Click each track icon to learn more about it and its three sessions.

 

Opening Keynote

Developing Resilient Communities: The Idea Friendly Method

September 24 | 8:00 am – 8:45 am

“As 2020 drags on, you don’t have to know all the answers for your community to survive,” Becky McCray says. “Innovative answers are out there, and you’ll find the best approaches when you are open to new ideas.” Her research-backed Idea Friendly Method teaches common sense ways to experiment your way forward with less delay, less frustration and more meaningful participation for everyone. In this keynote, McCray will present three practical ways to improve the climate for new ideas: how to attract people to your ideas and gather your crowd, how to reshape your crowd into a powerful force for good, and how small steps help you quickly crowdsource the best ideas in the shortest time and with the least risk. This simple, down to earth wisdom will help you position your community to thrive, no matter what the future brings. Welcome to an Idea Friendly Town!

Keynote: Becky McCray, Expert FOR Small Towns of SaveYour.Town

Introduction: Terrence Williams, President & COO of The Keene Sentinel

 

Arts & Culture

The Arts are an expression of our cultural roots, our reality today and our understanding of what may happen tomorrow, and, as such, are vital to the health of communities. The importance of adequate funding and that these funds represent the diaspora of the individuals in these communities and beyond feeds our sense of belonging, understanding and social development. The arts can also be an intricate part of economic development. A full spectrum of emotions and socio-economic benefits are in the hands of our painters, actors, museum curators, arts educators and more. Join us at Radically Rural as we engage community leaders and stakeholders to build through the arts an increased community understanding and a strong sense of place.

Who Should Attend: Philantropists, Nonprofit and Business Grantmakers and Evaluators, Municipal and City Leaders, Artists and Curators, Local arts agencies, Arts organization leaders and programming directors and development officers

Thank you to the Art & Culture track supporters:

 

SESSION ONE


Equity in Arts Funding

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

Access to arts and culture is important to community wellbeing. Arts participation supports intellectual and emotional development, and communities with rich cultural engagement demonstrate stronger sense of place and self-determination. So much so that cultural wellbeing is increasingly regarded as an indicator of health. And yet, it is frequently the case that the communities with the most distressing public health outcomes are the least likely to benefit from the connectedness, uplift, and personal development that arts and cultural engagement often inspires.

This is due in large part to the massive inequities in federal and philanthropic support for arts organizations that are led by and serve people of color, indigenous people, and folks living in rural America and Indian Country. Only 4% of arts foundation funding goes to arts organizations primarily serving people of color, and just 2% to cultural groups in rural America. There’s also troubling regional discrepancies. For example, nationwide foundations invest about 44% less in the American South than they do in the rest of the United States, and only 0.4 percent of the total annual grantmaking of large U.S. Foundations is invested in Native American communities.

There’s no question that we have a long way to go before foundation investments in cultural causes led by people of color and those living in rural America and Indian Country will reflect their stated desire for equity. This panel won’t debate that question but will share some of the powerful strategies for supporting artists and cultural workers of color and those living in rural communities and Indian Country.

We’ll also share a conversation on how artists and cultural workers can sustain themselves in this historical moment while also working towards a future of equity and liberation, and how grantmakers can begin to examine whether their current priorities can achieve their goals for justice and equity. We invite you to join us from 9-10:45 AM EST for this session.

Need some background before you join the conversion? [This link] will take you to a list of resources.

Panel Discussion:  Chrissy Deal, Director, Social Responsibility & Inclusion of Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Lori Pourier, President of First Peoples Fund;  Ron Ragin, Self-Employed, Artist, Consultant, Researcher, Coach; Erik Takeshita, Senior Fellow of ArtPlace America; and moderator Savannah Barrett, Exchange Director of Art of the Rural

This session is organized by Art of the Rural, a national organization working to advance rural culture and quality of life through relationships that connect communities, cultivate dialogue, and forward rural-urban exchange.

 

SESSION TWO


Community Connection Starts With the Arts

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Do you want to knit together a community of interest but wonder what to use and do to build those ties? The arts have the potential to sew the seams of a community frayed by a sense of loss or a lack of belonging. Communities across the country are harnessing the arts to build stronger regional communities and are reaping the socio-economic benefits.

Join a panel of experts as it leads demonstrations of art creation in order to build connections, empathy, understanding and inclusion. And learn how to measure the many successes of such projects.

Moderator: Anthony Poore, Executive Director of New Hampshire Humanities

Panel Discussion: Barbara Shafer Bacon, Co-Director, Animating Democracy of  Americans for the Arts; Rachel Balaban, Co-founder and co-director of Artists and Scientists as Partners; Catherine Stewart, Artistic Director of NH Theatre Project; HB Lozito, Executive Director of Out in the Open

 

SESSION THREE


The Essential Arts

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Let’s dig into the value and vibrancy of the rural arts scene and ask: What makes art essential in rural communities in this moment in time, and why?

This session will give participants tools to be better advocates for the arts in their communities, and it will be a great learning opportunity to better understand WHY the arts are so valuable. These Radically Rural panelists will use affirming language, data, and stories from the field that demonstrate the impact arts can have – from the individual to a group to a community-wide level.

After the discussion, the session will break out into smaller groups to dive into deeper questions about the current moment and how to maintain sustainability and strive for longevity within it. Can we imagine a radical reinvention of the sector together?

Let’s pool our resources to make a case for essential arts and move forward together!

Moderator: Marianne Barthel, Director of the Arts Program at Dartmouth Hitchcock

Speakers: Cynthia Cutting, director of Museum of the White Mountains; Amanda Whitworth, Founder Lead With Arts &  Articine; Kate Beever, Owner/Music Therapist of Maine Music & Health; Eugene Uman, Director of Vermont Jazz Center; Craig Stockwell, Visiting Artist, Advisor- MFA for Lesley University  

Thank you to the Art & Culture track supporters:
NEFA ; NHCF; Art of the RuralArts Alive!; and NH Creative Communities Network

 


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Clean Energy

The climate crisis is impacting rural communities disproportionately. These communities frequently depend on agriculture and tourism economies, but changes in weather patterns threaten both. Residents of rural communities also spend more of their household dollars on energy, studies show. Investment in energy efficiency, renewables and community solutions to electricity purchasing can provide opportunities to reduce costs, increase comfort and enhance rural living and resilience. Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to promote clean energy as a means to combat the climate crisis.

Who Should Attend: Municipal and city leaders, community, regional and statewide leaders; community organizers and energy committee members (local, regional, statewide); clean energy activists and advocates, farmers and foresters

SESSION ONE


Taking Control: Communities Save Money & the Planet by Joining Forces

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

Imagine your community or region working together toward energy goals while saving residents money, providing new innovations, increasing comfort, renewable mix, and local resilience. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) offers these potential benefits and more.

In this session, a panel of experts will present case studies of rural communities from various states that have transitioned to Community Choice Aggregation. Time will be spent describing the differences in CCA for states with vertically integrated utilities such as Vermont versus deregulated utilities such as New Hampshire. Participants will leave with the ability to support the drafting of CCA legislation in their state and will learn additional online resources and best practices for developing CCA.

Moderator: Samuel Golding, President of Community Choice Partners, Inc.

Panel Discussion: April Salas, Sustainability Director of the Town of Hanover; Lorenzo Kristov, Principal of Electric System Policy; D. Maurice “Don” Kreis, Consumer Advocate for NH Office of the Consumer Advocate; John Farrell, Co-director of Institute for Local Self-Reliance

 

SESSION TWO


Carbon Pricing – Can it Save the Planet?

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says pricing carbon is the single most effective way to combat the climate crisis. In this session, participants will be introduced to a free interactive climate solutions simulation tool from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. En-Roads is real-time scenario software that models carbon pricing and its effect on global temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Learn how carbon pricing can become a reality in the United States from a preeminent voice on carbon fee and dividend, Dr. Danny Richter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. He will speak about building bi-partisan support for HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act of 2019. The Act puts a steadily rising price on carbon and gives the money to households as dividends. Studies show that income, rather than geography, determines the effect of carbon pricing on citizens and two-thirds of households will end up ahead. Predictions indicate this Act could bring greenhouse gas emissions down 40% by 2032.

Speaker: Dr. Danny Richter, VP of Governmental Affairs at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, John Kondos, Director of Monadnock Sustainability Hub

 

SESSION THREE


Carbon Lockdown: Farming Helps Save the Planet

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Farmers are experiencing the environmental stresses and financial hardships caused by climate change. Altered growing cycles, poor soil health, and unpredictable water cycles have left many farms producing less while investing more. Regenerative agriculture holds the potential to sequester carbon and combat the impacts of the climate crisis. Join IPCC contributing author and professor Dr. Keith Paustian from Colorado State University and Dr. Adam Chambers from the United States Department of Agriculture as they discuss regenerative agriculture and its promise for farmers and foresters.

Speakers: Dr. Keith Paustian, Professor at Colorado State University; Dr. Adam Chambers,  Scientist at USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator of Rhode Island


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Community Journalism

Local journalism, a bedrock for informed and successful small communities, is under threat. More and more towns are losing their local news sources to the economic upheaval facing the news business and dramatic changes in the ways people get their information. We know that when a trusted local news operation leaves a town, taxes increase, bond rates worsen and community economic development suffers. Radically Rural seeks to provide ideas, solutions, and models for news organizations and communities to ensure the financial health of those operations so that residents can stay informed.

Who Should Attend: Journalists, community leaders and organizers, law- and policy-makers and government leaders.

SESSION ONE


What’s at Stake? Newsrooms increase online readership – and revenue – using data

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

What causes a non-reader to subscribe? What can be done to better retain existing readers? Who is having success among small news operations using research? And how are reporters and editors leading the effort? With traditional advertising in sharp decline, community news organizations are using research and data to find ways to increase paid readership and membership. Answers to all these questions and more are provided by an expert panel led by Amy Kovac-Ashley from the American Press Institute.

Moderator: Amy Kovac-Ashley, Vice President and Senior Director of American Press Institute

Panel Discussion: Autumn Philips, Managing Editor of Post & Courier; Liz White, Publisher of The Record-Journal; Les High, Publisher of The News Reporter

SESSION TWO


Transformation: Rural news breaks out in all sorts of new ways

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Digital start-ups, non-profit and co-op ventures, radical new thinking at small news organizations – new journalism models with promise are springing up across the country, suggesting ways these can be replicated at the small-town level. Kristen Hare of the Poynter Institute and a panel of innovators present new models of news and ideas that we can all take home.

Moderator: Kristen Hare, Reporter for Poynter Institute

Panel Discussion: Larry Ryckman, Editor and Founder of The Colorado Sun; Les Zaitz, Editor and Publisher of the Malheur Enterprise; Jim Iovino, Assistant Professor of Media Innovations of West Virginia University, Tamika Moore, Managing Producer of Red Clay Media

 

SESSION THREE


Crazy Good – 50 ideas that will make a difference

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

It’s back! A romp through some of the best ways to increase audience and revenue from some of the game-changing news organizations in the country. We present a lively show and tell on tactics, techniques and products (including examples of outstanding COVID-19 coverage). You will leave with a magazine profiling new approaches and ideas. Looking for an ROI on attending Radically Rural? This is it.

Speakers: Linda Conway, Executive Director of New England Newspaper and Press Association; Terrence Williams, President of The Keene Sentinel 


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Entrepreneurship

Each successive recession in recent history has left in its wake an ever-widening economic gap between rural communities and national trends. Along with a stunning lack of new business formation in rural America, if this trend continues after this current pandemic-induced recession, it will perpetuate ever-widening gaps in income, population, education attainment, innovation, politics, employment and opportunity. Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to create a rich culture of entrepreneurship, a thriving local economy and a vibrant community.

Who Should Attend: Entrepreneurs, economic and community development professionals, government leaders, business leaders, community and downtown advocates, entrepreneur support organizations, lenders and other business funders

SESSION ONE


Creating Conditions for a Successful and Uniquely Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

In Belgium, beer is brewed without adding yeast. Rather, breweries set conditions that allow local yeast strains to enter the brew to work their distinctive magic. Embedded in this approach is a powerful concept that can also guide your community as you work to brew the next batch of businesses. This session will explore how to leverage local conditions and multiple sources of funding to work their distinctive magic as you work to create your next batch of local business. Panelists will discuss the strategies they’ve used to work the assets they have and marshal the resources at hand to help businesses (and the communities in which they’re located) start, grow and pivot.

Speakers: Rich Grogan, Executive Director of Northern Border Regional Commission

Panel Discussion: Laura Oswald, Director of Economic Development, Washington County, NY; Lance Willard, City Manager of City of Columbiana; Laurel Adams, President of REDC; Sarah Ashton, Board President of The Cambridge Valley Community Development and Preservation Partnership, Inc.

 

SESSION TWO


PitchFork: Connecting Rural Startups with Local Funding

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

The PitchFork Challenge is a business pitch competition focused on supporting the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was intentionally created to provide money and momentum to increase the rate of rural startups by supporting the idea phase and the early challenging years of being a small rural business. We created the PitchFork program in 2016 in response to the low startup rates in rural areas after the great recession. This is not just another pitch competition, but a great way to jumpstart ideas, connections, and small businesses. This session opens with a live pitch event, followed by a discussion with its organizers and a shared “operating manual” about how you can take this concept to your community. The session ends with the announcement of the winners and the presentation of cash awards of $10,000 and $1,000.

For the Radically Rural Summit, the PitchFork Challenge offers cash awards, but this pitch event can also serve as a model to bring together banks, community organizations, individuals, and others interesting in ensuring local businesses can access local loans and local investors. Join the excitement as these local rural entrepreneurs pitch their business and receive the “operating manual” on how to run this event in your own community. We’ll share all that we learned in putting this challenge together so you can take it back to your rural area and create something similar, but also unique to your region. The PitchFork Challenge How-To Guide is available on the Hannah Grimes Center’s website. We hope today’s event will inspire more rural entrepreneurs everywhere to start a business.

PitchFork Challenge Emcee: Puja Thapa, Student at Keene State College

Speakers: David Deziel, Founder and Principal of DavidGeorge Communications, LLC; Mary Ann Kristiansen, Founder and Executive Director of Hannah Grimes Center; Sara Powell, Program Director of Hannah Grimes Center

Judges: Roy Wallen, CEO of Directional Healthcare Advisors; Susan Newcomer; Brittany Migneault, Owner/Baker of The Bread Shed; Jim Verzino, President and CFO of Food Creators Financial, LLC; Damian Wasserbauer, Principal of Wasserbauer Intellectual Property Law, PLLC

 

SESSION THREE


Rebuild Your Community Co-operatively!

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Co-operative enterprise has been part of the American economy since its beginnings, and has played a particularly important role in our rural communities.  Today, 1 in 3 people in the U.S. being co-op members and we are seeing this business model used in new and innovative ways.  Co-ops enable people to work together to meet their needs and aspirations, providing themselves with everything from farm supplies to groceries, good jobs to financial services, and shelter to electricity.  Learn how the co-operative model is being used to help small towns provide access to fresh food when the last grocery store has left the area; or how co-ops in the South help Black farmers hold on to their farms and empower their communities; or how retiring business owners are using co-ops to transition to shared ownership with their employees and communities, retaining jobs and infrastructure; or enabling residents of manufactured housing to own their neighborhoods, together.  Co-operatives are member-owned and democratically-governed, offering a business model that is more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.  As we work to rebuild our communities in the wake of COVID-19, let’s rebuild co-operatively

Moderator: Erbin Crowell, Executive Director of Neighboring Food Co-op Association

Panel Discussion: Rob Brown, Program Director of Cooperative Development Institute; Lori Capouch, Rural Development Director for North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives; Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA, LLC; Terence Courtney, Director of Cooperative Development & Strategic Initiatives of Federation of Southern Cooperatives; Carl Woodruff, Founder, Co-Owner, and Manager at Oxbow Design Build Cooperative


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Land & Community

Land use permeates conversations in rural communities, from forestry to cattle grazing, to farming and to recreation. The livelihoods of these towns are often tied to the surrounding landscape and lands. Because the health of this land is impacted by the climate crisis, communities must act, adjust and adapt. Join Radically Rural as we introduce how people can better connect to the land for economic, social and healing benefits.

Who Should Attend: Farmers, Agricultural Service Providers, Environmental Professionals, Public Health Professionals, Planners , Students of Environment and Agriculture Programs, Community members interested in improving the agricultural economy of their region, Community members interested in improving public health and land stewardship

SESSION ONE


Connecting with Nature: Rural Implications for Health and Land Use

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

It is common knowledge that human survival depends on clean air, clean water and other natural resources for basic needs like food and shelter. Since the beginning of the 21st century, evidence has been rapidly accumulating that people’s wellbeing depends not just on extracting resources from nature, but also on frequent contact with nature for health, happiness and optimal functioning. Louise Chawla, an environmental psychologist, reviews major findings on connecting with nature and wellbeing, with special attention to studies with rural populations. She explores the questions—What are the implications of this research for new ways of communicating the value of biodiverse landscapes? How can this research be applied to provide healthy activities in nature for everyone, at every age, in rural towns and on the land? 

The talk will be followed by an overview of “nature prescriptions” to connect people with nature in rural communities, and case studies of programs that apply this research to engage people in enjoying and conserving natural lands. In conclusion, the audience will have time for a dialogue with presenters about possibilities for applying these ideas in their regions. 

Speaker: Louise Chawla, Professor Emerita of Community Engagement, Design and Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder

Panel Discussion: Richard Christiana, Associate Professor of Public Health at Appalachian State University; Jason Urroz, Director of Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation; Chris Proctor, Director of Community Benefit of Barton Healthcare System

 

SESSION TWO


Crazy Good: Food Hubs? Key to Vibrant Rural Communities

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Are you a busy farmer looking for innovative ways to sell your products? Or a Co-op or restaurant manager looking for local farm products? Or a mindful consumer? Food hubs to the rescue! Food hubs help small farmers with production, distribution, and marketing services, and these services increase the economic strength of rural communities.

Food hubs are growing, with more than 200 in the United States, and becoming an established sector that contributes to the vitality of a region’s economy. They support local farmers and help boost profits. Join a panel from food hub communities for an inside peek into how successful hubs operate. Leave with a vision to initiate a food hub in your region and contribute to the vibrancy of your rural community’s culture, economy, and food system.

Moderator: Ben Hewitt, Donor Relations Lead of Rural Vermont

Panel Discussion: Andre Cantelmo, Founder of Three River Farmers Alliance; Mary Macdonald, Co-Owner/Co-Founder of The Belknap Foodshed and Genuine Local; Lauren Howard, Co-Founder & Co-Director of Kearsarge Food Hub; France Hahn, Co-Founder & Co-Director of Kearsarge Food Hub; Richard Berkfield, Founder/Executive Director of Food Connects

 

SESSION THREE


Fiber: Building a Regional Fibershed in this New Frontier

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Do you promote a locavore lifestyle in your rural community? Have you thought about the next step of growing, producing and composting local textiles? Our prospective speaker, Rebecca Burgess is working on just these goals in her northern California community and wants others to build Fibersheds too.

Fiber offers a new frontier for localizing efforts that can have powerful economic, environmental and social impacts. Soil-to-soil fiber systems can play a vital role in generating lasting prosperity with positive effects on regional economies, global climate and the health and diversity of our ecosystems. Imagine a community built around producing, creating, marketing and selling quality – rather than quantity – clothing. These community ties build resilience. Come and be inspired. Leave with tools to reimagine your community and its connection with clothes.

Speaker: Rebecca Burgess, Executive Director of Fibershed; Meg Erskine, Co-Founder & CEO of Multicultural Refugee Coalition; Lani Estill, Rural Entrepreneur – Accountant of Lani’s Lana ~ Fine Rambouillet Wool; Marcail McWilliams, Owner of Valley Oak Wool Mill


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Main Street

Main Streets are the socio-economic centers of rural communities. Their ability to thrive is essential to the continued economic success of small cities and towns, and these centers imbue their residents with a sense of place. This awareness is often tied to the past, inextricability set in the present and looking toward the future. Facing challenges of today means keeping Main Street surviving and even thriving. Tomorrow’s future doesn’t mean leaving everything behind but, rather, acknowledging what to save and what to improve. Reimagining Main Streets can enliven stakeholders and residents in fundamentally new ways. Join us at Radically Rural as we explore the rebirth of Main Street and the positive impacts available to rural communities.

Who Should Attend: Business owners and professionals, municipal and city planners, community members, volunteers and indivduals interested in community revitalization.

SESSION ONE


Take Your Empty Buildings off Furlough!

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

Want to create opportunity in those Main Street empty buildings but don’t know how? Join Deb Brown, co-founder of SaveYour.Town, as she takes you on an odyssey to reimagine and reinvigorate a small town’s Main Street. Envision with Deb what these buildings can become. Learn to communicate with owners in new ways to change their minds and join your vision. Hear about communities already doing this work and reaping benefits. And don’t forget those empty lots, too!

Speaker: Deb Brown, Co-Founder of SaveYour.Town

 

SESSION TWO


New Ruralism: Making It on Main Street

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

What’s New Ruralism? It’s reimagining rural Main Streets to be more than structures, but alive with the hum of community answering the needs of it residents. From Arts Collaboratives to Food Hubs to Community Centers locally driven programs are drawing in community, creating hubs and enriching rural regions.

Join the New Ruralism Project on a virtual success tour of case studies. Start in Alaska for a story of spirit as locals take control of their food system to reduce costs and provide environmental and social sustainability; travel on to New York to learn how to turn an empty building into a thriving Community Center; go south to Alabama to learn lessons from an old auto dealership’s transformation into a cultural arts hub for the community and so much more. Leave inspired with case studies and references to provide guidance to create your own success story.

New Ruralism is a project of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) with support from APA and its Small Town and Rural Planning Division.

Speakers: Jo Anne Carr, Director of Planning & Economic Development for the Town of Jaffrey; Jennifer Whittaker, Research Associate for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

 

SESSION THREE


Downtown Revitalization through Community Collaboration

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Rural downtowns have emptied with the shift of consumer spending habits to the online environment.  Vacant store fronts and underutilized upper stories in deteriorated historic buildings have become commonplace on Main Street.  Traditional development isn’t happening because it simply doesn’t pencil out – it costs three times as much to redevelop a building as its value when completed.  Is there a solution to reverse this trend and bring life back to your downtown?  There is and it lies in the power of the community.  Learn how community members can become developers and answer the question “How does a community begin a downtown revitalization project?”

Speaker: Robert Stevens, P.C., Founder and President of Stevens & Associates,  Founder and Principal with M&S Development; William Colvin – Assistant Director/Director of Community & Economic Development, Bennington County Regional Commission; Moderator: Katie Stuart-Buckley

 

Closing Keynote

September 24 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Drawing on four-decades of experience helping rural communities prosper, Molinaro will explore the question: “Why do some rural communities seem to thrive against the odds, while others that have a lot going for them slip into decay?” Despite the vast differences among rural places, decades of research and experience show common characteristics that differentiate rural communities that do best over time, and are resilient in the face of adversity.  The good news, according to Molinaro, is that these characteristics can be developed by almost any community.  He argues that resilient communities are found in the connections, values and skillsets already present in community members and that a collaborative spirit, and knowledge of the place and the people who care for it, are the only superpowers required to build an irrepressible rural path forward.

Keynote: John Molinaro, Principal of RES Associates

Introduction: Mary Ann Kristiansen, Founder and Executive Director of Hannah Grimes Center


Tracks: Arts & Culture | Clean Energy | Community Journalism | Entrepreneurship | Land & Community | Main Street

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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