Katie Stebbins, vice president of economic development for the UMass system, speaks on "The Agile and Entrepreneurial Planner."
City planners today are faced with the demands of bridging traditional tools and techniques like zoning and land use planning, with new demands of creating "entrepreneurial ecosystems" and smart cities. The evolution of the profession is creating a new cadre of civic innovators who find themselves on the front lines of innovation and change. Stebbins will describe her own journey from Springfield city planner to secretary of innovation and entrepreneurship and share her perspective on what skills future professionals need to ensure their own success.
Stebbins was previously assistant secretary for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where she co-chaired Gov. Baker’s Digital Health Council and led state investment efforts in health-tech, robotics, advanced manufacturing and cyber security. Stebbins played a leadership role in establishing and managing M2I2 (Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative), Baker’s nearly $100 million commitment to five Manufacturing USA Institutes. A 20-year veteran of public service and economic development, Stebbins has launched three of her own companies. She is also a shameless champion for mid-size cities, roller derby and women in leadership. Stebbins earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s in regional planning from UMass Amherst.