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Keynote Speaker

To Be Announced

Entrepreneurship Track

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

Track Leaders: Chris Harris, Senior Director of Growth and Strategy, Kansas Leadership Center & Sara Powell, Program Director, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship

Sessions to be announced…

Community Journalism Track

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. 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.

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

Track Leader: Terrence Williams, President & COO, The Keene Sentinel

Sessions to be announced…

Arts & Culture Track

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 our rural communities. The arts feed our sense of belonging, understanding and social development and are an excellent means of sharing culture and connecting through beauty and stories. The arts can also be an intrinsic part of economic development – instigating tourism, downtown spending, and more. Join us at Radically Rural as we explore stories from rural communities about how the arts build community connections, grow pride in our rural spaces, and celebrate the growing diversity of our communities.

Who Should Attend:  Community Development professionals, Planners, Architects and Designers, Philanthropists, Nonprofit and Business Grantmakers and Evaluators, Municipal and City leaders, Developers, Writers and Journalists, Local arts agencies, Arts organization leaders and programming directors and development officers

Track Leader: Jessica Gelter, Executive Director, Arts Alive

Sessions to be announced…

Land & Community Track

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

Track Leaders: Amanda Littleton, District Manager, Cheshire County Conservation District & Benee Hershon, Outreach Coordinator, Cheshire County Conservation District

Sessions to be announced…

Clean Energy Track

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

Track Leader: Rob Werner, State Director for NH, League of Conservation Voters

Sessions to be announced…

All in for Health Track

Why should community members care about health? A community that cares about the health of its members cultivates a vibrant and sustainable place for living, working and playing. A healthy community positions itself to attract new businesses and residents, keeps young families in town, lowers costs for employers, and helps the elderly age gracefully in place. It takes all of us to create this vision of a healthy community. Join us in the All in for Health track at Radically Rural to learn more about your role in this picture. This year we’ll focus on the foundation of community well-being sculpted by the social determinants of health. We will discuss topics such as how adequate housing and community-based behavioral health resources can improve the lives of rural communities. What specifically can you take away from this track? Tangible tools to bring home: replicable ideas from model projects, innovative ideas to spark deep conversation about how everyone can contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.

Who Should Attend: Community organizers, municipal and business leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, philanthropists, the general public, and healthcare workers.

Sessions to be announced…

Main Street Track

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 individuals interested in community revitalization

Track Leader: Todd Horner, Senior Planner, Southwest Regional Planning Committee

Sessions to be announced…

Roundtable Conversations

Roundtable Conversations are guided discussions that take place during the lunch block. Attendees can enjoy takeout from a local restaurant downtown, while learning about topics of interest to them, networking, and interacting with rural professionals from across the country.

To be announced…

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners