OLLI, 1Berkshire & BIC Launch Transformative Technology Fall Series

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 1Berkshire, The Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI) announced the launch of "The Impact of Transformational Technologies on Work and Society" series. 
 
This eight-week course of weekly webinars will bring regional, national, and global experts and leaders together to share and discuss 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," Megan Whilden, Executive Director of OLLI said.
 
"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," Ben Lamb, 1Berkshire Director of Economic Development said.
 
Topics range from artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, medicine, education, remote work and more. 
 
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
 
"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.
 
Additional details about the Transformational Technology series can be found here.
 
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 pm to 3 pm beginning Sept. 24 or can view the class asynchronously through a dedicated link the day after each class session.
 
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Pittsfield Seeks Input For Draft Bicycle Facilities Master Plan

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city of Pittsfield is requesting public input for its draft Bicycle Facilities Master Plan.
 
The plan aims to establish a safe, comfortable and connected bicycle network throughout the city that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
 
"With this project, the City of Pittsfield is taking a significant step in its steadfast commitment to plan and implement a safe and accessible citywide network for people who bike for various reasons to a range of destinations throughout Pittsfield," City Planner CJ Hoss said. "The development of this master plan will be a collaborative process, and we are seeking to hear from the community."
 
The master plan will allow the city to develop a long-term citywide vision for a bicycle network and grow beyond a "one-street-at-a-time" planning approach, Hoss said. The city has retained Kittleson and Associations Inc., a nationally renowned transportation focused consulting firm, to lead this project.
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