Ben Winchester - The Middle of Everywhere Part 1

In this episode of The Intelligent Community, ICF Co-Founder Lou Zacharilla speaks with Ben Winchester, University of Minnesota Educator and Researcher, and Demographer at the University of Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality.

“The seeds of success for rural economies have been planted!” So says the controversial champion of the rural narrative, University of Minnesota educator and researcher Ben Winchester, a demographer at the University of Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality.

“If the small town is dying why is there a housing shortage in most parts of rural America!?”

Winchester explodes with enthusiasm and knocks down categorically old notions and stereotypes about rural places including the one about WHY people are moving to rural communities. 

“A job is NOT among the top things people look for when choosing a rural lifestyle. Employment opportunities do not bring people in and seeking investment the way it has been done by economic development officials is not an effective way to create brain gain.”  Mr. Winchester suggests another way and it is as simple as any common-sense approach can be.

Professor Winchester is a dedicated community-centric advocate, a fresh and original thinker and a great interview.  

Says long-time ICF jurist Bill Coleman, “Ben is one of my favorites!”

Louis Zacharilla
Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum. Louis Zacharilla helped found the Intelligent Community movement. He is the developer of the Intelligent Community Awards program. He is a frequent keynote speaker and a moderator at conferences and events.

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