Aspen Institute Publishes Report on Rural Development Hubs

On November 12, the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (CSG) released a new report entitled Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure. Hubs are intermediaries doing effective regional community and economic development in rural America⁠—building durable, dynamic, inclusive, and prosperous rural communities and regions. They are main players advancing an asset-based and inclusive wealth-building approach to rural community and economic development in the U.S.

The report summarizes findings and recommendations from CSG’s interviews with 43 Hubs from across the nation, many which are led by rural-serving OFN members and other CDFIs. 

“Start including rural America. We are integral to the economy and integral to how this nation is and was formed and the direction we are going in the future,” OFN Board member and First Nations Oweesta Corporation Executive Director Chrystel Cornelius states in the report.

Also interviewed for the report was OFN Board Chair and Fahe President and CEO Jim King, who shares, “The difficult problems that we are up against in place are best addressed by leaders in communities who are supported by expertise and capital—not programs, not projects. Programs and projects are great, but leaders in a place are ultimately how you create change.”

The recommendations that emerged from CSG’s Hub interviews can help investors, policymakers, and other decision-makers answer questions they may have about rural America. 

Learn more in the full report