The Aspen Institute recently featured the Northern Forest Center’s unique approach to rural economic development during a live webcast presentation from Washington, D.C.

Rob Riley at Aspen InstituteThe Institute’s Community Strategies Group looked at the Center's work as part of its research to answer two questions they hear frequently: “Who can we work with to do more for rural America?” and “… and what works?”

A major focus of Aspen's report is how the Center and our peers are engaging with the communities we serve to improve local, economic, social and health outcomes, equity and long-term prosperity. Aspen concluded that how we do this work sets us apart.


To learn more, view the webcast of the panel discussion that featured Center President Rob Riley, or download a summary of Aspen’s top-level findings about what sets organizations like the Center apart, along with 10 suggestions for improving rural outcomes and advancing rural community and economic development.

"I’m so honored that the Aspen Institute recognizes the Center as a national leader in integrated community and economic development," said Riley. "We start by listening to a range of voices from each community and tailor our community development work to reach each community's needs."

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the Aspen Institute’s research of these high performing organizations, which Aspen calls “Rural Development Hubs,” and a full report will be available this summer. The Aspen Institute invites readers to post their feedback on the summary.