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Episode 82 guests Nigel Jacob and Kris Carter
As the co-chairs of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics, Nigel Jacob and Kris Carter are connecting the city’s strengths of innovation and creativity to an experimental approach to learning in order to make living and working in Boston better for all its residents.

Cohen: Josh Cohen
Jacob: Nigel Jacob
Carter: Kris Carter

Cohen: There are so many great messages in today’s episode of The Movement podcast with the co-chairs of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics, Nigel Jacob and Kris Carter; but the one that resonated with me the most is that some of the key elements they believe are important for today’s leaders, including flexibility, vulnerability, and empathy. Let’s go.

F: Mobility is an essential component to the cities of our future. To build this future, we need to do more than invest in technology; we need to invest in the people who will make the hard decisions necessary to create vibrant, equitable, and sustainable cities. Welcome to The Movement where we talk to the brave leaders who are effecting change in an effort to build a coalition of leaders who will make tomorrow real. Here is your host, TransLoc’s National Director of Policy, Josh Cohen.

Cohen: My guests today are the co-chairs of the City of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics, a department housed within the mayor’s office as an internal civic research and design team. In addition to his role currently as co-chair, Nigel Jacob helped found the New Urban Mechanics in 2010. And Kris Carter, the other co-chair, supplements his time there with his interest in filmmaking, which he’s got a great documentary about the Silver Line in Boston, which you should check out. Welcome to The Movement, Nigel and Kris.

Jacob: Thanks very much. Thanks for having us.

Carter: Excited to be here.

Cohen: Well, good. Well, let’s maybe get started with kind of the origin story. I think this is, I believe, the 10-year anniversary of the office there. And I’d love to maybe get a little bit of kind of the background on its founding and kind of the role you were hoping for it to provide.

Jacob: Essentially the idea was that, you know, Boston has this incredible innovation ecosystem in this area, everything from the startups, to the universities, to the social entrepreneurs, and so on. And there wasn’t really a way of interacting with those kind of organizations, and so the thinking was that we should have a team, a group of people whose day job was to be able to connect with those kinds of organizations and to bring a spirit of experimentation and creativity to local government so that when we are connecting with these startups and so on, that we’re able to do it in similar ways that they work. Right? So the idea was that we would be agile and flexible and creative in the work that we do.

Cohen: I gather at that time there weren’t a ton of government—it seems like it’s happening more now, but at the time it didn’t seem that there was a ton of governments really thinking about that in a real mindful way about experimentation. Is that fair, or am I just kind of misremembering history there?

Jacob: No, I think, that’s definitely true. As far as we can tell, we were the first local government attempt to bring—like, there’s lots of euphemisms, civic innovation, whatever, but we were really the first. And so as a result there wasn’t really a good model. You know, at that point, innovation in government or the public sector typically was about performance management, and then when we were looking at that we realized that performance management only gets you so far. Right? I mean, it can improve the efficacy of some operational characteristics and so and, but it doesn’t really get you to, like, better ways of interacting with the public and so on. So we decided that we would go in this different direction.

And in the early days we were kind of ignored, you know, because we were using very different language than everybody else was, and we would often even take cheap shots at the performance management world. You know, we would often make fun of KPIs, not because we don’t believe in performance, but the idea is that we were trying to describe a different way of doing this work. And, you know, in local government because we have such clear feedback channels with our residents, that in a lot of ways we are best positioned to be able to do this work even compared to some of these other branches of government.

Cohen: I want to build on that. Kris, maybe you could jump in here from your perspective. But, I mean, the way I’m hearing that a little bit was some of the work that you were doing was a little bit more qualitative maybe and less quantitative. I mean, is that fair?

Carter: Certainly the case. I mean, so, I think, you know, what Nigel and Chris Osgood started in 2010 and a little bit before that, before the office even got called that, started talking—as Nigel would say, started talking about the issues in government innovation in a different way that—yes, you’re right—wasn’t necessarily talking about quantitative measurement of how government is performing but was talking about the qualitative issues that residents were really facing and how does government address how you feel about your community and the services that are provided and the ways that you interact with the city.

And I think what that did, at least—so I was in the administration, you know, before joining the team. And it created sort of this gravity around them of other people that were interested in approaching problems in new ways that, you know, yes, would take a quantitative look at something but knew that wasn’t the end-all be-all or that you couldn’t follow the data blindly; you actually needed to talk to people and understand the nuances of it and maybe mix policy and planning and technology and design all together to end up coming up with ways of addressing some of these challenges that cities and residents were facing. So, I think, that approach was relatively novel and unique at that time. And maybe it is still today, but certainly there’s a number of other cities that are doing this type of work or a variation of this type of work, and the field has certainly evolved over the years too.

Cohen: Yeah. Well, and, I guess, I thinking about communication to the community. I know co-creation is a big part of how you do your work. And certainly I agree with that 110%. I guess, I’m thinking about it more from the perspective of folks you’re not co-creating with. Right? You know, at any given time you may be co-creating with a fraction of the populace there, but you still need to spread your gospel kind of to the rest of the city and other stakeholders. I imagine it must be challenging if you’re focusing on the KPIs and kind of these qualitative issues, which, again, are a little bit squishy. Right? Super important, but I could see where in a situation people might not really understand or value that. Right? How have you managed that nuance of that communication of the value of your work as you’ve gone along?

Carter: That’s a great question. One of the things that I think has been really helpful for us in maybe the last five years is that the city went through series of different planning exercises. So when Mayor Walsh came in he sort of looked around and said, “We haven’t done a citywide plan in 50 years. You know, we haven’t done a mobility plan in a decade. We haven’t done an arts plan,” you know, and kicked off sort of all these different initiatives. And I feel like what that did—one, we inserted ourselves into that planning process but mostly because we’re really interested and excited about it and also because the administration asked us to support. And a lot of those plans, while yes they do have some qualitative measurements, they are really, like, a set of goals and visions that are more qualitatively driven. Right?

Cohen: Yeah.

Carter: The residents aren’t going to say, “You know what I want? I want single-occupancy vehicle traffic to be 30% of what it is today.” No, they’re going to say, “I want my transportation system to function better. I want to be able to get to work on time or pick my kids up from school.” So there’s a lot of pieces in those plans that, I think, we have teased out and said, “Okay. This directly aligns with some of the work we’ve been thinking about,” or, “We think we have some prototypes or steps we can take to start achieving these sort of broader visions and goals.” And, I think, that has been immensely helpful at least for us in setting a vision of where the city is headed but in charting the path on the types of projects we do and how we go about doing them.

Jacob: It’s also worth noting that just because something is qualitative doesn’t mean it’s not measurable; it just means that we’re not using a preset set of, like, metrics around how we’re trying to change things or how we’re trying to impact things. And so we go out of our way to collaborate with researchers and figure out what kind of changes are happening as a result of what we’re doing or—you know, so we’re very interested, for example, in the way people make decision, you know, and the ways that you can go about sort of encouraging behavior change. And, like, those are very measurable things.

They might fit outside of a rubric for KPIs or something, but we always—obviously because we’re trying—like, at the end of the day our medium is government and government services, so we are always trying to impact the way the government services are being delivered. And so that we’re—we work very hard not to do things that are completely orthogonal to what the rest of the organization is doing, but we try to be complimentary because a lot of those other measures, they tend not to get towards a sense of, like, “Do people like these kinds of experiences or like these kinds of services?” which I think is vital. Right? Because people aren’t going to use them if they don’t like them, and so those are very often the spaces that we step into.

Carter: That’s a great point, Nigel. Some of that research has shown up. We’ve done ethnographic research around housing, which directly led to some ADU policy in the City of Boston. And it was really sending researchers into people’s homes to understand what is it that they like about the places they live; how does that connect to the neighborhood and the community? And we did that again with something called The Engagement Center, which is a low-threshold space for people that are facing addiction issues, maybe trying to get into recovery, are housing insecure. So there’s sort of this day-shelter space that they can go to.

We embedded an ethnographic researcher there as well just to understand, like, how is this space used; what parts of it do people like; if we were going to change or augment the programming, in what direction should that go. And I don’t know if you would necessarily get that by the quantitative things that are being checked at the door, which is, you know, how many guests are coming in today, how many books are being checked out, that kind of thing. A really important part of the work is collaborating with area researchers and doing those sort of studies that then inform those programs and policies.

Cohen: Yeah. That’s a great, great point about that nuance that could be missed there without that mindful kind of ethnographic research that you mentioned. I want to think about, from the perspective of the last 10 years, some of the big projects, maybe the projects you are most proud of or you had the most fun with or really things that you’ve learned along the way that, I think, have maybe influenced you personally or maybe have taken wing outside of the city to maybe impact other folks.

Jacob: When I think of over the last 10 years, some of the earliest work that we started in was really a huge source of inspiration and lasted for quite a while. So very early on, even slightly before New Urban Mechanics, I had been looking to find ways that we could work with researchers in the Boston area that were doing interesting things. And early on I met this fairly, at the time, a new faculty member at Emerson College, which is a liberal arts college here in Boston, named Eric Gordon who was really interested in understanding the way, at that time, games can be used to facilitate civic dialogue in general. And so—which was really interesting. And at the time, you know, I was a computer scientist by background. And, you know, I found myself in local government not really knowing what to do. And so it seemed to me that, like, finding a way to work with basically a social scientists that was exploring the way that games and generally digital technology could be used to facilitate these civic dialogues, which I knew nothing about—right—given where I had come from, was a really good way into this work for me.

And so Eric and I, we started doing a series of projects right from the get-go which were exploring how different approaches—not only digital games; we did a lot of kind of paper-based, like, card games as well. But just this idea that games and a game-like approach to thinking about facilitating interpersonal dialogue; it actually changes—it can change it for the bad or for the good, and so we were trying to change it for the good. But it can change the way that public dialogue happens. Right? So we were very clear that this wasn’t about gamifying anything because that’s a completely different thing, but it was this idea that by entering into a game, people can often suspend disbelief, and so a lot of the conflict that you see at the beginning of community dialogues can be stopped or circumvented or short-circuited. And so we did a series of projects, which basically have—that have lasted until, you know, today.

Cohen: Wow.

Jacob: You know, as recently as last year we were doing projects with Eric. You know, and obviously Eric and his work has expanded over the years and so on. But in a lot of ways that was my first real, like, exposure to a lot of the issues, and it was the way into the work for me in terms of looking at how a computer-sciencey, technology background could take me into these very social-science issues, you know, community engagement and dialogue, which I really knew nothing about. But it was hugely inspiring for me.

Cohen: Kris, what about you?

Carter: That’s a really good example, Nigel. The thing that was coming to mind for me was a project that a colleague of ours on the team, Michael Evans, and I started maybe seven years ago at this point. And it was right after Mayor Walsh had come into office. And we were looking for ways to involve sort of this sort of design community in Boston in thinking about City Hall and public space in a different way. And we had come up with sort of this civic design competition riffing off the New Urban Mechanics team that was in Philadelphia at the time. And Michael and I were sort of toying with the idea of putting out an RFP for that, and then we went and saw this Jan Gehl movie called Human Scale. And there was a line in there about inviting the public into the process, and we both sort of gravitated towards this idea of an invitation.

So the Public Space Invitational got born out of that, that spring. And the novelty for us was that we were asking people to submit things that excited people, brought delight to their daily lives, and sparked a sense of wonderment when they went around the city, that they felt like they could discover something that they would just bump into, so sort of small tweaks to public space. The innovation for us was a little bit around, like, how to do this in procurement structures that are challenging for artists and for small-dollar contracts. You know, in that first year we ran that, I think we funded seven projects. A couple of them crashed and burned. And there were some changes to City Hall that then became the catalyst for some big changes to the design of City Hall.

It’s now in its seventh year, and it’s gone through a bunch of different iterations, but it still comes back to that core piece of, like, how to be delightful, which, I think, we lifted out of that very first project series and that first call and have now tried to infuse that into so much of our work that it becomes sort of a core tenet of who we are as a team, that we’re not only trying to do work that is maybe bringing delight to residents, but we’re also just trying to be nice and delightful people when we engage with our colleagues at City Hall or outside researchers or residents as well. But it all sort of started, I think, from that initial call and that initial sort of reframing of instead of a request for proposals, sort of an invitation to work together on something.

And that project, for me, whether it started at City Hall and then we did a bunch of stuff with winter engagement, school bus stops one year, and now it’s sort of morphed into community gardens is the place we’ve focused on over the last two years, really special, and I think is a good sort of legacy project for our team.

Cohen: Wow. I want to dig into something that you mentioned there, which you mentioned a couple of those early projects crashed and burned. And so, I think, I really want to dig into this a little bit, because I do think that that’s a challenge for government in general, which is this concept of experimentation, which by its nature will sometimes yield results that to an outside perspective who may not have all the details may look like it’s not valuable. Right? “That failed; that did not work.” If you look at it as a scientist, obviously, you know, any experiment is valuable. So I guess I want to dig into that a little bit. How have you managed that acknowledgment that you’re going to do stuff sometimes that’s just not going to work? How have you managed that as far as setting expectations properly, both within City Hall and then also externally?

Jacob: You know, one thing I’ll say—and I’m sure Kris has his own take on it. And this is a complicated one. Right? But I think that failure is vital for what we do—right—so if we’re trying things, it means necessarily some of these things will not work. And so in the early days people got that. You know, so if you want to do creative things, if we’re honest about that it means that we need to leave some space for things not to work out the way that we had hoped. And that has happened.

You know, that happened right away where we would be trying things and they didn’t quite work out. What we found was that the one thing that happens every single time something does not work out, we at the very least learn something. Right? We learn something about what not to do or we learned—we also learn to do our jobs better. Like, one of the things early on—like, part and parcel to this idea of being delightful is about this job is basically about humans. Right? It’s about taking a very relational approach to thinking about the work. And so as long as we are trying things out—like, thinking about—typically what makes a project a success are good partnerships—right—partnerships certainly within the team but also certainly between us and other agencies that we’re collaborating with and us and sort of external organizations that we might be working with, like, you know, these university partnerships, what have you.

And so, you know, from the very beginning, I think, we’ve always said that as long as we’re learning things, it’s not actually failure in the sense of things are just exploding into flames. And the other angle is that, you know, our job is to do those things. Right? You know, we don’t run the public works department or the school department, so it means that if we do something, it doesn’t work out, you know, kids will still go to school on Monday.

Cohen: Right. That’s a good point.

Jacob: You know, creating the space for experimentation is really the only way to explore. Like, this whole idea of, like, collaborating with universities is very hard. I think it’s easy to say. Or with anybody outside of local government it is very hard. Right? Because we think in terms of different timescales, and we use different language, and so on; and so you can only be good at those things by trying things, and sometimes it’s not going to work. And so, I think, that has been consistent over the years, this idea that we can only—not only, but, I mean, the failure that happens is a core part of the learning that we get to pull out of these projects.

Carter: I totally agree. One of the things I was just thinking about there is that we often get projects’ names inside to the team, and usually they’re not very good names, and there’s reasons that they get changed before projects become public. But when projects don’t go well or something fails, I think, we call back to those names often as team to say, “Oh, remember when we did that with X, Y, or Z?” as a way for us to collectively remember the challenges we faced there when we’re sort of starting something new that seems slightly similar or we want to take a piece off this project and a piece off that project, was making me think about sort of the importance of those names. And it’s on our sort of big whiteboard in our office with all these sort of Post-its up on it. And there’s all these sort of one-word things up there that probably mean not a lot to a lot of people other than the direct team on the projects, but they are a good reminder of when those things get hit.

I think, the longer I do this, the more I realize, while—sure—projects come and go and sometimes they’re very quick; it is a little bit of a long game. Right? As Nigel was saying, we might do something in collaboration with a university and it doesn’t go quite well or how we expected, but in two years we might go back with that same researcher at that same university on something totally different, and because we had already gone through the trials and tribulations of that first run, we’re starting from a different place. Right? And we’re able to sort of maybe translate better each other what we’re doing or understand, you know, where our strengths are better so that the next time we approach a topic we’re prepared to maybe execute in a different way, or the timing might have shifted, or the window of the public acceptance on something being slightly different based on how people have evolved over the years.

Jacob: That makes me think of, like, the importance of the language and the stories that we use. So it’s so true. Like, so many—you know, we have the, like, little one-liners or the names of projects that can evoke a whole set of issues that allows us to look at different projects in different ways. You know, so, I think, in a way, it’s sort of like, you know, like archetypes or something. Right? Or, like, they’re larger, like, meta patterns over the work.
And I think that it’s really vital that we tell each other those stories, because all of these little projects with clunky names sometimes, you know, they highlight how to do things well, how not to do things well, you know, mistakes that we did, we might have made engaging with partners or what have you. So, I think, it is a very cultural way of thinking about the work. Right? So, like, the culture that we use to sustain the team, I think, is vital and the stories that we tell about those projects.

Cohen: Kris, you mentioned the whiteboard in your office there. I gather that your working time now is quite different to COVID-19, and perhaps you’re not going into the office as much and not seeing that whiteboard. Maybe there’s fewer of you in the office when you do go. This has been quite a year already. It’s only August. I’m curious how COVID-19 as well as some of the racial justice movement that is getting more and more resonant to more and more people around the country every day—I’m curious how that’s influenced your work, if at all.

Carter: Oh, I think it would be impossible for it not to influence our work. You know, I’ll start with COVID. You know, we had to change. Government is not necessarily equipped, particularly local government, to work remotely. You know, there’s certainly been a feeling before this that, you know, doing your job meant showing up and being there in person. And there’s a certain aspect of the work that really for us was about being there—right—that we were sort of centrally situated and were involved in a lot of different things. And the level of friction to jump into a project or a conversation or answer a question is a lot less when we’re all physically in sort of the same spot cross-talking and also right sort of in the thick of decision makers inside City Hall.

So we’ve had to adjust in how we do the work, in how we sort of build those partnership, how we sort of make sure that intelligence is transferred in new ways. And the first part was really just setting up the team norms on how we do online work together, which for us is using Slack and a bunch of other tools but also setting some of the cultural norms about when we’re all checking in as a team and how do we intentionally carve out all that space. I think, the other thing that really emerged during COVID was these relationships that people have built over time became, both on our team but I’m thinking more externally with researchers and community members and other people in other departments, became that much more important, that they became almost sometimes the sole conduit into a body of work that’s happening in public works or happening in the libraries and then needing to bring that back to the team. And that’s a little bit different than how we would sort of take things on before where we’d always sort of buddy up and people would sort of tag along to various meetings so that there was more knowledge transfer intentionally. So it’s been a good process for us to learn how to do that and keep things going. But the work has not slowed.

It looks different from how in April the types of things we were doing versus the types of things we’re doing right now look very different. In April it was, like, supporting the entire city getting up and running, making sure that all these departments could go remote, that residents still could access services, that, you know, community meetings on Zoom were not Zoom-bombed, you know, like all those sort of basic things that we were doing. And then it sort of evolved into, “All right. Well, how do we provide a higher quality of services for things like food delivery to residents and food pickup sites?” And we did some chatbot work there.

And now it’s sort of pushed into, “Okay. I think everybody has recognized that this is the long haul we’re in.” So yesterday there was sort of a collaboration between us and the Boston Public Library that got announced that was rolling out, you know, more Wi-Fi access and outside of the libraries, so in the sort of parks that abut them or even the parking lots. And, I think, that directly ties into your second part of your question around equity and sort of racial injustice that’s happening as sort of, like, an angle on digital equity and how we’re making sure that people have access to the internet, which is so vital for not just government services but for day-to-day life.

The sort of second part of that question, I think, really hit our team in June. And Nigel has been, you know, corralling our team on this and doing a lot of amazing work on how we focus civic innovation on anti-racism. So I won’t speak. I’ll let him take that piece of it, if you want to jump in there, Nigel, but.

Jacob: Yeah. It’s definitely been sort of a group effort. But, I think, right away—you know, like, we hire people in part for their empathy. Right? So these are people that are motivated to help other people. And so right after the killing of George Floyd we were sort of in a—it caused an emotional crisis for the team, and so we very quickly came to this point to say that, you know, “Yeah, government is part of the problem in this moment.” Right? “When you point at the police department, you’re also pointing at us as well, in a general sense.” And so we realized that, like, we can’t control some of these things directly necessarily, but we can control what we do, what our team does. And so we’ve been looking at how the work that we do and the way that we do that work, how we’ll turn that more explicitly towards anti-racist directions. Right?

So in the same timeframe that that was happening the mayor’s wheels were turning, and he had the thought of hiring a local academic/activist, Karilyn Crockett, who is well-known in the city as a person working on these kinds of issues, to sort of lead the charge at City Hall around pivoting towards an explicitly anti-racist mode of operation so that we very quickly—we’ve been trying to align ourselves with that effort, and there’s a lot of things going on. But there’s—you know, in a lot of ways it’s looking at the full range of what we do. It’s looking at our partners, the people that we work with or the people that we don’t work with, you know, what does that say about us, or are we in some way promoting a lack of equity or what have you. And so, you know, part of it is about us kind of educating ourselves on what the issues are and how we could and maybe should be thinking about some of these issues. And so we’re looking at everything from, you know, indigenous-related topics to looking at more explicitly anti-black-racism sort of topics and so on. But there’s a lot going on.

Cohen: Yeah, I’m glad to see that the mayor is also kind of stepping up as well to address this, because I do believe at a leadership level it’s kind of where you can help kind of lay out those expectations and those values. Just as you’ve had to do with your norms around working, I think that the city needs to around, “This is our expectation as a community around the type of community we want to be.”

So I want to maybe transition here to maybe a final question. You know, the purpose of this podcast is to really address the leadership necessary to build the equitable, accessible, and green mobility future that we all want. And certainly, I think, you can look at the work you’re doing and feel good about the progress you’re making there as kind of one kind of pillar to a lot of pillars that are necessary to kind of get there. I’m curious though, as a leader yourself and as someone who is dealing with both elected leaders and also community leaders, if there’s an element of leadership that you believe we need more of or that you believe that we need to invest more in in order to give us a better shot at achieving this future that we all want to live in.

Jacob: From my perspective, I think, flexibility is vital—right—flexibility in terms of how we think about issues and how we think about our responses to those solutions. And that also, in my mind, suggests an ability to deal with ambiguous situations. Right? So a lot of the challenges that we need to be able to face right now, there isn’t only one right way to do things. Right? And I think that we, in some ways, you know, when we resolve everything into a binary, I think, we create these false dichotomies about how we could or should be doing things.

But I think that, you know, increasingly a more flexible leader that acknowledges the gray and is comfortable working within that, I think, is vital. Because I think we need to kind of step out of this polarized world where it’s got to be this or it’s got to be that. There is a million shades of gray in these kinds of situations, and I think that we need to find people that can kind of deal with those situations in a flexible way.

Carter: I should have gone first, because that was a really good one. [LAUGHTER] I think, in addition to that flexibility, it goes back to a little bit on failure maybe. I think there is a tendency for leaders to be defensive, to say, “We’ve done all these things, and this is the way it is,” which gets to that flexibility piece a little bit. But, I think, leaders that are more candid about the journey that they’re on, the steps they’re taking both to learn and to listen as well as make decisions out of that and being transparent about that, and being okay to admit when they’ve done something wrong—right—when maybe the decision they made wasn’t the best decision. I think that’s really, really hard.

I mean, I struggle with that even in my own house, but I think it’s exceedingly hard in those positions where you’re constantly being examined by the press or by other leaders or by different sort of factions in the work. But leaders—and the mayor, you know, I’ve seen him do this more recently with COVID and with issues around racial injustice of sort of stepping back and being willing to listen, to invite other voices to the table. I mean, I get inspired by folks that are able to do that, to be sort of candid about where their growing edges are and not automatically jump to a defensive position on something they’ve already accomplished.

Cohen: Yeah, for sure. And, I think, taking those two items that y’all mentioned there, I think if you can do those two things well, that would have anybody do well personally and for our community. So well said, both of you. Thank you very much. This has been a great introduction to both the work you’re doing with the New Urban Mechanics and also a little bit of your background there kind of helping build it. If folks are interested in finding out more about the work you’re doing there—I know you’ve got a lot of great stuff on your website. Is that the best place to learn more about the work you’re doing?

Carter: Yeah, Also on social media, we’re on the Twitter at @NewUrbanMechs for people that want to follow our work there. And then there’s a Medium post that will show up on Twitter as well. The Medium stuff is actually pretty interesting right now because we’ve just gotten through a class of summer fellows that we did all remotely, and each of their projects is featured up there, so you get a good smattering of the types of things we’re taking on this summer.

Jacob: We also go out of our way to be accessible, so we encourage people just to reach out directly. We have a group email, so if you email us at someone will respond to you. And our emails are all over our website, so.

Cohen: Awesome, awesome. Well, Nigel and Kris, thank you so much for joining The Movement podcast and sharing a little bit more about the work you’re doing to try and solve these important, challenging things that are going on in cities and in Boston and trying to solve them in a different way and in an empathic—I think, is a word I heard you use earlier—and mindful way. I think it’s truly important, and I appreciate all the work that you’re doing to help make it a reality.

Jacob: Thanks, Josh.

Carter: Thanks.

F: Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, head to Apple Podcasts and subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. You can find out more at or follow Josh Cohen on Twitter at @CohenJP. Be sure to join us next week for another episode of The Movement.