Transformational Technology Fall Series

For additional information, please contact:
Megan Whilden
Executive Director of OLLI


OLLI, 1Berkshire, and the Berkshire Innovation Center Launch Transformational Technology Fall Series

September 14, 2020 – Pittsfield, MA – In an age where technology is advancing by leaps and bounds and impacting every aspect of our daily lives, 1Berkshire, the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI) are excited to announce and launch “The Impact of Transformational Technologies on Work and Society” Series. This 8-week course of weekly webinars will bring regional, national, and global experts and leaders together to share, discuss and drill down into the key technologies impacting a broad spectrum of individual and societal realms, with a focus on how they impact rural regions like Berkshire County.

“This is a groundbreaking initiative and a creative collaboration that we hope will inspire greater economic and community success in the Berkshires through effective and thoughtful use of new technologies,” noted Megan Whilden, Executive Director of OLLI.

“Being on the forefront of the next generation of technology will be integral to our regional economy. It’s programs like this that raise the bar, create engagement, and inspire innovation at the regional level, which we need in order to catalyze momentum towards embracing advanced manufacturing and technology as a continued economic driver in the Berkshires,” noted Ben Lamb, 1Berkshire Director of Economic Development.

With topics ranging from artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, medicine, education, remote work and more, this series is bound to spark new ideas, avail new information, and prompt new ambition for participants. Featured speakers include:

  • James and Deborah Fallows, authors of Our Towns: A Journey Into the Heart of America
  • Alexis Wichowski, deputy chief technology officer for the City of New York and author of The Information Trade: How Big Tech Conquers Countries, Challenges Our Rights, and Transforms Our World
  • Elisabeth Reynolds, Director of the Center for Work of the Future at MIT
  • Matthew Dunne, Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Rural Innovation
  • Carla Meskill, SUNY Albany Professor of Educational Technology
  • Michael Miller, MD – HealthPolCom and Former Healthy Women Senior Policy Advisor
  • Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure at UMass Amherst and author of several books including Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection
  • State Senator Adam Hinds & State Senator Eric Lesser
  • And many others.

“Exploration of these topics is core to the BIC’s mission and our collective ability to understand, adapt, and be leaders in the implementation of these new technologies presents an enormous opportunity for our region’s recovery and growth,” added Ben Sosne, Executive Director of the BIC.

The webinar series was organized by an ad hoc committee of OLLI members, Robert Braddick, Katherine Kidd, James Rosenstein and Arthur Sherman, who were joined by OLLI, 1Berkshire and BIC staff. The initiative is also in partnership with Williams College, Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock.The course is preceded by a free online conversation on September 16th, at 7pm by Lawrence Burns, former head of R&D at General Motors, a consultant to Google’s autonomous vehicles program, and author of Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car – And How it Will Reshape Our World. Registration details for this free event can be found at

Additional details about the Transformational Technology series can be found at Williams College students, faculty and staff may register for the course for free, and 1Berkshire and Berkshire Innovation Center members receive a member discount. Class participants can join the course via Zoom on Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:00 beginning September 24 or can view the class asynchronously through a dedicated link the day after each class session.

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: B

2020-09-16T11:50:03-04:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|