On October 20, 2020, leaders in science, technology, education, cultural institutions, community organizations, public agencies, and philanthropy came together to explore the frontiers of science, technology, learning, and community engagement in order to set course toward a more equitable tomorrow.

Taking inspiration from the 2016 White House Frontiers Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the New Frontiers summit boldly envisioned a future in which science, communities, and policymakers work in partnership to address humanity’s most pressing challenges. Such a future demands creative new approaches to research and development, education and lifelong learning, civic participation, and policy development.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the economic crisis it has caused and the inequities it has laid bare, further emphasizes the need for collaboration among scientists, communities, and policymakers. New Frontiers offers leaders an opportunity to get inspired, connect with each other, and envision a path forward.

The New Frontiers summit was organized by the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), a professional membership organization with a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people.

Participation Across Sectors

New Frontiers was  organized  around four  frontiers  of science, technology, and human well-being, which all require an interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration among local and global communities. The summit included leaders who are ready to collaborate in advancing scientific research, developing advanced technology, and creating innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges, while engaging their communities as full participants in these processes. As the summit was convened as part of the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference, it also included science-engagement professionals and leaders of cultural institutions from across North America and around the world.

Grounded in Pittsburgh

As a virtual national summit, New Frontiers remained grounded in the work and partnerships underway across Pittsburgh—a community at the forefront of scientific research and technological innovation that is also developing world-leading models for lifelong learning and community engagement.

The Richard King Mellon FoundationThe Grable Foundation, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation generously supported the New Frontiers summit. Remake Learning and other leading organizations in the Pittsburgh region also collaborated to inform the summit.

Selected recordings from the summit will be available in 2021. Contact newfrontiers@astc.org with questions.

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