We harness the intellectual energy of the University of Nebraska and its partners to positively impact the future of humankind.


We believe for America to thrive, our rural residents and communities must thrive. We’ve learned that growing a vibrant rural sector takes:


The Rural Futures Institute, one of four interdisciplinary Institutes of the University of Nebraska (NU), leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the four NU campuses on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the institute encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address critical rural issues. It works collaboratively with community leaders of place and practice, students of all ages, educational, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.

Vision Statement

Rural America unleashes the full potential of its leadership, economic capacity, cultural creativity and natural resources, creating explicit value for small and large communities within and beyond its geography. Rural places have become the legitimate best choice for leaders, businesses, families, graduates and explorers. Rural people earn global respect for fueling the future of humankind. View the full RFI Vision Story

Core Values

We seek new possibilities at the intersection of strategic foresight, advancing technologies and what it means to be human.

We recognize the value of all people and honor diverse perspectives.

We bring people and disparate ideas together to solve complex, interconnected problems.

We work with utmost character—integrity, reliability and fairness.

Hopeful Grit
We value courageous perseverance, optimism and passionate confidence.



Printable: 2017 Strategic Plan