(Seen here: Spencer Reiss of Wired Magazine.)
Pittsfield, MA : The Berkshire Forum (September 14-16 at the Colonial Theatre) is shaping up to be a spectacular meeting of the best minds in the Berkshires, drawing from the region’s business, creative, political and community based leadership. They will participate in a series of panels, talks, films and performances which will highlight the region’s riches – and challenges.
The Berkshire Forum will look closely at our organizational progress – and economy. Participants will examine its components, and offer analysis, stimulate brain storming and suggest planning initiatives. The three days of events will be intensive, but the expected results could help inform policy makers and encourage greater collaboration between the different players
The three-day Forum will kick off with a social gathering on the evening of Tuesday September 14 witha welcome reception, compliments of Baba Louie’s, Castle Street Café, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Marketplace of the Berkshires, Ooma Tesoro’s and Pittsfield Rye Bakery. Chef Michael Ballon will be signing copies of the Castle Street Café Cookbook and offering a tasting of some of its most popular recipes.
At 6:00 pm Tuesday September 14, Mayors Alcombright and Ruberto will offer the welcoming remarks and introduce the first speaker, William “Bill” Little, the former Chairman of the U.S. Chamber, now Chairman of the National Chamber Council, who will address the fluctuating job market. Wall Street Journal Contributor, Bret Swanson, will lead an audience Q&A session with Chairman Little and with the evening’s closing speaker, health policy expert and CNBC Commentator, Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
A “FOD Fest Youth Concert” will end the evening. Established by the friends of Daniel Pearl in memory of the late Wall Street Journal reporter and talented musician (North Adams Transcript, 1986; Berkshire Eagle, 1988), FOD Fest aims to strengthen communities through music.
“The Berkshire Forum is an exciting effort that will foster creative and intellectual innovation and collaboration throughout the region.”- Seth Rogovoy, Editor, Berkshire Living
The program will pick back up at 8:00 am on Wednesday September 15 with “Stone River,” a short film by local filmmakers Hal Clifford and Jason Houston. Author George Gilder will follow with a talk on “The Spirit of Enterprise: The Impact of Entrepreneurship on Business and Technology,” while his wife Cornelia “Nini” Brooke Gilder (Houses of the Berkshires) and daughter Louisa Gilder (The Age of Entanglement) hold a book signing in the Colonial lobby.
Michael Zivyak of Berkshire Living will host the “Isolating the Entrepreneurial Gene” panel, featuring the Seth and Mitch Nash of Blue Q, Beacon Cinema developer Richard Stanley, medical model guru Lisa Chamberlain and Mark Wolfe of Guardian Life’s Small Business Research Institute.
“The Commerce of Culture” panel hosted by Helena Fruscio of Berkshire Creative follows.
Fruscio will be joined by the Directors of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Mark Volpe), Norman Rockwell Museum (Laurie Norton Moffatt), Bennington Museum (Stephen Perkins), Berkshire Museum (Stuart Chase), and former Colonial Theatre Executive Director, David Fleming.
After the lunch break, Victor Romanul (violin) and Michael Zaretsky (viola) of the BSO will perform the Williams Duo Concertante, which was written by John Williams for Victor and Michael and publicly premiered by the duo in Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in August 2007.
Next up, Spencer Reiss of Wired magazine will host “The Investor-Entrepreneur Relationship: Building Businesses & Strategically Partnering for Success.” Following a “Cabaret-to-Go” performance by Sherri James Buxton and friends, Jessica Harris, host of NPR’s From Scratch Radio show, with host “The Impulse to Innovate” panel.
“Once upon a time, the Berkshires were the high-tech capital of the world. It could happen again.”
- Spencer Reiss, Contributing Editor, Wired magazine
Before the dinner break, Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Children’s Theatre Company will perform a selection of songs from “Annie”, which will be on stage at BTF through September 10 – 18.
The evening will continue with “Little Red Jiving Hood,” a short film by Ben Hillman, and The Berkshire Forum producers will then take the stage to introduce special guest Dr. Sanjoy Mahajan of MIT’s Teaching and Learning Laboratory.
Dr. Mahajan will deliver a talk on “Street-Fighting Math and Science: Down-and-dirty, Opportunistic Problem Solving,” and following a performance by the Youth Alive Step Team, will lead a panel of local educators in a discussion on how to improve teaching in our schools in order to compete globally.
At 8:00 am on Thursday September 16, Kevin Sprague of Studio Two in Lenox will wake the audience up with “Creativity is a Muscle: Building a World Where Creativity Thrives.” WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief, Charlie Deitz, will then host “Cleantech: Building Sustainable Communities” and will be joined by panel commentator, Spencer Reiss of Wired magazine.
Abbie Von Schlegell will host “Philanthropic Power: The Business of Giving” featuring Jennifer Dowley of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Nancy Fitzpatrick of The Fitzpatrick Companies, and FOD Fest Founder Todd Mack. Afterwards, singer, guitarist, writer and critic, Seth Rogovoy, will offer the “Kabbalah of Bob Dylan” musical performance.
Rogovoy will then introduce renowned career strategist and best-selling author, Carole Hyatt, who will treat audience members to a condensed version of her famous “Getting to Next” career workshop.
After the lunch break, Hal Clifford and Lou Bendrick’s “Cowboy Yoga” (film short) will lead attendees into the Forum’s final stretch. Rogovoy will return to the stage to host “Finding the Where of Happiness: Realizing the American Dream in Rural America” featuring Bill Hines Jr. of Interprint, Perri Petricca of Unistress, Marc Roberts of Superl Sequoia and Kelley Vickery, Executive Director of the Berkshire International Film Festival.
David Rooney, President of the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, will then deliver “A Plan For Action: The New Berkshire Blueprint” and discuss growing the Berkshire economy to improve the quality of life for residents and employers by leveraging the cultural and entrepreneurial richness of the region.
After a screening of Ryan Kampe’s short film “Breaking Pattern,” Senator Ben Downing will take the stage, along with representatives from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and WiredWest, to discuss “Broadband Expansion to Rural Communities.”
Martin “Marty” Baron, Editor of The Boston Globe, will then join Eugenie Sills, Publisher of The Women’s Times, for “Negotiating the Changing Media Landscape—an on-stage, unscripted conversation on why innovation, collaboration and engagement are the new watchwords of journalism.
Local author, Kevin O’Hara, will sum up the community-building theme of the inaugural Berkshire Forum with a reading on “The Heartbeat of the Community.” All present will be encouraged to remain in downtown Pittsfield for the scheduled September 3rd Thursday Festivities.
The complete 2010 Berkshire Forum agenda, including a downloadable, printable version, is available online at,http://www.theberkshireforum.com/forum-agenda/.
An inaugural rate of $49.99 for the entire three-day 2010 Berkshire Forum event is currently being offered to the community, with an additional discount available to members of all area Chambers of Commerce (by phone or in person at the Colonial box office). Educators and students will be offered complimentary seating with the presentation of a teacher/student ID, subject to availability.
Tickets are on sale now through www.TheBerkshireForum.com or by calling the Colonial box office at 413.997.4444.
About The Berkshire Forum: The Berkshire Forum is produced by Tina Chase and Mary Collins George, co-owners of Chasing George, LLC. Since 2000, Tina, an accountant and business manager, and Mary, a writer and technology analyst, have served various roles at Gilder Publishing, LLC in Great Barrington. MA. Together they co-produced a number of exclusive conferences around the U.S., including the internationally celebrated Gilder/Forbes Telecosm Conference, a technology-investment conference hosted annually by Forbes magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes and Berkshire-based Economist and Author, George Gilder. The Berkshire Forum is the Chasing George’s first event in the Berkshires; for the Berkshires.