MITRE, AT&T Positively Digital Win 2020 AIM Vision Awards
| September 7, 2020
By: Chris Geehern
A 62-year-old company working at the intersection of advanced technology and vital global concerns and an initiative to equip Boston students with leadership skills for the digital age have been named recipients of the 2020 Associated Industries of Massachusetts Vision Award.
MITRE Corporation of Bedford is being honored for its work to advance discoveries in artificial intelligence, intuitive data science, quantum information science, health informatics, space security, policy and economic expertise and cyber resilience.
AT&T Positively Digital is a collaborative effort by the telecommunications company to work with three youth organizations – Camp Harbor View, The BASE and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston – to help teen-agers make positive choices online.
The AIM Vision Award recognizes companies, organizations and individuals who have made unique contributions to the cause of economic opportunity in Massachusetts. The award reflects AIM’s mission to stand for jobs, economic prosperity, innovation and a government that acknowledges that the private sector has the unique responsibility to create the common wealth for the people of Massachusetts.
The largest employer association in Massachusetts will present the awards as part of a 30-minute livestreamed video called Honoring Resilience. The video is part of AIM’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, which will run from 11 am to noon on October 2 and also include live online gatherings and networking.
Honoring Resilience will be re-broadcast on NBC 10 Boston on October 4 at 11:30 am and on New England Cable News on October 10 at 10:30 am.
“The 3,500 member employers of AIM are delighted to honor two organizations that demonstrate the possibility of using innovation and knowledge to create a safer, more stable world,” said John Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.
“MITRE and AT&T are both cornerstones of the Massachusetts economy and cornerstones of the communities in which they operate. They illustrate the type of long-term economic growth that creates opportunity and prosperity for the people of the commonwealth.”
MITRE is a company of more than 8,000 innovators, deep thinkers, conveners, and problem solvers who come to work every day to tackle the complex threats facing the nation and the world. This includes developing common data standards for oncology to help find a cure for cancer and addressing the Great Power Competition – including accelerating deployment of 5G infrastructure, strengthening the domestic supply chain for pharmaceuticals, and advancing election integrity.
Founded in 1958 as a private, not-for-profit company providing engineering and technical guidance for the federal government, MITRE has gone from developing an advanced air-defense system during the Cold War to addressing one of the most critical and grave dangers facing the United States – the modernization of our nation’s nuclear command and control strategy and systems.
MITRE operates seven federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and works in partnership with industry and academia to advance discoveries in fields ranging from national security to health care and the judiciary. The organization uses a highly collaborative model that involves data scientists, systems engineers, and economists as well as geologists, healthcare experts, and cybersecurity researchers.
More than 2,000 specialists work at MITRE’s Bedford dual headquarters location. The $1.9 billion company also has nearly 4,000 employees at a second headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and others spread across 60 facilities throughout the world.
As a company chartered to work in the public interest, MITRE has no owners or shareholders, and does not compete with industry. The lack of commercial conflicts allows the organization to acquire sensitive and proprietary information from the government, industry, and other partners.
It’s no surprise that MITRE has been deeply involved in the response to COVID-19. The company is co-chairing the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, a public-interest, private-sector response to the pandemic with more than 1,000 members. MITRE has also developed Sara Alert™, a symptom-tracking tool for public health agencies, and is convening the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes to assess the nursing home response to COVID-19.
“We are honored that AIM has recognized MITRE for our vision of pioneering for a better future and our contributions to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Jason Providakes, president and CEO.
“Our strong partnerships and long history of collaboration with Massachusetts organizations is a key contributor to our mission to solve problems for a safer world.”
AT&T Positively Digital
Communications giant AT&T launched Positively Digital last year in Boston after a company survey found two stark facts about young people living in an increasingly digital world:
- Ninety-eight percent of teen-agers have a mobile device;
- Two-thirds of teens have engaged in at least one risky behavior online.
Positively Digital, part of the AT&T Believes initiative, equips middle and high-school students with leadership and online safety skills for the digital age. The company invested half a million dollars to establish a collaborative effort with three Boston youth organizations – Camp Harbor View, The Base and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston – to ensure that young people navigate digital resources responsibly.
Ultimately, the program aims to enhance communications, promote critical thinking skills, encourage constructive training, and teach young people how to use their voices for good through mediums like online radio and podcasts.
“Whether they are on their mobile devices or in front of a computer screen, being constantly connected can present both opportunities and challenges for our teens,” said Patricia Jacobs, President, AT&T Northern Region.
“By making positive choices online, Boston’s youth can harness the power of technology to build a confident self-image; create positivity and support on-line; and build strong, nurturing communities. We support Boston’s youth in their efforts to become a generation of leaders by making a positive difference on the screen and the street.”
As part of this program, Boston’s youth both participate in and create new peer programs that harness the power of connectivity in a positive way. Positively Digital is helping teens examine and address issues such as cyberbullying, online safety, equality, diversity and how to recognize fact from fiction online.
“As a city, we see the many benefits that advances in technology bring to our young people and our neighborhoods,” said Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston.
“But our young people also need to be aware of how to engage with new technology in safe, healthy, and productive ways. I want to thank AT&T for collaborating with our great youth organizations, Camp Harbor View, The Base, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, on this exciting initiative. They will help inspire our young leaders to set a positive example for their peers, and our entire City, in how to use technology for good.”
AT&T launched a second initiative – called ScreenReady – in parallel to the Positively Digital campaign. ScreenReady allows AT&T’s retail-based device experts to provide hands-on guidance for parental controls and content filter settings on a consumer’s phone and tablet. The consumer may be a customer of any wireless service.
In addition, parents and caregivers are able to access customized tips, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, to fit their family’s online safety needs on a newly created AT&T mobile website, accessible in stores on free-to-use display tablets.
MITRE Corp. and AT&T Positively Digital will join a distinguished list of AIM Vision honorees, including Wayfair, Fidelity Investments Chief Executive Abigail Johnson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, General Electric, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, MassMutual, philanthropists Bill and Joyce Cummings, Boston University brain researcher Dr. Ann McKee and Nuance Communications.
AIM is the statewide business association in Massachusetts, representing the interests of more than 3,500 employers from all sectors of the economy on public-policy issues.