“Hope Inspires Vision” is the theme of the third national Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-23 in multiple Nebraska locations. Registration for the conference, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 500 when it was last held in 2013, opens today at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. The conference is hosted by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.
Attendees will be able to participate in this year’s conference from either the Nebraska Innovation Campus conference center in Lincoln or the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Registration is $200 for the Lincoln location ($40 for high school and college students) or $100 for the Curtis location ($20 for students).
Conference sessions will encourage attendees to work together to build hope and develop a vision for invigorating rural communities. The conference kicks off on the evening of Oct. 21 with a lecture from Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett, authors of 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, a book about the limited opportunities people have to make a difference in the world. The Buffetts’ lecture, “Finding Hope: Pioneering Your 40 Chances,” is free and open to the public and is jointly sponsored with the Heuermann Lectures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Other keynote speakers at the conference include Clifton Taulbert, a noted author, entrepreneur and businessman who is president and CEO of the Freemount Corp., a human capital development company; and Shane Lopez, author of Making Hope Happen and a leading Gallup researcher on the science of hope. University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will make opening remarks, “Dream Big With Me,” on the morning of Oct. 22.
“We know that hope matters tremendously to the success of rural communities,” said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “Active hope, combined with a strong vision for the future, can energize rural people and places and ensure that rural communities are a viable choice for young people to live and work. Our first two conferences in 2012 and 2013 confirmed our thinking that the long-term economic success of rural communities is a critical area for research and engagement – one in which the University of Nebraska is well-positioned to play a leadership role. We’re excited to again bring together stakeholders from Nebraska and beyond to share our best ideas.”
Pre-conference events include the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair on Oct. 21, an event similar to a career fair in which students will have a chance to explore opportunities to live and work in rural communities across Nebraska and the region. Other sessions throughout the conference will focus on entrepreneurship, broadband development, civic engagement, transdisciplinary education, eco-education, innovation, youth leadership and other topics. Faculty and students also will have the opportunity to present posters on research questions that showcase new knowledge and ideas relevant to the conference theme.
Complete conference details, including a full agenda, registration information, speaker biographies, poster session guidelines and more, are available at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. Up-to-date information can also be found by following the Rural Futures Institute on Twitter and Facebook and by using #RFC2015 on social media.
About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages talents and research-based expertise from across the university’s campuses. The RFI, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.