Future-focused economic development in rural America

Center for Rural Innovation

Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Time Zone: 
Virtual Event

How technology creates new challenges and opportunities for rural economic development leaders

Economic development is often centered on ensuring that people have access to a livelihood and a local system of support that makes economic prosperity possible. As the role of technology in society and the economy expands, strategies around economic development also need to evolve to make this prosperity possible — especially in communities across rural America. 

In this U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funded session, we’ll discuss the technology-driven trends that rural economic development leaders need to understand to develop effective strategies, and share case studies illustrating how rural communities are taking advantage of tech-based economic development to drive entrepreneurship and economic prosperity.

This conversation will pull from the reports and case studies created by the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI). Funded by the EDA, this collection of rural resources will help attendees better understand the challenges and opportunities technology creates for economic development leaders.


Mark Rembert
Center on Rural Innovation
Mark is a regional economist who oversees CORI’s research and knowledge-gathering projects about rural America. Before this role he led the Rural Innovation Network, a nationwide community of committed change agents working to advance the economic future of small-town America.

Stacy Nimmo
Red Wing Ignite
Stacy is the executive director at Red Wing Ignite. She spent the majority of her life in rural America and fully understands the need to support business and industry of all shapes and sizes. She has a background in nonprofit management and consulting.

Ela Kakde
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Ela is a Regional Economic Development Director at the Wisconsin Economic Development Commission for a six-county region in southwest Wisconsin. She previously served as director of the Platteville Business Incubator in Platteville, Wisconsin.

Kathy Wyatt
Innovation Enterprise at Louisiana Tech University
Kathy's efforts are focused on leveraging resources to expand and scale emerging ventures, coordinating business technical assistance, establishing essential products and services for client companies, and building community for entrepreneurs, faculty, students, and innovators.