Keynote Presentation – Is Rural Minnesota Poised for the Digital Age? #MNBroadband Conference 2017

The digital age is transforming the current socioeconomic landscape. Urban and rural communities alike need to transition to a digital mindset in order to adapt and prosper. But what is a digital mindset? This presentation will provide digital age related trends, discuss a community economic development model based on the Intelligent Community concept, and showcase small steps communities can take. The objective is to help rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. In addition, the latest research on broadband impact’s and the digital divide for the state of Minnesota will be shared.

Roberto shared DDI profiles for all 87 Minnesota Counties:


  1. Aitkin County
  2. Anoka County
  3. Becker County
  4. Beltrami County
  5. Benton County
  6. Big Stone County
  7. Blue Earth County
  8. Brown County
  9. Carlton County
  10. Carver County
  11. Cass County
  12. Chippewa County
  13. Chisago County
  14. Clay County
  15. Clearwater County
  16. Cook County
  17. Cottonwood County
  18. Crow Wing County
  19. Dakota County
  20. Dodge County
  21. Douglas County
  22. Faribault County
  23. Fillmore County
  24. Freeborn County
  25. Goodhue County
  26. Grant County
  27. Hennepin County
  28. Houston County
  29. Hubbard County
  30. Isanti County
  31. Itasca County
  32. Jackson County
  33. Kanabec County
  34. Kandiyohi County
  35. Kittson County
  36. Koochiching County
  37. Lac qui Parle County
  38. Lake County
  39. Lake of the Woods County
  40. Le Sueur County
  41. Lincoln County
  42. Lyon County
  43. McLeod County
  44. Mahnomen County
  45. Marshall County
  46. Martin County
  47. Meeker County
  48. Mille Lacs County
  49. Morrison County
  50. Mower County
  51. Murray County
  52. Nicollet County
  53. Nobles County
  54. Norman County
  55. Olmsted County
  56. Otter Tail County
  57. Pennington County
  58. Pine County
  59. Pipestone County
  60. Polk County
  61. Pope County
  62. Ramsey County
  63. Red Lake County
  64. Redwood County
  65. Renville County
  66. Rice County
  67. Rock County
  68. Roseau County
  69. Saint Louis County
  70. Scott County
  71. Sherburne County
  72. Sibley County
  73. Stearns County
  74. Steele County
  75. Stevens County
  76. Swift County
  77. Todd County
  78. Traverse County
  79. Wabasha County
  80. Wadena County
  81. Waseca County
  82. Washington County
  83. Watonwan County
  84. Wilkin County
  85. Winona County
  86. Wright County
  87. Yellow Medicine County

Thanks to CTEP worker Brandon Phan for his notes:

  • Increased awareness essential when quick assumptions are made at the table
  • Technology being adapted around the world at a rapid rate
  • Size of digital economy à $6.6 trillion by 2020 among G-20 countries
  • Digital divide threat to economic development
  • Hardware and software being develop extremely quickly
  • “digital use must be refined in order for it to be useful”
  • An app currently developed by FDA that can take a pictures of moles to see if it’s cancerous
  • Nature of innovation evolving w/ technological advancements
  • Most valuable companies from 2006 to 2016 have shifted towards tech giants
  • Digital globalization ~15 years old
    • Telehealth/telemedicine, jobs, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding
  • Book to check out: The Fourth Transformation
  • Digital age making possible blockchain, etc.
  • What’s App, Instagram, Youtube sold for billions w/ less than 70 employees each
  • Must agree on an issue to develop solutions
  • Importance of access and adoption of broadband
  • “doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is ridiculous” -Voltaire
  • Why faster internet vs why electricity when we have candles
  • By 2025, 1 billion digital natives will join the workforce
  • Baby boomer grew w/ TC, current generation w/ screens
  • Education, healthcare, jobs…reasons why people move from rural to urban communities
    • Broadband could be a game changer
  • “dream bigger than your circumstances”
  • “speed will be the next digital divide”
  • Europe now looking into internet utilization

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