R103 | Transformative Technologies and Their Effects on Work & Society


1:30 pm-3:00 pm


9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12

Eight Sessions

This course is offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

New technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and robotics are having a major impact on the nature of work, labor markets, education, training, economic development and many other sectors across society. Harnessing these technologies for the development of the Berkshires and other rural communities across America is critical to our region’s future.

OLLI at Berkshire Community College, in collaboration with the Berkshire Innovation Center, 1Berkshire, Williams College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Bard College at Simon's Rock, presents an eight week webinar series exploring the advent of new technologies and their effects on work and society, especially in rural regions such as the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. The series may be watched live or on demand at a time convenient to you.

Sessions will include lectures, moderated panel discussion and participant Q&A, led by national and regional thought leaders in the subject area. Click here for resources for further reading.

Session One - Where are we now and how did we get here?

Elizabeth Reynolds | Director of the Center on the Work of the Future at MIT
Stephen Boyd | President of Boyd Technology and the Berkshire Innovation Center

Session Two - How Different Countries Respond to New Technologies

Professor Henric Johnson | Counselor for Science and Innovation at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC

MA State Senator Eric Lesser | co-author of The Future of Work Policy Proposals for the Modern Economy

Dr. Hyeon Yeo | Professor at George Mason University and consultant to the World Economic Forum on technology

Session Three - Enabling infrastructure in the US to deliver technology solutions

Speaker: Matthew Dunne | Founder and Executive Director of the Center of Rural Innovation
Moderator: State Senator Adam Hinds

Rep. Smitty Pignatelli | State Representative for Southern Berkshire County
Jonathan Butler | CEO, 1Berkshire
Jim Lovejoy | Selectman, Mt. Washington, MA

Session Four - The Future of Smart Manufacturing

to be announced

Session Five - The Future of Education

Speaker: Carla Meskill | Professor of Educational Technology, SUNY Albany

Moderator: Ellen Kennedy | President of Berkshire Community College


Tyler DeWitt | Online Educator

Maud Mandel | President of Williams College

Jake Eberwein | Berkshire County Educational Task Force

Session Six - The Future of Healthcare

Speaker:  Michael Miller, MD | Health Care and Life Sciences Policy Consultant

Moderator:  Gordon Josephson, MD


Christopher D. Sprowl, MD | Interim Medical Director, Community Health PR

William Young | Chief Information Officer at Berkshire Health Systems

 Joe Diver | Director of Digital Transformation at Baystate Health

Session Seven - The Societal Impact of These Technologies

Speaker – Alexis Wichowski | Deputy Chief Technology Officer, NYC and author of The Information Trade

Moderator – Gerol Petruzella | MCLA Professor and Associate Director of Academic Technology

Anthony Haynes | SUNY Albany Law School Professor

Ethan Zuckerman | Director of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure at UMass Amherst and author of Rewire and Digital Cosmopolitans

Nicholas Carr | author

Session Eight - Where do we go from here?

Speaker - Jim Fallows and Deborah Fallows | co-author of Our Towns    

Moderator - Ben Lamb | 1Berkshire


Laura Brennan | Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Ben Sosne | Berkshire Innovation Center

Carrie Holland | Mill Town Capital

Presented by:


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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | olli@berkshirecc.edu

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