One of the most powerful stories of rural community transformation in the last 50 years is Tupelo, Mississippi (38,271 in 2019). One of the most compelling emerging stories of rural community transformation is Ord, Nebraska (2,310 residents in 2019 anchoring a rural region of 10,000). Don Macke, curator of the Ord Story, will share lessons learned in rural entrepreneurial ecosystem building through the lens of Ord’s 50-year transformation from deep and hopeless decline to a thriving community today.
Presenter: Don Macke leads e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (formerly the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship), an initiative with NetWork Kansas to build sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems across North America. Don has over 40 years of community economic development and policy experience. He was most recently the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the National Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Through this work, Don helps communities and regions throughout North America grow entrepreneur-focused economic development strategies and ecosystems. Don calls Nebraska home and he is a proud resident of America’s Great Plains Region.