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Rural and Urban Connect: Strategic Foresight, Leadership, Technology
Nebraska Ag Connection - 06/13/2018

As our high-tech, globalized world continues to collide with the values, principles and ethics of humanity, the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is breaking into the currently polarizing narratives of the rural-urban divide, technology development and the future of work through its new weekly podcast, "Rural Futures with Dr. Connie." The podcast is available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher as well as at

Hosted by futurist, researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, RFI associate executive director and chief futurist, the Rural Futures podcast explores the intersections of technology and what it means to be human.

Its content is for achievers to expand their perspectives for social justice, economic growth and leadership through strategic foresight, or "futuring," and the lenses of:

- Exponential change

- Disruptive leadership

- Evolution of humanity

Guests include futurists, business innovators and researchers who are smashing barriers for the sake of a thriving rural-urban future.

"We need to bring technology, leaders and rural and urban all together to really get at solutions that not only consider a sustainable future, but a thriving future of abundance for all," Dr. Reimers-Hild said. "This podcast allows us to do this by focusing on our small team's strengths as connectors, conveners and communicators.

"We want to bring as many people to this conversation as possible, and a podcast is an efficient and strategic way to do that. I encourage all of our listeners to connect with us across our social platforms to suggest questions, ideas and guests."

Initial Season 1 episodes include:

- Intro! Intersecting technology, leadership and rural-urban collaboration

- Higher ed tech futurist Bryan Alexander intersects leadership, connectivity, globalization

- Microsoft GM Shelley McKinley intersects fourth industrial revolution, inclusive leadership

- Coming Soon: University of Nebraska professor Tom Field intersects entrepreneurship, higher ed, social good

- Coming Soon: Tufts professor Tim Griffin intersects rural, urban, food systems, education

- Coming Soon: Physical medicine specialist & farmer Tyler Ideus intersects movement, nutrition, agriculture

"I was excited about appearing on Rural Futures because it offered a vital yet rare perspective in our urbanizing era," said Alexander who . "Exploring the countryside's future is critical for understanding what comes next for humanity as a whole."

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.

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