March 11, 2021

Building Back Smarter with BARI

Building Back Smarter with BARI

Alicia Deluga connected with David Brade, Program Coordinator for the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) to discuss their 2021 conference, Building Back Smarter. The Sasaki Foundation is a promotional partner for this year’s conference.

UPDATE: Conference registration is now open.


Alicia: Hi David. Thanks so much for taking some time today to chat about this year’s BARI conference, taking place on April 30. Let’s dive in: can you tell me a little bit more about what this year’s theme is all about?

David: Building Back Smarter is the theme this year. This mission is critical now more than ever. As society navigates a pandemic and grapples with persisting racial inequities, we are forced to “build back.” As much as it is a daunting challenge, it is also a unique opportunity to leverage data, technology, and research to reshape the dynamics, systems, and institutions of our local communities. Realizing this opportunity, however, will require a collaborative conversation between researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders. BARI Conference 2021 will be a catalyst for this conversation in Greater Boston, convening a diverse array of stakeholders to share lessons learned, identify current challenges, and implement innovative solutions— leading us forward to a stronger, more equitable future.

Alicia: Amazing! And I understand this year is BARI’s 10th anniversary, too, how exciting! What types of proposals are you seeking for this year’s conference?

David: This year we called for a range of innovative, data-driven work that serves Boston residents and addresses social problems throughout the City of Boston. In our call for proposals we encouraged proposals to explore topics such as housing; transportation; health; climate change; inequality and segregation; public safety and law enforcement; arts and culture; and access to resources, amenities, and services.

Alicia: Sounds super interesting. Proposals were due on February 1, right? How are they looking?

David: We received over 70 proposals addressing many of Boston most pressing issues. Though we won’t be able to accept all proposals, we are excited that the proposals we do accept will lead to exciting innovative panels and contribute to setting the agenda for policy makers, elected officials, and community leaders to use when rebuilding all of Boston’s communities in the wake of a pandemic, social unrest, and political turmoil.

Alicia: Awesome! Any idea when speakers will start to be announced?

David: Soon. Very soon. We are working on putting together an exciting cast of speakers and panels that will share their research expertise and the impact of their work on the City of Boston.

Alicia: Great! I’m looking forward to this year’s conference. Where can folks go to register?

David: Once registration opens, folks can head to our website and register there. (UPDATE: conference registration is now open.) Huge thanks to you, Alicia, and the Sasaki Foundation.

Alicia: Thanks David.


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