KEYNOTE: The Future of the Rural-Urban Opportunity

Dr. Reimers-Hild keynotes Nebraska Press Association


When it comes to the future, there are many plausible outcomes.

Our choices and our willingness to explore collaborations play a major role in the future we will experience.


In her keynote address at the Omaha World-Herald Awards Banquet during the Nebraska Press Association annual conference, RFI Associate Executive Director and Chief Futurist Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., shared personal stories of delivering the newspaper in West Point, Neb., every Wednesday at age 9, bold methodologies around strategic foresight and the state of exponential change we are currently experiencing as an intertwined and combined society.


Slide: Many plausible futuresThe future is not a straight line, but rather paths of many plausible outcomes.


In her discussion, Remiers-Hild stated that strategic foresight or, “futuring,” is now considered a core leadership competency, according to Boris Groysberg in his 2014 Harvard Business Review article, “The Seven Skills You Need to Thrive in the C-Suite.”

From the article: “Strategic foresight”— the ability to think strategically, often on a global basis—was also frequently cited. One consultant stressed the ability to “set the strategic direction” for the organization; another equated strategic thinking with “integrative leadership.”  Others emphasized that strategic thinking also calls for the ability to execute a vision, which one respondent called “operating savvy” and another defined as “a high standard in execution.” One consultant pointed out that strategic thinking is a relatively new requirement for many functional C-level executives, and another noted that the surge in attention to strategic thinking occurred in the decade 2000-2010.

With a room full of community leaders, media publishers, managers and editors Reimers-Hild emphasized this competency and encouraged thoughtfulness around what key areas of technology advancement could truly position Nebraska for the future.


Slide: Data never sleeps



She also called for mobilization around using some of the key developments occurring for developing countries in our own isolated, rural areas, noting that health care access in particular is an area of critical need of attention at the state, regional and national levels.


Slide: rural hospital closures


Moving into the work of the Rural Futures Institute, Reimers-Hild highlighted our recent visits:

In her closing Reimers-Hild asked a simple question: What future do we want to create … together?

We welcome your feedback to this question via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

We offer our sincere congratulations to all of the award winners at this important state-wide event, including Charlyne Berens, emeritus professor and associate dean of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications, who was awarded the highest honor of Master Editor-Publisher.