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Wednesday, November 8 • 10:25 - 11:10
Drifting, Shifting and Rifting: Dynamics of the Urban-Rural Divide

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Economic and demographic disparities between Canada's urban and rural communities are growing, mainly because of ongoing 'urban drift’ - migration of talented youth from rural regions to larger urban centres. Projected shifts and declines in rural population have troubling implications for agriculture and other primary industries, which depend critically on the talents and capabilities of rural communities. Addressing the digital urban-rural divide is imperative to strengthening rural demographics and to unleashing the potential for innovation-driven growth in Canada’s agriculture industries. We explore Alberta's urban-rural divide in the context of broadband infrastructure development and its relevance to community resilience and prosperity, emphasizing the extensive societal benefits of robust rural connectivity and reviewing related costs and challenges. We introduce a development plan based on an integrated 'top-down + bottom-up' strategy for building economic and demographic resilience in rural communities, which is designed to leverage local and regional leadership, industry and culture to drive improvement and application of Internet connectivity. This approach is potentially relevant to all communities in rural Canada including First Nation communities.



Speakers
avatar for James Van Leeuwen

James Van Leeuwen

Innovation Architect, Ventus Development Services
James Van Leeuwen is an Alberta-based consultant and entrepreneur focused on leveraging ICT and data for community innovation and economic development. His principal focus is developing efficient and effective methods and models for local and regional collaboration. James has extensive experience... Read More →
avatar for Karen Morton

Karen Morton

Technical Leader, National Energy Board
Karen Morton is Technical Leader, Energy Information and a Project Manager at the National Energy Board. Karen completed a Master of Science in Media & Communications (Data & Society) at the London School of Economics in the UK as a Chevening Scholar in 2016.  This excursion was fed by a desire to expand her role in Canada’s energy industry to gain an international perspective... Read More →



Wednesday November 8, 2017 10:25 - 11:10
Kinnear Centre - KC 301

Attendees (7)