December 11, 2018

Register!

Join the Rural Futures Institute and the Western Healthcare Alliance as we co-create the future for rural healthcare together.

Dr. Connie is keynoting and facilitating the Western Healthcare Alliance Annual Summit on February 28, 2019.

“Healthcare leaders should attend this event to come together in new and different ways,” she says. Attendees will collaborate to innovate and learn how to leverage high-tech and high-touch healthcare solutions.

December 7, 2018

Episode 20

Robert Hinson, Lt. Gen. (Ret.), is the Founding Executive Director of the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska and a guest on the Season 2 Finale Episode 20 of Rural Futures with Dr. Connie.

Rural-raised, Bob discusses the complex research NSRI conducts regarding combating weapons of mass destruction.

NSRI is sponsored by United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and focuses on research that helps combat weapons of mass destruction. It is one of 13 DoD-designated University affiliated centers nationally.

Under Hinson’s leadership, NSRI received more than $61 million and 85 contract awards in its initial contract 2012-2018. The NSRI contract has been renewed with a five-year, $92 million contract with USSTRATCOM, through 2023.

Bob is joined in this episode by his fellow University of Nebraska Institute executive directors, Connie Reimers-Hild of the Rural Futures Institute (host), Sam Meisels of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute and Peter McCornick of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute.

All four Institutes are based on the strengths of the University of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska 🤝 to create a thriving rural-urban future for all.

December 6, 2018

Episode 20

Peter McCornick, Executive Director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, discusses the technology and leadership it will take to create sustainable and secure water for food in the future in Episode 20 of the Rural Futures Podcast.

Peter affirms Nebraska’s strengths in agriculture, water management, leadership and vision throughout his discussion of the University of Nebraska institute he leads, and he shares his journey around the world to land here in the middle of the USA.

He also leaves listener with two pieces of advice — let’s make agriculture cool and let’s invest in the next generation of leaders.

In this episode, Peter is joined by his fellow University of Nebraska Institute executive directors in this episode, Connie Reimers-Hild of the Rural Futures Institute (host), Sam Meisels of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute and Bob Hinson of the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska.

All four Institutes are based on the strengths of the University of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska 🤝 to create a thriving rural-urban future for all.

December 5, 2018

Episode 20

Rural communities now and into the future need quality early childhood care, education and workforce.

Listen to Sam Meisels, Founding Executive Director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, passionately discuss these issues for our state and our country in Episode 20 of Rural Futures with Dr. Connie.

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute is dedicated to making Nebraska the best place to be a baby.

In this episode, Sam joins his fellow University of Nebraska Institute executive directors in this episode, Connie Reimers-Hild of the Rural Futures Institute (host), Peter McCornick of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and Bob Hinson of the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska.

All four Institutes are based on the strengths of the University of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska 🤝 to create a thriving rural-urban future for all.

December 4, 2018

Episode 20

Season 2 Finale Episode 20 is live where you listen to podcasts! 💥🎙️

We welcomed the executive directors of our University of Nebraska sister institutes — the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and the National Strategic Research Institute — to talk with Dr. Connie, asking them to approach their areas of expertise through our lenses of future-focused leadership, rural-urban collaboration and high-touch, high-tech.

Interestingly, each of the Institutes have a specific relationship and value to offer to rural people and places now and into the future.

NU has invested in these interdisciplinary Institutes to focus on areas in which the university and the state of Nebraska have unique strengths. Through the Institutes, researchers and students from the four NU campuses come together with partners to find innovative solutions and opportunities for our state, our nation and our world.

Thank You To Our Partners | University of Nebraska–Lincoln Bureau of Business Research

With Gratitude

During this month of Thanksgiving, we take some extra time to share our gratitude for all of our partners — individuals and communities of place and practice. Thank you for all you do to bring forward the research and hands-on work for thriving rural communities of the future.

 

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska understands that to truly make a statewide, regional, national and international impact for current and future residents of rural communities, we must partner with the boldest, action-oriented thought leaders and achievers around the world.

 

Meet Our Partners »

 


 

Today, we especially thank the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Bureau of Business Research.

 

The Bureau of Business Research (BBR) is an applied economic and business research entity of the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It provides relevant information and insightful data on economic conditions, in Nebraska, the Great Plain, and the nation as a general service to individuals and businesses in the state. The BBR also provides economists with practical opportunities to conduct applied economic research and trains students of economics and business in the conduct of applied research on timely economic and business topics.

 

Nebraska Thriving Index

We were proud to announce this week that through a collaboration with the Bureau of Business Research and additional University of Nebraska partners, we will launch the Nebraska Thriving Index in May 2019.

Nebraska Thriving Index

 

RFI-Supported Research

Catalyzing the Role of Micropolitan America in the Future of Rural America

This project helped micropolitan areas identify opportunities and formulate research-driven plans for their future success in order to support rural economies. It developed a prototype in Nebraska with national applicability and actionability. As a result of this project, the University of Nebraska leads the nation in articulating the role of micropolitan areas and helping them capitalize on their unique opportunities for regional innovation and rural development.

There were four primary project outcomes related to the calculation of wealth indicators:

  • Nebraska micropolitan areas differ substantially according to measures of physical, human, intellectual, financial, social and cultural wealth
  • Wealth indicators are feasible to integrate into discussions of community strengths and weaknesses as part of community engagement and strategic planning efforts; changes in wealth indicators can be used as benchmarks to measure progress
  • Micropolitan areas have a broad interest in the standard of living and quality of life, in addition to traditional development goals such as job creation; micropolitan communities have an underlying interest in tracking broad measures of wealth
  • Micropolitan areas appear to be large enough to enjoy advantages for and success in industrial and economic production, but not large enough to have similar advantages for consumption and quality of life

 

RFI Faculty Fellow, Eric Thompson

Dr. Thompson’s research about the Midwest and national economy examines competitive factors affecting state and local economic growth, the role of agriculture in the economy, and the economics of infrastructure. Thompson holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a former president of the Association for University Business and Economic Research. He directs the widely known Bureau of Business Research (BBR), teaches graduate-level courses and conducts rural economic research. His monthly BBR podcasts and research blogs are keenly watched by rural development practitioners and investors throughout Nebraska.

Get to know Eric via his RFI Fellow introductory video!

 

 

 

Thank you, Bureau of Business Research, for your constant innovation and ambition to deliver tools and information to decision makers across our state and beyond.

Thank You To Our Partners | University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health

With Gratitude

During this month of Thanksgiving, we take some extra time to share our gratitude for all of our partners — individuals and communities of place and practice. Thank you for all you do to bring forward the research and hands-on work for thriving rural communities of the future.

 

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska understands that to truly make a statewide, regional, national and international impact for current and future residents of rural communities, we must partner with the boldest, action-oriented thought leaders and achievers around the world.

 

Meet Our Partners »

 


 

Today, we especially thank the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.

 

Research & Teaching Projects

 

 

RFI Faculty Fellow, Athena Ramos

Athena Ramos serves as principal investigator for a number of community-based health research and education initiatives at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and leads a Latino outreach and engagement team. She continuously strives to bring a sense of hope and vitality to the work that she does. Athena completed a Ph.D. in International Family and Community Studies at Clemson University. She serves on numerous boards including South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, Fontenelle Forest and the Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska Advisory Council.

Hear what her response to “Why Rural? Why Now?” in our 2018 campaign video!

 

Thank you, UNMC College of Public Health, for your energy, fortitude and passion for developing leaders of action and capacity-building work to our rural communities and those across the country and the world.

Thank You To Our Partners | Peru State College

With Gratitude

During this month of Thanksgiving, we take some extra time to share our gratitude for all of our partners — individuals and communities of place and practice. Thank you for all you do to bring forward the research and hands-on work for thriving rural communities of the future.

 

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska understands that to truly make a statewide, regional, national and international impact for current and future residents of rural communities, we must partner with the boldest, action-oriented thought leaders and achievers around the world.

 

Meet Our Partners »

 


 

Today, we especially thank Peru State College.

 

RFI Faculty Fellow, Kyle Ryan

Kyle Ryan, Ph.D., Professor of Kinesology and creator and co-director of the Children’s Health, Activity & Nutrition Community Engagement (CHANCE) Initiative through Peru State College, has been a research, teaching and through partner for several years. In this introductory video, he describes where his passion for rural America comes from, his focus on obesity intervention and prevention with pediatric groups and his relationship with RFI.

 

Research & Teaching Projects

 

RFI Student Serviceship, Sydney Armbruster

 

Hometown: Falls City, NE

Campus: Peru State College

Major: Disease & Human Health

Serviceship Community: Omaha Land Bank

 

Thank you, Peru State College, for generating important action in rural Nebraska and for bringing your knowledge and talents together with the University of Nebraska.

Reimers-Hild shares rural perspective, futurist lens at Women’s Forum Global Meeting

RFI interim executive director Connie Reimers-Hild speaks are women's forum global meeting

 

Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., Rural Futures Institute Interim Executive Director & Chief Futurist, spoke as a panelist during the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in Paris, France, Nov. 16.

Bringing a distinctly female perspective to defining strategies to create the conditions for action, global leaders from society and economy convened at this year’s meeting to bridge divides and move towards more inclusive progress for all of humanity.

During the “Designing Cities and Economies for the Future” panel Reimers-Hild contributed her futurist lens and rural perspective to the conversation that addressed the expected shift of the majority of the global population to cities by 2050. The session’s hashtag was #futurecities.

Fellow panelists included:

  • Estelle Brachlianoff, COO, Veolia
  • Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice President, International Development Thales International
  • Catherine Guillouard, CEO, RATP

 

Speaker Bios

 

Questions posed to the panelists included:

  • What is an inclusive vision of cities in the future? How can women’s leadership help achieve this vision?
  • How might design and planning for societal and life changes help meet the needs of, and tap opportunities presented by, young and old alike?
  • How will cities of the future be more human cities? What roles do the private and public sector play in ensuring cities grow to be human?

 

Reimers-Hild presented four key points during the conversation.

 

  1. We need to plan for both underpopulation and overpopulation of physical communities. There is an interconnectedness between urban and rural that we can no longer ignore, and our global ecosystem must support more than people. Women who are economically empowered provide not only their ideas and innovations but also give back to their families and communities. Numerous studies show that positive global transformation occurs when women are empowered.
  2. Access to health, well-being and vitality for all. What does it look like for every person on the planet to have great places to live, clean water, sanitation, transportation, sustainable energy, activity and proper nutrition? How do we provide access to health, well-being and vitality for all people in the future?
  3. Advancements in technology and science are changing expectations and demands of humans. Demographic shifts, psychographic shifts, IoT, AI, robotics, mobile tech, intelligent transportation are all interwoven factors.
  4. Broadband and high speed connectivity will be critical components of future communities both physically and digitally. This requires a systems approach to infrastructure. How many physical structures do we need? Should more of this money be invested into virtual opportunities? New systems can create the flexibility women need to earn income, support their families and prioritize their own well-being. Women possess the creativity, knowledge and desire needed to implement new living systems designed to improve outcomes for children, families, communities and the environment.

RFI chief futurist presents throughout rural Japan immersion convened by Japan Society

Map of Japan with markers to Reimers-Hild locations

 

“RFI brings forward some of the boldest solutions for rural areas, and we can only do that by continually gaining perspective. Conducting research internationally, collaborating with urban counterparts such as the Japan Society and maintaining a future-focused, strategic mindset are all essential pieces to meeting our mission. We look forward to the ongoing outcomes of this project while creating new opportunities for rural areas.”
Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D.
RFI Interim Executive Director & Chief Futurist

Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI interim executive director & chief futurist, is serving as futurist for the project, Resilient and Vibrant Rural Communities in Japan and the U.S., convened by the Japan Society Innovators Network and supported by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) and R&R Consulting.

During a 10-day immersion throughout Japan, primarily in rural communities, she shared her framework of strategic foresight and emphasized the empowerment of women as a key focus for rural communities in both countries. Her paper will be published by the Japan Society soon.

“The issues we face here in the Great Plains of the U.S. are acute in rural Japan — depopulation, aging — however, creative solutions are part of the narrative,” Reimers-Hild said. “What stood out to me most was how much both countries need to tap into and empower female leaders and entrepreneurs. This is going to take a shift in mindset and culture.”

Reimers-Hild first presented at the forum, “When Local Wisdom Goes Global,” held at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan. The forum focused on the dissemination of information, emphasizing that it is now possible for an organization in a small town, a village, or even a hamlet to disseminate information that ends up having a global reach, and receive direct feedback from individuals and organizations anywhere in the world.

She also presented with her U.S. counterparts at the forum, “Challenges in Regional Revitalization: Insights from American and Japanese Rural Innovators,” which was held at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan. This forum addressed the common challenges of depopulation, low-birth rate and declining local economies in both rural U.S. and rural Japan. In both countries, innovators are tackling these enduring challenges to create sustainable economies and communities.

Resilient and Vibrant Rural Communities in Japan and the U.S. is one of several multi-year projects facilitated by the Innovators Network to provide unique opportunities for leaders and innovators to come together, share knowledge and insight and catalyze positive social change.

This trip was the second phase of the project. Initially leaders from Japan visited West Virginia, Ohio and Nebraska in October 2017, during which RFI hosted a forum at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a rural Nebraska immersion in Nebraska City, Neb., and Peru State College.

“RFI brings forward some of the boldest solutions for rural areas, and we can only do that by continually gaining perspective,” Reimers-Hild said. “Conducting research internationally, collaborating with urban counterparts such as the Japan Society and maintaining a future-focused, strategic mindset are all essential pieces to meeting our mission. We look forward to the ongoing outcomes of this project while creating new opportunities for rural areas.”