Events, Presentations & Webinars

Upcoming RFI Events

Let's Connect To Change The World

Shelley McKinley, Microsoft GM

Shelley McKinley, Microsoft

Let’s Connect The World To Change The World!
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 | 3 pm (CST)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science & Management
Kaufman Academic Residential Center | Great Hall
LIVE STREAM: On this page!

Connectivity and overall access to technology are critical areas of need for rural economic development, health care access, education and more. As Microsoft works to build a better future, Shelley McKinley, General Manager of Microsoft’s Technology and Corporate Responsibility Group, will share how the company is connecting people, so everyone has access to the opportunities that technology provides. She will deep dive into the use of technology, such as artificial intelligence, to create environmental sustainability, connect 1 billion people around the world with disabilities and prepare the workforce of the future.

This presentation is free and students, faculty, staff and the public are encouraged to attend!

VistaBeam CEO Matt Larsen from Scottsbluff, Neb., will welcome attendees to the presentation. Larsen, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate, launched Vistabeam in 2004 to provide broadband access into unserved and underserved areas in Western Nebraska. Vistabeam serves some of the most rural and sparsely populated parts of Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming with wireless and fiber broadband connectivity.

About Shelley McKinley

Before assuming her role as GM for Technology and Corporate Responsibility in September 2017, Shelley served as Associate General Counsel at Microsoft, based in Amsterdam, where she led all corporate, external and legal affairs work for Microsoft’s subsidiaries in Europe. In the course of her 10-year career at Microsoft, Shelley has also been responsible for the legal work for Microsoft’s hardware products, manufacturing and supply chain, as well as the Xbox games publishing business and Microsoft Learning.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Shelley practiced at law firms in Germany and Seattle and was in-house counsel for Hasbro. She started her career as an M&A lawyer, working primarily with technology companies, before transitioning to focus on commercial technology transactions, consumer issues, product development and corporate affairs work. She is a graduate of Austin College, Seattle University School of Law (JD), and University of Washington School of Law (LLM).

Learn more and connect with Shelley:

Microsoft & Rural

Microsoft has recently placed special importance on rural broadband throughout the U.S. It is currently partnering with telecommunications companies through its Rural Airband Initiative to bring broadband connectivity to 2 million people in rural America by 2022, hoping to serve as a catalyst to help eliminate the rural broadband gap for the 23.4 million Americans living in rural communities who lack access to the economic, educational and health opportunities the internet provides.

The Microsoft technology and corporate responsibility group delivers on the company’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more by driving the digital transformation and readiness of high impact organizations including universities, cities and political campaigns, and through leadership and innovation of technology in the high impact areas of human rights, accessibility, environmental sustainability and broadband access.

The Rural Futures Institute is proud to host Shelley March 28 and 29, introducing her to University of Nebraska students and faculty as well as several Nebraska community leaders. Follow RFI across social for insights!



RFI Presentations

Spring 2018 Friedman Seminar Series
Apr. 4, 2018 | Tufts University | Boston, Mass.

Chuck Schroeder, RFI Founding Executive Director
Connie Reimers-Hild, RFI Associate Executive Director & Chief Futurist
The Future of Rural


Great Plains Symposium
Apr. 18-20, 2018 | Kearney, Neb.

Bree Dority, University of Nebraska at Kearney Associate Professor of Economics, RFI Faculty Fellow
The Economic Impact of the Annual Crane Migration on Central Nebraska 



Great Plains Symposium
Apr. 18-20, 2018 | Kearney, Neb.

Katelyn Ideus, RFI Director of Communications & Public Relations
Rural Futures Institute: Create A Bold Story For Rural



KEYNOTE | Nebraska Press Association Annual Banquet
Apr. 20, 2018 | Omaha, Neb.

Connie Reimers-Hild, RFI Associate Executive Director & Chief Futurist



Jun. 9 – 11, 2018 | Denver, Colo.

Chuck Schroeder, RFI Founding Executive Director



Check back soon!


In Person

Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities
Apr. 4-5, 2018 | Hastings, Neb.

2018 Great Plains Symposium
Apr. 18-20, 2018 | Kearney, Neb.


Past RFI Events

Panel Discussion with Rural Japanese Entrepreneurs, Community Leaders
Oct. 27, 2017 | Lincoln, Neb.

In partnership with Japan Society, based in New York City, N.Y., and Japan NPO Center, based in Tokyo, the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska hosted a panel discussion entitled, “A Thriving Rural Future in Japan and the United States,” Oct. 27. The following day, RFI took the visitors on a tour of southeast Nebraska, stopping in Nebraska City, Neb., and Auburn, Neb.

Recap >>

Visiting Presenter, Paul Genho, Ph.D.

Oct. 31, 2016 | Lincoln, Neb.

Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit

Oct. 27-28, 2016 | York, Neb.

Rural Regional Forums

Sep. 2016 | Chadron, North Platte and West Point, Neb.

Rural Futures Conference

Oct. 2015 | Curtis and Lincoln, Neb.

Regional Forums

Sep. and Oct. 2014 | Broken Bow, Nebraska City, and Scottsbluff, Neb.

Rural Futures Conference

Nov. 3-5, 2013 | Lincoln, Neb.

Rural Futures Conference

May 8-10, 2012 | Lincoln, Neb.

Past RFI Webinars >>