Friday, February 11, 2011

Its a Long Way--But "What Works! 2011: Entrepreneurship & Economic Development in the Northeast" Might be Worth the Trip

If you are passionate about helping our communities thrive, growing new jobs, sustaining working landscapes and local economies, you should make plans today to attend the What Works! 2011 Conference scheduled for March 30 - April 1, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA. Hosted by the Northeast Center for Rural Development, a highlight of the conference will be the opportunity to be an author of an exciting new regional plan of action for entrepreneurship in the Northeast. Registration is now open at http://nercrd.psu.edu/Entrepreneurship/WhatWorksIIWksp.html.

Is the Northeast ready to take full advantage of the economic recovery? Are we positioned to retain and attract young people to live and work in our communities? Do we fully understand the demands of our aging population? For decades, the Northeast has traded on its image of natural beauty, creative people and distinctive cultural heritage. But other regions of the country are rapidly developing their own ‘regional flavor.’ The Northeast must continue to be innovative in order to remain at the leading edge of rural community and economic development. Now is an excellent time to join forces to learn what is currently working, explore where future research and new programs could lead us, chart a path for reaching our goals, and identify how to measure our progress. There is much to be gained from combining our talents, skills and knowledge.

What Works! 2011 will bring together a diverse group of individuals to explore the opportunities and challenges of promoting entrepreneurship as a vehicle for economic development in our region. The conference includes a combination of workshops, research-in-progress presentations, and roundtable discussions. General session speakers will engage participants in dialogues about building vital rural economies. A special track will feature sessions on engaging youth as entrepreneurs. Other topics include a special workshop hosted by the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) on how to energize entrepreneurial communities, as well as sessions on tourism, downtown business analysis, coop development, and the knowledge economy. What Works is designed to be an interactive event. Participants will be asked to help identify program gaps, research needs, and opportunities for inter-regional collaboration.

Featured keynote speakers include Ross Gittell, the James R. Carter Professor at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and Thomas Lyons, Field Family Professor in Entrepreneurship at Baruch College.

The conference brochure and registration materials are available on the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development's website, http://nercrd.psu.edu/Entrepreneurship/WhatWorksIIWksp.html. Early registration is $150, so don't wait, register today.

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