Advancing the Next Generation of Rural and Indigenous Leaders

Thrive Rural Open Field Session

Friday, Feb 10, 1 – 3 pm ET

Our discussion questions: In what ways are younger leaders helping to transform your community? What makes this type of leadership different and important for rural places? How is your community identifying and cultivating a diversity of new and existing rural and Indigenous leaders?

The challenge: As older rural leaders look to support the next generation, younger rural leaders need space to develop and hone skills and connections to lead their communities toward equitable prosperity. Younger leaders, particularly BIPOC leaders, have too often been excluded from positions of power, intentionally by design or due to a limited understanding of barriers to participation. 

The opportunity: A wider range of participation, including from youth leaders and young professionals, builds more durable and inclusive community leadership, ultimately leading to a wider range of community benefits.

Communities that diversify their leadership and ensure that leadership structures are accessible to all community members make it more likely that the whole community will engage and share perspectives in planning and doing.

We want you to join the discussion! Youth and young professional leaders living and working in rural places, we want to hear from you! Additionally, this conversation will be enriched by those interested in techniques for fostering youth leadership and mentoring young professionals. Please think about a success story or experience you’d like to share.  

We will kick off the gathering with a whole group conversation moderated by Bonita Robertson-Hardy, Aspen CSG’s Co-Executive Director, followed by optional small group breakout discussions. You don’t have to share your voice to participate in the event; we encourage you to send insights in the chat or simply listen. All are welcome.

related publications

Case Study
Farmworkers hoeing fields
Broadening Authentic Leadership: Student Action with Farmworkers

This short case study has insights and suggestions for how rural-serving organizations can effectively welcome and truly empower leaders from all backgrounds.

Autumn tree in rural area
Lessons from the Field: Rural & Indigenous Leadership for Opportunity Youth

Takeaways from the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions fall convening valuable for equitable rural development

Young adult being welcomed home with hugs and excitement
Ensuring Rural Communities Welcome Everyone

Resources and best practices to ensure that each and every person is welcomed to the community, feels connected, and is able to exercise and influence power in community decision-making.

Pair walking up stairs icon
Prepare Action-Able Leadership

Communities have and prepare leaders with the will, skills, relationships, diversity, knowledge, and power needed to fully engage the community and the region to establish, align, and achieve priorities that increase both well-being and equity outcomes.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group