Boston depends on international associations and immigration to drive its knowledge economy and its business development, says James E Rooney, President of The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, while education is Massachusetts’ calling card to the world, according to Deval Patrick, former State Governor. The convention industry delivers all three.

Boston, Massachusetts, is a city with one hand opened in friendship to immigrants and the other beckoning international associations. Why? Because those guiding the city’s future recognise that these outsiders hold the keys to Boston’s future. Such an open-handed approach may be controversial in today’s climate, but not among Boston’s city fathers.

Immigrants create businesses and international associations bring business relationships in specialised subjects and facilitate knowledge transfer, according to Chamber of Commerce chief James E Rooney. He said: “Our knowledge-based economy is driven by the immigrant population that comes to Massachusetts and becomes part of the eco-system . If you look at some of the companies that were started up in Boston, many of them are either first generation or immigrants themselves. We depend on the immigrant population to service our knowledge economy. We are an international global trading city. Our relationships with Canada and Mexico are very strong so anything that disrupts those two major dimensions is troubling for the Boston economy.”

And Rooney’s view of associations is that they bring knowledge and jobs, ticking the other Boston box of education. He said associations want to go where markets are growing and where buying power is being enhanced in Asia, Africa and Latin America, because the markets are finite in developed countries.

Boston relies on migrants for its knowledge economy

He added: “Associations and meeting planners who bring people together to exchange knowledge and information are more critical today than a year ago or five years ago. Associations are all about information and knowledge exchange and the understanding the dynamics of the industry. The ways we do things is changing and this is where you learn about that change.”

He said education programmes for those workers that are disrupted by this economy are needed because the trend of disruption won’t be reversed.

The state of Massachusetts is operating in tune with its capital city. At a recent Professional Convention Management Association event, Deval Patrick, former State Governor, told delegates  his state is investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, with a focus on industries such as biotech and life sciences, cleantech, IT, precision manufacturing and financial services “that depend on the concentration of brain power we have here”.

Former state governor explains role of government

He said: “That strategy for growth is at work here today” and then reeled off a long list of nation-leading achievements from academic success to economic competitiveness.

It seems that their arrivals in their knowledge economy and ensuring the knowledge transfer is delivering results across the board.