Entrepreneurship Track

This track will explore the impact of policy, civic leadership, and the importance of grassroots entrepreneurial support organizations on the growth of resilient rural entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Session 1: Policy and Entrepreneurship

What makes a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem? What are the tools and resources that support that? Policy is and should be one of the tools that supports entrepreneur friendly communities. We will discuss the importance and future of policy to support entrepreneurs, local small businesses, and a vibrant rural entrepreneurial ecosystem.

When you visit a thriving small town have you wondered what has contributed to the unique feeling and function of that place? None of it happens by accident, it is the work of engaged and empowered civic leaders supporting entrepreneurs and community members.

Hear from a panel of some of those engaged civic leaders, about their successes and challenges in supporting rural entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Session 2: Policy in Action

Join us for part two of our exploration of policy and rural entrepreneurial ecosystems in an interactive workshop style session. We will spend 90 minutes digging into real stories and examples of how these projects and initiatives happen in rural communities around the country. Participants will leave with a working understanding of how they can start or continue this work back home.

Community Journalism Track

The Community Journalism Track for Radically Rural assembles expert journalists to help small news organizations build sustainability. Each year we pull together a program that is scalable for rural newsrooms, providing advice and tips that build more responsiveness and relevancy.

Session 1: Covering the Divide

An exploration of how news organizations can better serve communities that are split over politics, the pandemic, policing, voting and more.

Moderator – Dana Coester is the editor in chief for 100 Days in Appalachia. Dana also serves as creative director for the West Virginia University Media Innovation Center where she leads the Center’s Innovators-in-Residence program. She is passionate about community media, women in technology and privacy and social equity in emerging technology. Dana is currently directing the documentary film Raised by Wolves about youth and online hate in the region, as well as the documentary film Muslim in Appalachia.

Panelists – Tony Baranowski and Sara Konrad Baranowski , co-publishers, the Iowa Falls Times Citizen, Iowa. Peter Huoppi, director, multimedia, The Day, New London, CT, and co-producer of the documentary, “Those People.”

Session 2: Better Judgment

How innovative newsrooms are changing their coverage of cops and courts to provide fairer, more equitable news reporting.

Moderator – Cierra Hinton, publisher, Scalawag. Hinton has an undying love and passion for the complicated South, which she brings to Scalawag where she oversees operations and planning. According to its mission, through journalism and storytelling, Scalawag works in solidarity with oppressed communities in the South to disrupt and shift the narratives that keep power and wealth in the hands of the few.

Panelists – Paul Cuno-Booth, freelance journalist and reporter on several alternative justice projects in New Hampshire. Molly Born, West Virginia multimedia producer and educator, now documenting West Virginia’s history and future.

Session 3: Crazy Good

50 ideas to make you a better journalist.

Speaker – Jeremy Caplan, director of teaching and learning at City University of New York Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Caplan teaches classes, workshops and webinars on entrepreneurial and digital journalism. He is a former Ford Fellow in Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Poynter Institute, a Wiegers Fellow at Columbia Business School, where he earned his MBA, and Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia Journalism School, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism.

Arts & Culture Track

Session 1: Citizens Institute on Rural Design

Come talk about how good design work can address challenges and transform rural communities. Keene is in their current 4-community cohort receiving design services, and part of a larger 26 community cohort participating in learning about community development through the arts. They’re interested in coming, talking and inviting some of their past communities to talk about projects in a hybrid format.

Session 2: Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts will be talking about a HUGE new initiative on collecting information on BIPOC organizations and communities across America as part of their Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 6. Dr. Genna Styles-Lyas is talking with and developing outreach ideas with communities across the country – including tiny rural ones like ours that think of themselves as predominantly white. She’s interested in sharing what she’s discovering about diversity in rural America’s arts communities.

Land & Community Track

Session 1: Grain Sheds

Grainsheds are transforming rural economies while engaging community stakeholders across professions. Grainsheds build and connect regional grain supply chains to support local businesses and empower rural economies, they create cohesive networks that enhance collaboration between local growers, processors, and makers, while also increasing awareness and understanding of the value of region grains. This session provides a platform for speakers from different roles throughout the grainshed to share its impact, and to provide a toolkit for attendees to build and engage their regional grianshed.

Speakers – Emily Cayer, Northeast Grainshed Alliance, Andrea Stanley – Valley Malt and Ground Up Grain (maltster and miller), Lenny Bussanich – River Valley Community Grains, Barry Labendz – Kent Falls Brewing Co. – (Brewer), Sarah Cox – Tuckaway Farms – (farmer and miller and CSA)

Session 2: Youth Climate Activists Panel Collab with Clean Energy

As the impacts of climate change become apparent throughout rural life, now more than ever, it is time to act. In the past few years, youth climate activists have garnered worldwide attention for their commitment to our plant and our future. This panel will spotlight youth activists engaging rural communities.

Speakers – Phoebe Dolan, Co-Director of Maine Youth Power, Hubbard Brook

Session 3: Inclusivity and Outdoors

When you think of a hiker, skier, or camper, who do you picture? Due to historic discrimination outdoor spaces lack inclusivity. Through prioritizing inclusivity, safe spaces, and accessibility, these organizations work towards making the outdoors a welcoming place for all. Hear from panelists on the communities they serve, and the ways that they work to build inclusivity and engagement in rural and non-rural spaces.

Speakers – Ana Seiler, The Venture Out Project

Clean Energy Track

Session 1: Clean Energy Infrastructure – Opportunities and How to Access Federal Funds

The Bi-Partisan infrastructure Bill includes a variety of provisions to support the development of clean energy infrastructure, including electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and electric school buses for school districts among many other clean energy initiatives. This session will provide information on how federal funds to support these initiatives will flow to the states and the processes to obtain funding.

Moderator – Rob Werner, NH State Director of the League of Conservation Voters

Panelists- Jim O’Brien, Director of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy, and a speaker from the federal government/White House.

Session 2: Youth Climate Activists Panel Collab with Land & Community

As the impacts of climate change become apparent throughout rural life, now more than ever, it is time to act. In the past few years, youth climate activists have garnered worldwide attention for their commitment to our plant and our future. This panel will spotlight youth activists engaging rural communities.

Speakers – Phoebe Dolan, Co-Director of Maine Youth Power, Hubbard Brook

Session 3: Natural Climate Solutions and Climate Action

As Congress prepares to reauthorize the federal farm bill in 2023 (the farm bill is reauthorized on a five year cycle), opportunities to encourage and support local agriculture production and natural climate solutions abound. This session will examine various programs and initiatives that will be considered by Congress and the implications for building a more resilient agricultural sector and a clean energy economy.

Panelists – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-2), and Kathleen Merrigan, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and the Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University

All in for Health Track

Session 2: Health from the Start Collab with Main Street

How can you strengthen your community’s efforts to build a sustainable vision of health and well-being? Join us to hear the broad brush on social determinants of health. Shelter and a safe environment are core elements for raising a healthy community. Rural areas are losing population: what can we do to provide adequate housing for all, and support for young people? Building a strong workforce and conscientious community means supporting the children. Learn how we can help them succeed in school and grow into adults with meaningful work and connections in our community.

Ericka Burroughs-Girardi will ground us in the County Health Rankings model and approach to understanding how it takes all of us working together to build a healthy community. Romi Hall will share examples from NeighborWorks America rural communities addressing the critical housing shortages leaving people without homes. Kini-Ana Tinkham and Ruby Parker will explain the Maine Resilience Building Network data and science about the impact of trauma and the positive impact of resilience on children’s brain development. They will share inspiring stories of the Mattering Initiative to ensure all youth can see how they matter, in families, schools and communities. We close with suggestions for you to take home: what can you do, regardless of your position or role, to build a healthier and more resilient community?

Speakers – Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, Senior Outreach Specialist, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps; Romi Hall, Director, Healthy Homes and Communities, Neighborworks; Kini-Ana Tinkham, Executive Director and Ruby Parker, Engagement and Education Director, Maine Resilience Building Network

Session 3: Homegrown Care

Health is grown like a garden and it takes more than just one person. Just as a farm is a family, a healthcare worker without the support of its residents causes gaps in care. Join Homegrown Care to learn how to cultivate a community centered around the well-being of its residents. This session features Ray Merenstein, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Mental Illness Colorado, and Corinne Cavendar, Behavioral Health Solutions Executive Assistant from Tri-County Health Network.

These community mental health educators are equipped with knowledge of model projects designed by NAMI, Mental Health First Aid, and SafeTALK Suicide. We’ll examine these resources together and discuss how you can implement them in your own town. Join us in learning about behavioral health, a topic that cries for support during this mental health epidemic coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Rural regions come together as a community to collaborate on how to help heal mind, body and soul.

Speakers – Ray Merenstein, Executive Director of NAMI Colorado and Corinne Cavendar, Behavioral Health Solutions Executive Assistant from Tri-County Health Network.

Main Street Track

Session 2: Health from the Start Collab with All in for Health

How can you strengthen your community’s efforts to build a sustainable vision of health and well-being? Join us to hear the broad brush on social determinants of health. Shelter and a safe environment are core elements for raising a healthy community. Rural areas are losing population: what can we do to provide adequate housing for all, and support for young people? Building a strong workforce and conscientious community means supporting the children. Learn how we can help them succeed in school and grow into adults with meaningful work and connections in our community.

Ericka Burroughs-Girardi will ground us in the County Health Rankings model and approach to understanding how it takes all of us working together to build a healthy community. Romi Hall will share examples from NeighborWorks America rural communities addressing the critical housing shortages leaving people without homes. Kini-Ana Tinkham and Ruby Parker will explain the Maine Resilience Building Network data and science about the impact of trauma and the positive impact of resilience on children’s brain development. They will share inspiring stories of the Mattering Initiative to ensure all youth can see how they matter, in families, schools and communities. We close with suggestions for you to take home: what can you do, regardless of your position or role, to build a healthier and more resilient community?

Speakers – Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, Senior Outreach Specialist, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps; Romi Hall, Director, Healthy Homes and Communities, Neighborworks; Kini-Ana Tinkham, Executive Director and Ruby Parker, Engagement and Education Director, Maine Resilience Building Network

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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