Authority on Access and Use of Broadband to Foster Rural Prosperity to Speak at Radically Rural Summit

Roberto Gallardo, assistant director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development at Purdue University, and a national authority on the use of technology for economic development in rural areas will be speaking at the Radically Rural Summit, on Friday, September 28, 2018.

Dr. Gallardo’s presentation, “Rural Renaissance and Digital Parity” will explore how the digital age can eliminate density and geographic proximity requirements that were so critical during the industrial age. According to Gallardo, the digital age makes it possible for a rural community to maintain its “rural” feel and continue to leverage its natural amenities while taking advantage of what only dense urban areas once enjoyed. “To achieve #Rural2.0, rural communities need ultra-fast internet connectivity and digital skills,” said Gallardo. “More importantly, we need to challenge the traditional 20th century mindset that still exists in rural communities, and focus on the adoption and use of technology.

“Roberto is an engaging speaker and offers remarkable insight into how access to broadband and adoption of online technology can transform rural areas — while maintaining their rural character,” said Mary Ann Kristiansen, executive director of the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship. “He cuts through outdated stereotypes and opinions with his research and data-driven findings. Roberto takes a disciplined, fact-based approach to understanding how technology can benefit rural areas. We are delighted to have him join us at Radically Rural.”

Radically Rural is a two-day summit expected to attract 500 people from New England, the Northeast, and across the country who are passionate about creating vibrant, robust rural communities and eager to learn, connect, and lead change. The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and The Keene Sentinel are partnering to present Radically Rural, which will be held in Keene, September 27-28, 2018.

Gallardo has worked with rural communities over the past decade conducting research and developing strategies for local and regional community economic development, including use of technology for development. He has authored more than 70 articles regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide, and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development. Gallardo is also the author of  “Responsive Countryside: The Digital Age & Rural Communities,” which highlights a 21st century community development model that helps rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. Gallardo is also a TEDx speaker and his work has been featured in WIRED magazine.

In addition to serving as Assistant Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development , Gallardo is also a Purdue Extension Community & Regional Economics Specialist. He holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master’s in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

All are welcome to attend Radically Rural. For more information and to register, visit

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