About Us

What is Radically Rural?

Radically Rural (RR) is a grassroots movement founded in Keene, NH, that aims to amplify collective rural impact by connecting folks with each other and with ideas.  Through virtual Roundtables, our annual September summit, chat groups, and more, RR offers a platform for rural leaders across the country to learn from each other.  Every year, the RR summit in New Hampshire convenes hundreds of diverse and interesting people, cultivates engaging and memorable sessions, and offers great local food and entertainment — all wrapped up in an amazing small New England town experience. Our attendees leave the Radically Rural Summit overflowing with great ideas and filled with inspiration.

History

Radically Rural, as a summit, started in 2018 as a partnership between the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and The Keene Sentinel.

The two organizations came together in 2016 and 2017 to stage CONNECT, an event initiated by Hannah Grimes in 2006 to connect graduates of its business programs. The event grew to include graduates and participants of HGC programming, funders, board members, and the local business and community.

The new approach and concept of CONNECT, to showcase the innovation and entrepreneurship in the Monadnock Region, drew crowds of 400 to network in a fusion of art, food, and music. This success suggested something bigger was possible: A small town summit at which experts in the arts, downtowns, entrepreneurship, land use, clean energy, healthcare, and journalism could gather and share thoughts on sustainable, thriving rural communities. Radically Rural was born with an emphasis, as its name suggests, on inventive, contemporary approaches that attendees could absorb and take home.

The 2018 summit drew more than 500 registrants from 24 states. Since then it has grown every year, and typically hosts close to 600 folks from 40+ countries and Canada. 

In 2020 the summit shifted to all virtual due to the pandemic.  In 2021, the Hannah Grimes Center hired a full time director to manage and expand RR. The summits were hybrid in 2021 and 2021.  2023 marked Radically Rural’s return to an in-person only summit, finding the sessions and connections to be more powerful when everyone gathers together. We are committed to accessibility with sliding scale ticket prices and free virtual events year-round. 2023 was also the first year that a policy white paper was written, memorializing the rural issues our attendees told us they cared about. Even though RR tends to focus on grassroots innovation and solutions, this begins to pave the way for the network to engage in policy and advocate for the needs of our people.

The growth doesn’t end there–every year we learn and evolve thanks to our unbelievable RR community! Join us to see what comes next. 

Annual Impact Reports

2023 Annual Impact Report

2022 Annual Impact Report

 


Summit Program Tracks

Program tracks feature topics that offer strategic opportunities for transformation in rural communities

Arts & Culture

The arts are an expression of identity and culture that brings together communities of people to feed our sense of belonging, understanding, and social development. Radically Rural works to make this expression more accessible by sharing successful programs and ideas.

Clean Energy

Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines, and models for rural communities to promote clean energy and combat the climate crisis.

Community Journalism

Radically Rural provides ideas, solutions, and models for local news organizations to succeed in the face of economic upheaval and changes in the ways people receive their information. 

Entrepreneurship

Radically Rural encourages community leaders and entrepreneurs to create thriving local economies by providing successful solutions, guidelines, and models for small business resources.

All in for Health

Rural health encompasses so much more than doctors and hospitals. Join Radically Rural in exploring different aspects of community health through successful models, ideas, and solutions.

Land & Community

Learn how to better connect to the land and reap economic, social, and environmental results with Radically Rural.

Main Street

Join Radically Rural in exploring the rebirth of main streets and how these socio-economic hubs can have positive impacts on rural communities.

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners