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Image: Building on Broadband: Inspiring Progress

Thursday, October 14

9:00 am    Welcome and Tone Setting | Session Notes and Recording
Mark Ritchie, President, Global Minnesota
Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin Foundation

9:25          For the Good of the Whole – Introductions

9:40          Reflections onFarm Fresh Broadband: The Politics of Rural Connectivity”
Dr. Christopher Ali, Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia
Introduced by Adrianne B. Furniss, Executive Director, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Session Notes and Recording

In his new book, Professor Ali offers an analysis of the failure of U.S. broadband policy to solve the rural–urban digital divide and a proposal for a building a better broadband future. Ali will describe what it would look like to create a multistakeholder system, guided by thoughtful public policy and funded by public and private support.

10:00        Staying Inspired: Spreading What Works
Speed-story-telling by people working to bring the benefits of broadband to families, businesses and communities in rural Minnesota. Show, Tell, and Discussion. Moderated by Jane Leonard, President, Growth and Justice
Session Notes and Recording

  • Cannon Roots Local Foods Initiative – Laura Qualey, Community & Economic Development Specialist, CEDA (Community & Economic Development Associates)
  • Le Sueur County Blandin Broadband Community – Barbara Dröher Kline, Le Sueur County Blandin Broadband Community
  • Bringing Digital Marketing Concepts to Rural Areas – Molly Solberg, Molly Solberg Marketing, Duluth, MN
  • Digital Innovations in Healthcare – Liz Dean, Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development, and Nicole Hawkinson, Clinical Information Analyst, Riverwood Health Center, Aitkin, MN
  • Education Innovations – Zach Pruitt, Executive Director, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative

10:55        Discussion

11:10        Now What? Regional Gatherings Report Out: Next steps for Minnesota’s regions
Building on the regional report-outs from Days One and Two, broadband champions discuss what we can do together to organize for better broadband for all, elected officials respond, and everybody weighs in on next steps.
Session Notes and Recording

  • Jim Retka, Northwest RDC & Antonio Franklin, Headwaters RDC – Northwest & Headwaters: Regions 1, 2
  • Whitney Ridlon, MN Dept of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation – Arrowhead: Region 3 minus Aitkin County
  • Greg Wagner, West Central Initiative Foundation – West Central: Region 4
  • Michelle Marotzke, Mid-Minnesota Development Commission – Upper MN Valley, Mid-Minnesota, and Southwest: Regions 6W, 6E, 8
  • Lezlie Sauter, Pine County EDA – East Central: Region 7E plus Aitkin County
  • Laura Kangas, Arvig – Central: Region 7W
  • Brenda Johnson, Southeastern MN League of Municipalities – Southeast & South Central: Regions 9, 10

12:00 pm  Adjourn

Annual Conference 2021
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