Rural Futures Institute to host panel discussion with innovators from Japan

October 11, 2017

In partnership with New York City-based Japan Society, the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska will host five Japanese entrepreneurs and community leaders for a panel discussion entitled, “A Thriving Rural Future in Japan and the United States.”

This free, public event is 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, 1505 S Street. A reception will follow from 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Rural communities in Japan and the United States face similar challenges such as recruitment and retention of young people, decline of primary and local industries, and sustainability of natural resources.

Entrepreneurial leaders in both countries are thinking and acting boldly to identify and build on resources to develop creative, strategic solutions.

Panelists and guests will explore alternative models, best practices and strategies for creating resilient and vibrant rural communities of the future. The panel will be moderated by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Associate Executive Director and Chief Futurist.

Overall, the project seeks to build leadership capacity and consolidate lessons and learning from efforts to revitalize small towns and rural areas in the U.S.-Japan context. Specific topical areas of exploration may include:

  • How can Japan and the United States more effectively harness the energy and skills of people in rural areas?
  • How can we combine high-tech and high-touch strategies to build our rural future?
  • Why is rural critical to our combined future?

Economic revitalization and rural entrepreneurship, leadership opportunities for a younger generations and creating an ecosystem conducive to engaging new community members are other possible discussion topics.

On Oct. 28 RFI leadership will take the guests to Nebraska City, Neb., to tour the Kimmel Education & Research Center, Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard and BCom Solutions. They will also visit Auburn, Neb., to tour Nemaha County Hospital.

Visit the Rural Futures website for additional information and guest bios.