Accelerating learning and economic development for the Berkshires

New technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics are having a major impact on the nature of work, labor markets, education and training, economic development and more. We are committed to advancing regional understanding of the nature and potential of current and emergent technologies, and how best to take advantage of them while enhancing equity in the Berkshires.

The Tech Impact Collaborative, an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) initiative in cooperation with 1Berkshire and the Berkshire Innovation Center, provides an interactive platform with extensive content to help leverage technology with the following aims:

  • Networking:

    Encourage the exchange of innovative ideas and networking among regional stakeholders

  • Skills:

    Increase the technological skills and applications for industry and business, educational institutions, non-profits and government

  • Investment:

    Support and attract new investment that accelerates economic growth, job creation and workforce development in the Berkshires

  • Visibility:

    Elevate the visibility and brand of our region to support community advancement

Past Events


Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 1: History & Overview

Wednesday, October 12 held via Zoom

The Berkshires has a rich history of tech innovation. This lecture walked us through that history and set a foundation for the rest of the lecture series.

Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 2: A Low-Carbon Energy Industry is Coming. What Does That Mean for the Berkshires?

Wednesday, October 19 held via Zoom

Climate mitigation and greenhouse gas reduction are a major societal focus. This lecture focuses on what firms in the Berkshires are doing to face these challenges in the areas of wind, solar, and electric transportation.

Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 3: Aerospace and Defense

Wednesday, October 26 held via Zoom

This lecture looked at the size and scope of the aerospace and defense sector both at the state level and local to this region, and in addition how they are staying competitive and where growth will occur in the next decade.

Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 4: Life Sciences

Wednesday, November 2 held via Zoom

Massachusetts is a global leader in the biotech and life sciences sector. This lecture will be an overview of the sector's growth, the effect the pandemic has had, and what careers are and will be in demand.

Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 5: Creative Economy

Wednesday, November 9 held via Zoom

A stimulating discussion by organizations in the arts arena that are using technology in the creative process including exhibitions, production, learning, and interpretation. Learn about how tech is enabling our creative ecosystem. Hear leading organizations discuss how they are using technology now, and speak to emergent trends/impacts of tech applications driving their mission and contributing to the cultural and economic vitality across the Berkshire region.

Innovation in the Berkshires Lecture 6: A Look Ahead

Wednesday, November 16 held via Zoom

Building on our innovative tech history, learn about the current state of our regional tech ecosystem and how we will be moving forward. Panelists are: Ben Lamb, Director of Economic Development, 1Berkshire; Ben Sosne, Executive Director, Berkshire Innovation Center; and Bob Braddick, Advisor

Electrifying Transportation

A Decade of Decarbonization

Climate Change Risks and Opportunities

The Future of Cryptocurrency

Big Data's Impact on Workforce Success & Equity

The Digital Economy In Rural America: Closing the Opportunity Gap

Mistrust: A Conversation On Harnessing Technology for the Public Good

Content Library

Fall 2020 Course: Introduction to the Impact of Transformative Technologies on Work and Society


The Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) and 1Berkshire are core collaborative partners with OLLI at BCC for the Tech Impact Forum. The Forum also partners with Williams College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. The Tech Impact Forum initiative is organized by an ad hoc committee of OLLI members, and 1Berkshire and BIC staff.

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
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
1Berkshire Director of Economic Development, Ben Lamb
This Tech Impact Forum 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
Executive Director of OLLI Megan Whilden
© 2020, Berkshire Innovation Center

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