2022 OneCape Summit speakers highlight regional issues
More than 300 engaged and committed stakeholders came together on August 1 and 2 at the Wequassett Resort in Harwich for the eighth annual OneCape Summit.
Designed to inspire informed action on our region's most pressing challenges, plenary and breakout sessions held throughout the two-day summit focused on ways to improve housing affordability and accessibility, manage aging infrastructure, address marine and freshwater quality, mitigate and adapt to climate change, lay the foundation for sustained economic development, ensure equity in planning processes, and utilize the best available data and information to make informed decisions.
"This Summit is all about thinking boldly and stepping into new commitments to strengthen the region," said Dr. Karilyn Crockett, Professor with the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the event's first keynote speaker. "The next two days have been designed to inspire us to collectively forge something bigger, bolder, and more equity-centered than perhaps anything that we have done before."
Crockett shared insights from her work as the City of Boston's first Chief of Equity, a Cabinet-level position established in 2021 to embed equity and racial justice into all City planning, operations, and work.
"How do we zero in on a shared definition of equity and move from possibility to power, to wellness, wealth, and health that are truly shared?" Crockett asked. "This is what equity-driven planning demands."
"There is a better way to plan our systems and places," said Jason DeGray, Boston Office Manager of Toole Design, a mission-driven planning, design, and engineering firm specializing in sustainable placemaking and mobility systems. DeGray spoke about the need to make meaningful changes in our planning processes to ensure equity for all modes of transportation and all users of transportation systems.
Northeast Clean Energy Council President and former Mayor of Somerville Joe Curtatone spoke to local leadership and the climate economy, noting the intersectionality of our regional issues and pathways for opportunity. “When in our lives and in our existence has there been such an important charge?” Curtatone asked. “Climate action is inextricably tied to business development and economic opportunity for everyone.”
The Summit benefited from the continued support of our state and federal partners, who highlighted the event's collaborative spirit and spoke about the importance of coming together to solve the region's challenges.
"It's really this coming together that will help us be successful in meeting our challenges," said Congressman William Keating. "That's why we're here this morning. It's a room full of people, organizations, and partnerships coming together to take our region's most serious challenges and work on these problems together."
"I just want to underscore how important it is to have that one voice, to find that common ground," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "There are many issues that are not unique to one community, but that transcend this whole part of the Commonwealth, that you need to work together on. One Cape is important for you, for this region, for the future. To reach our climate goals, resiliency, our economic goals, the blue economy, all the things that are important to the Commonwealth are clearly important to you.”
Expressing gratitude for Cape Cod's local leadership and collaboration, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card spoke about state and local efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change and continued efforts to improve wastewater management, coastal water bodies, and freshwater. "We can do it all, but only if we do it all together," said Card.
Dan Wolf and Dorothy Savarese once again brought their spirited candor to the OneCape stage.
With intelligence and humor, Dan and Dorothy shared insights from a recent trip to Denmark as board members with the Alliance for Business Leadership. The pair visited sustainable neighborhoods, learned about successful public-private partnerships, and spoke with business leaders abroad about how they are working to solve issues like housing, climate change, and economic stability.
“A lot of the issues we are talking about at this conference are issues that, for decades, have been worked on in Denmark,” said Wolf. “We got to see a really interesting perspective on how these issues are being addressed.”
"How do we holistically understand the interdependence between our region's most critical challenges (housing, water quality, childcare, the economy) and take on the solutions without being overwhelmed?” asked Savarese. “And if we believe this is a crisis, how do we accelerate the pace of change in order to address it before it gets worse?"
These are just some of the exciting conversations that took place throughout the two-day event. These conversations have the potential to translate into actionable steps to solve our region’s most pressing challenges.
View video and presentations from the 2022 OneCape Summit: onecape.capecodcommission.org