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Keystone Innovation District has been Selected toJoin the Global Network of Innovation Districts.

Kansas City, MO: July 6, 2023 | The Keystone Innovation District in Kansas City, Missouri has been

selected to join a network of innovation districts from the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the

Middle East, in partnership with the Global Institute of Innovation Districts.

“This is a tremendous honor,” says Kevin McGinnis, Founder and President of the Keystone Community

Corporation. “When we first envisioned Keystone, we visited a variety of other districts to meet their

people, understand their approach to community, and learn from their best practices. It was invaluable.

Joining GIID enables us to collaborate with peers in even better and more productive ways.”

GIID launched the Global Network in March of last year with an initial cohort of 23 districts and is now

expanding the network to include approximately 25 additional districts, including Keystone.

While all districts have similar goals around fostering innovation, every innovation district has its own

unique character and origin story. Launched in 2018, Keystone followed best practices to establish a

strong model of governance and a noteworthy board of directors. In 2020, when the pandemic upended

reality, Keystone was quick to adapt, and instead of making real estate development the main focus,

made a strategic choice to prioritize building an innovation community centered on the organization’s

key values.

"We wholeheartedly commend Keystone for their mission to unite industries and transcend political

boundaries, creating a vibrant ecosystem that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, and propels the

Kansas City regional economy forward,” says Claudia Canepa, Global Network Director, GIID. “CoLAB,

Keystone's pioneering physical space, is testament to their dedication to community programming and

the development of a thriving innovation hub that catalyzes inclusive growth. We deeply value

Keystone's participation in the Global Network and eagerly await their forthcoming innovation center

phase where they will expand their footprint threefold and attract an array of anchor institutions to colocate

in the area."

The Global Network is maximizing the potential of innovation districts by learning from high quality

research and by sharing best practices developed within ambitious districts around the world. These

insights will help governments and investors see how to help innovation districts to be engines of

economic development, social inclusion and investment.

Those innovation districts taking part are located across Europe, the Middle East, North America, Latin

America and the Caribbean, Australia and Asia. They are exploring a range of issues, including, but not

limited to, how best to leverage unique R&D strengths; ambitious efforts to attract industry and

investment; and organized responses to the pandemic and climate change.

Through the Global Network, district leaders are sharing different templates for organizing innovation

districts around, for example, governance and finance, as well as strategies for expanding employment

and educational opportunities among disadvantaged populations in an equitable and inclusive manner.

Districts are looking at different options for creating high quality environments where diverse populations

can enjoy living, working and playing, all in a compact setting.

“In-depth research and on-the-ground practice demonstrate that successful innovation districts rely on a

delicate balance between leveraging unique local assets and leading with intentionality. Strategic

engagements with other districts around the world that are experimenting and driving cutting-edge

practice provide the key to unlocking such intentionality. This is the value of the Global Network,” shared

Julie Wagner, Founder of The Global Institute on Innovation Districts.

Over the next year, Keystone will participate in a new learning program, consisting of deep strategic

sessions with other districts to help them develop new approaches and systems for catalyzing their


To learn more about the program and the participating districts, visit https://www


About The Global Institute on Innovation Districts

The Global Institute is an independent, international research organization dedicated to the growth of

innovation districts worldwide. It has a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and practitioners, including

leaders who have worked exclusively to advance innovation districts over the past 15 years. The Global

Institute is led by its founder, Julie Wagner, who drew the world’s attention to the growing impact of

innovation districts by co-authoring “The Rise of Innovation Districts”, a report published in 2014 by the

Brookings Institution. Subsequently, Wagner has co-authored key research to codify this evolving model

of place-based innovation, notably “The Evolution of innovation Districts: The New Geography of Global

Innovation”, published by the GIID in 2019.

Find out more:

About Keystone Innovation District

Keystone is the front door to innovation in Kansas City.

Keystone CoLAB is current home of Keystone, at 800 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO, with the Historic

18th and Vine Cultural District to the east, the Crossroads Arts District to the west, Hospital Hill to the

south and Downtown to the north. Keystone is home to seven partner organizations, and programming

includes Keystone Sessions, a weekly gathering featuring presentations, interviews and forums from the

most diverse innovation community in the Midwest. Keystone is the program partner for Launch KC,

home to the Social Venture Studio and other organizations focused on early-stage ventures,

entrepreneurship and building a more equitable innovation community. All are welcome to join with

universities, corporate partners and philanthropic organizations to design the future.

The Keystone Innovation District is established by the Keystone Community Corporation, an

independent nonprofit organization dedicated to planning, developing and operating a thriving, diverse

and globally-relevant innovation community in Kansas City.

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