The Digital Economy in Rural America

For additional information, please contact:
Benjamin Lamb, Director of Economic Development, 1Berkshire,
Megan Whilden, Executive Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,


Tech Impact Forum Presents – The Digital Economy in Rural America: Closing the Opportunity Gap

An Online Talk with Matt Dunne, Founder & Executive Director of the Center On Rural Innovation

Matt Dunne, Founder & Executive Director of the Center On Rural Innovation

Matt Dunne, Founder & Executive Director of the Center On Rural Innovation.

March 1st, 2021 – Pittsfield, MA – Access to fast, reliable internet service is critical to daily life, a fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced. Yet, in many parts of rural America, including Berkshire County, lack of broadband infrastructure means that communities face significant barriers to learning, working, and building sustainable local economies in a connected world. Matt Dunne, the founder and executive director at the Center On Rural Innovation, will give a free online talk entitled “The Digital Economy in Rural America: Closing the Opportunity Gap” on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6:30pm EST. The program is free and open to all, and will be moderated by Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. To register, visit  The program is presented by the Tech Impact Forum, a partnership between the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, 1Berkshire and the Berkshire Innovation Center.

The Center On Rural Innovation is a nonprofit action tank that uses progressive public, private, and philanthropic partnerships and strategies to achieve sustainable economic success in rural America, including helping communities plan and build broadband networks that will ensure they can participate in and benefit from the economies of the future.

Matt Dunne served 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, enacting the state’s first broadband grants, brownfields revitalization funding, and downtown redevelopment program. In 1999 Matt was appointed director of AmeriCorps*VISTA under President Clinton, where he led PowerUp, one of the first national efforts to bridge the digital divide, and launched an Entrepreneur Corps to focus on micro-finance in high-need communities. In 2007, he started Google’s Community Affairs division out of a former bread factory in White River Junction, Vermont, where he led all local US philanthropy and engagement, including the Google Fiber rollout and orchestrating educational and development initiatives in Google’s data center communities across rural America. Matt has a BA from Brown University, and also held an appointment at the MIT Media Lab. He is a lifelong Vermonter who lives on the 100 acre farm where he was raised.


About OLLI

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College provides educational, social and volunteer opportunities designed especially by and for people fifty years and better in the Berkshires. OLLI offers five semesters of non-credit courses each year, as well as talks, special events and more. For additional information, visit:

About 1Berkshire

1Berkshire is a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a preferred place to visit, to live, and to grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and with potential customers and works to develop future leaders and support entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

About the Berkshire Innovation Center

The Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) seeks to accelerate the innovation and growth of existing companies in the Berkshire Region — primarily small to medium sized manufacturing companies (SME’s) in Life Sciences and the Life Sciences Supply Chain — with the ultimate objective of spurring economic growth, jobs, and investment in the region. The BIC provides advanced capabilities to its member companies including shared access to cutting-edge research and development, prototyping equipment, customized training programs, student internship programs and collaborative opportunities with the BIC’s research and education partners. For more information, visit:

2021-03-01T15:54:58-05:00March 1st, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

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