Last week, I wrote about a new organization called the Center on Rural Innovation and its efforts to create a scalable model for rural economic development.

Founder Matt Dunne believes that in order to compete with larger population centers, rural communities must find a way to work with one another to gain access to the resources they lack. Entrepreneurs might not be able to find enough angel investors in their town — but they may be able to within a 300-mile radius.

One point that I didn’t have room to highlight in the piece is that building a connected ecosystem is important not just to bring jobs back to rural communities, but to ensure that rural communities are able to withstand some of the job losses automation may bring. The “Beyond VB” section this week includes a story on the research of MIT Media Lab’s Iyad Rahwan, who found that smaller cities are more likely to feel the effects of automation, as the jobs most at risk to be eliminated by automation are typically located away from large population centers.

The quick fix, then, is to encourage workers to move to where the jobs are — as President Donald Trump encouraged upstate New Yorkers to do in a July interview with the Wall Street Journal. But building a connected cluster of smaller cities will not only allow people to stay put in their respective towns — it will also ensure that the state and federal government is maximizing the economic benefits that smaller cities and towns can offer.

Please send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to me via email — bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel, and please remember to share these #HeartlandTech stories on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

P.S. Please enjoy this video from the Kauffman Foundation, “Writing the book on entrepreneurial ecosystems


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