General Electric made headlines Monday by announcing $50 million in planned charitable contributions—then ramped up expectations for its upcoming move to Boston at a fancy shindig. 

GE’s “Boston Move Celebration” kicked off with a slick video that referenced local luminaries from John Adams to Ralph Waldo Emerson to Aerosmith—or, as the narrator described them, “the rockers who gave us ‘Walk this Way.’” The intended message was obvious: even though we’re newcomers, we get what makes Boston tick.

Then it was Jeff Immelt’s turn. In his remarks, delivered in the swanky State Room in the financial district, GE’s Chairman and CEO sketched out the same vision that he did last month at  another local event. Namely: Boston can be the epicenter of a worldwide “industrial internet”—think massive amounts of data, gathered from huge numbers of machines, and analyzed in a way that makes the world more efficient and productive.

“If you look back 25 years, let’s face it, Silicon Valley and Seattle won the consumer internet,” Immelt told his audience, which was packed with members of Boston’s political and business elites. “There’s no reason why Boston couldn’t have played to win in that period of time.

“The next 20 years are going be about the industrial internet,” Immelt added. “It’s your time to win. That’s why we’re here. We want to be a part of it.”

If the message was consistent with Immelt’s previous Boston appearance, there was a big shift in format Monday. Immelt was joined onstage Monday by Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh—both of whom made it clear that they see GE’s move as a powerful validation.

“We are sitting right now on the shoulders of 50 years’ worth of smart thinking and growth and development and collaboration across many fronts,” Baker said. “[That made] us the kind of place that a company like this would choose to locate its headquarters for the next 50 years.”

The mayor was a bit more succinct.

“Today’s announcement,” Walsh said, “is another step in showing just how great a city we are on the world stage.”

The two men were also at least as bullish as Immelt when it came to what GE’s move could mean for the Boston area in the coming years. Baker envisions GE as a catalysta sort of industrial yeast that will raise Boston’s business world to unprecedented heights.

Walsh's vision is more populist. He talked about GE transforming vocational education through a partnership with Madison Park High School—and even suggested that GE’s arrival could help alleviate one of Boston’s biggest structural challenges.

“When I look at the city now, we’re number one in a lot of areas,” Walsh said. “We’re also number one in income inequality.

“The way we close the gap is by producing jobs that people in our city can work in,” he added. “And I think General Electric can go a long way in attracting—if not themself—then other companies to come into our city that can employ people in every neighborhood of the city.”

As the three men in the State Room downtown, to an audience packed with members of Boston’s political and business elites, a group of protesters who aren’t nearly as bullish on GE’s move marched in the unseasonable snow outside. Among other things, the activists are opposed to the the $145 million in incentives GE is getting from the state and the city.

Before the protest, GE made an announcement that could blunt that opposition—or at least, keep it from spreading—saying it will invest $25 million in Boston’s public schools and another $25 million in community health centers and diversity programs in the Boston area.

During his remarks, meanwhile, Walsh promised that the $25 million in tax breaks Boston is giving GE will be more than offset by new revenue.

Near the end of Monday’s presentation, when the trio were asked about the protesters and that controversial incentives package, Immelt struck a conciliatory note.

“I empathize with the people that are outside,” he said. “Particularly today, they have to be dedicated.”

“I think it’s an investment the mayor and governor have made,” Immelt added. “And this is a business proposition. It’s up to us to prove them right as time goes on.”

Which could prove to be a challenge, given just how lofty the expectations linked to GE’s arrival already are.

Previously reported from Associated Press

General Electric is pledging to spend $50 million on a series of initiatives in Boston.

The announcement comes as company CEO Jeff Immelt, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plan to unveil more details on Monday about GE's move to Boston.

Immelt says GE will invest $25 million in the Boston Public Schools, including building a new career lab to prepare students for jobs in advanced manufacturing technology.

The company will also spend $15 million on community health centers and $10 million to expand diversity in the health care, science and technology fields.

Protesters plan to gather outside the press conference to call attention to the millions in tax breaks and public services — including free rent on city-owned land — used to lure the company.