The Rise of Rural Development Hubs

I spent this morning over at the Aspen Institute for a great panel on Rural Development Hubs.  Rural development hubs are a new concept meant to describe new types of organizations and networks focused on rural community building in a holistic way that embraces traditional economic development, local institution building, and a focus on enhancing all forms of local wealth (cultural, social, natural, etc.).   The panel included excellent organizations from Arkansas, California, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, presenting some inspiring stories and some real-life perspectives on the difficulties—and the critical importance—of embracing new approaches to community building in rural America.  The event also coincided with release of an excellent issue brief on Rural Development Hubs.    This brief offers a lot of good ideas and an excellent introduction to this work—it should be followed later this year by a deeper dive into the rural development hub concept.  Look for this work in Summer 2019.