sciences and medicine, technology, and other R&D-intensive disciplines.
Leaders around the globe know that. In fact, many of them proudly display diplomas from Boston-area institutions in their offices. So as the Hub crafts its Olympics pitch, Boston’s reputation as a center for ideas and research should distinguish it from the competition in the eyes of the decision-makers at the International Olympic Committee.
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