Kaitlin VanLoon shares her Bold Voice during Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 Premiere


February 27, 2019 — “When posting to social media, we try to start a conversation,” says social media guru Kaitlin VanLoon.

VanLoon, a senior advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, digs deep into the future of technology, social media and rural-urban collaboration during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 premiere at 13:45.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During her segment, VanLoon shares the insights she gained through working for the Rural Futures Institute as a communications intern. Managing RFI’s “rural pulse”— the institute’s social media channels — puts her on the forefront of the conversation around the future of rural and urban communities.

VanLoon recognizes that social media can be viewed as both harmful and helpful but she encourages listeners to view it as a positive tool for engagement and information sharing. “My goal is to share the ways that [social media] can be helpful, because it is such a powerful tool in communicating,” she says.

“How you live could be so different from somebody else,” she says. Improving connectivity and reaching people in rural communities through social media are keys to fostering rural-urban collaboration, according to VanLoon.

Bold Voices host Katy Bagniewski challenges VanLoon to put on her futurist hat and share her bold predictions for the future. “It’s going to become more and more important that rural and urban work together,” she predicts.


About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.