Boston Day 2: Ducklings and Defense Contractors!

I am super pleased to report that the EC 348 Innovation Class is on a roll — a stuffed lobster roll that is — of good times, hearty laughs, and skillfully navigating public transportation as a mighty group of 17!

We began our day with another superb Professor Johnson-led history tour of the city, with exciting stops at the Massachusetts State House, Harvard Yard, and the Boston Public Garden. We even got to stop and chat with the famous statue ducklings from Make Way for Ducklings! All the duckies had crocheted hats on their cute little duck heads, which made for the BEST photo of the day!

Following our meet ‘n greet with the ducklings, we got down to business, beginning with a visit to BBN Raytheon and a meeting with President Ed Campbell. From Mr. Campbell, we learned about the importance of investing in people, culture, and fun in order to drive mission-founded innovation. We got the message that people are everything to a company like Raytheon, which is heavily reliant upon the symbiotic relationship among its scientists, researchers, and business leaders in order to create cutting edge defense technologies.

As someone super psyched to enter the field of Human Resources (big YAY for HR!), I was really excited to hear about Raytheon’s strategic and benevolent commitment to its people, their continued education, and their long-term career development. To be completely honest, I did not expect to learn so much about HR from a defense contracting firm, but I most certainly did, and I even got an official security clearance badge to do so (double YAY!).

Following our visit to BBN Raytheon, we skadoodled on down to General Assembly Boston, a private education start-up that teaches practical technology skills to entrepreneurs and business professionals. What was most striking about our visit to General Assembly was the energy and passion of the office. There were people working and chatting in the common area; board games and coloring books scattered atop the tables; and chalkboard walls colored in with life-size sketches of famous innovators throughout history!

I personally got to reunite with my third grade hero, Clara Barton, and we shared a sweet, must-see pic below! You may know Clara as “The Angel of the Battlefield,” BUT for your Patent Fun Fact of the Day, it may behoove you to know that Clara Barton is also considered by many, many, many people to be the Angel of the U.S. Patent Office as well.

That is right, folks. Humanitarian Red Cross founder Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton was ALSO a recording clerk at the U.S. Patent Office in Washington D.C., the FIRST woman to hold such a position.

Try to hold on to your socks because I know just how mindblown I was upon this discovery earlier this afternoon … how patently exciting!

The most important thing I learned today is that patent excitement is everywhere!

And not to conclude this post without the mention of food, we were fortunate enough to lunch with Vice President of Solutions at Hospital IQ, Mr. Ben Resner, as well as enjoy a prime lobster roll dinner with Entrepreneur and Women’s Health Activist, Ms. Kit Maloney. Not only did we stuff our faces with lobster bits, but we were also inspired by these innovative leaders’ commitment to driving social change at the intersection of passion and technology. As we look forward — How might we do the same?

Stay tuned for Day 3’s adventures! You won’t want to miss out on any pertinent patent fun facts!

P.S. We saw a turkey roaming the streets of Boston today, so look out below for my pic with the turkey pal!

P.P.S. Our very own Bryna Coyle ate an afternoon munchkin, and looked great doing so!




Published by Ali

Hi, My name is Ali Baird and I am a senior economics major and REMS minor. I am a big fan of puppies, frosting cupcakes, and collecting stationary. I'm super pumped to be blogging for the BEST class ever, The Economics of Innovation, taught by Professor Dan Johnson!