From Textile Mills to AI and Life Sciences: Massachusetts’ Economic Revolution

By the late 1960s and early 1970s Massachusetts was an economic backwater. Long past the booming textile and industrial trade era, the future seemed uncertain, even bleak. Do you remember the gas lines of the early 1970s and the flight of manufacturing jobs to the South? Compare these memories with the remarkable vigor and optimism of today’s innovation economy. How did we get here and what may happen in the future?

Over six sessions we will review how major technological innovations were developed, commercialized, and financed. We will look at some of the technological visionaries, entrepreneurs, and risk takers who helped to make these transformations happen. Below are the topics we’ll explore:

● Goodbye Big Blue, hello mini-computers and word processing

● PCs & software: IT empires under threat

● Networked computers: “You’ve got mail”, telecom rules revised

● The Internet: search engines, smart phones, and social media

● Biotech: from bytes to DNA

● “Hello, Hal”: artificial intelligence and big data

  • Group Leader(s): JOHN F. HODGMAN
  • Days: Thursdays
  • Times: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Start Date: 10/3/2019
  • End Date: 11/7/2019
  • Sessions: 6
  • Exceptions: none
  • Venue: The Engineering Center
  • Teaching Style: Lecture with questions
  • Weekly Preparation: None
  • Biography:

    From 1968 to 1983 John F. Hodgman was a personnel officer in one of the Big Eight CPA firms, the director of the Massachusetts Employment Security Agency, and president of a computer software company. In 1984, he became president of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), the Commonwealth’s venture capital firm, until his retirement in 2001. Subsequently, he taught entrepreneurship courses at Tufts University until his second and final retirement in 2015.

  • Address: 1 Walnut Street, Boston, MA 02108