United States Department of Education

Office of the Chief Financial Officer

 

 

Program Update

Congressional Grant Award

P116Z020226

 

The North American Rural Futures Institute

Montana State University – Northern

P. O. Box 7751
Havre, MT 59501

 

 

Submitted by

Timlynn T. Babitsky

Director

 

15 July 2003


Acknowledgements

In preparing the NARFI Program Update I received a great deal of insight, ideas and informal advisement from a wide range of local and regional organization leaders and educators. My participation on the NWAF Poverty Reduction grant proposal team provided me access to key leaders across the 11-county region of North Central Montana including friends and colleagues from the Native American tribes in the region. I participated in over 12 meetings from February through May, with many of the same people, building strong networks of relationships that helped me to gain deep insights into the key issues facing rural Montana.

In particular I would like to thank Jim Salmons of Sohodojo; Paul Tuss, Craig Erickson and Tracey Jette of Bear Paw Development Corporation; Alex Capedeville, Roger Barber, Tom Reynolds, Melody Bentz, Leah Noel, Margaret Meggs, Mary McCroskey, Vaughn Rundquist, Catherine Williams, and Rob Harrison of MSU-N; Peggy Beltrone Cascade County Commissioner; James Parker Shield of Indian Heritage Association; Vic Miller and Darrel Hannum of HRDC; Sharon Odden of Easter Seal Goodwill; Randy Hanson of Montana Department of Commerce; John Magyar and Tim Hodges of Hill Co. Electric/Triangle Telephone; Bob Rice Mayor of Havre; Kate McMahon of Applied Communications; Elaina Zempel of the Pondera Coalition for Progress; Anne Boothe of Phillco Economic Growth Council; Roger St. Pierre of Rocky Boy Housing Authority; Pam Harada of Havre Job Service Work-Force Center; Sandy Courtnage of Montana Farmers Union; Richard Small, Walter “Moose” Denny, and Jason Belcourt of the Chippewa Cree Community; Jan Pyrak of Flynn Realty in Havre; Caroline Brown of the Fort Belknap Planning Dept.; Kristie Smith of US Bank in Havre; Cheryn Weiser and Urusla Roosen-Runge of Strategic Learning Resources, Ron Rides at the Door of Cutbank; and many, many others with whom I had the opportunity to discuss the future of rural Montana, rural communities and the rural way of life. Each provided insights into the mission that the North American Rural Futures Institute must pursue. 

The Montana Economic Development Summit 2003 was particularly helpful as I had the opportunity to hear Senators Baucus and Burns, and Representative Rehberg publicly express their concerns and visions for Montana’s future. At a break in the meetings, I had the opportunity to privately discuss NARFI’s agendas and collaborations with Senator Burns and how they might impact the depopulation/aging population concerns across the State.

The Summit provided a rich opportunity to discuss the future of rural life in North America with a great number of economic development leaders and decision-makers across Montana. I thank each one of them who touched the concept of a rural futures institute and what it might accomplish.

                                                                                                    Timlynn T. Babitsky
                                                                                                                                                         Havre, Montana
                                                                                                                                                              15 July 2003

 


Abstract

The North American Rural Futures Institute was established in rural Montana through the sustained efforts of a number of important stakeholders, approval of the Regents of Montana State University, and the Congressional Award secured by Senator Baucus and Senator Burns to provide start-up funding. The new institute is located at Montana State University – Northern, in Havre Montana.

A Director for the Institute was hired from North Carolina in September 2002 and completed relocation to Havre in February 2003. In March, April and May 2003, the Director conducted an in-depth evaluation of the original Congressional Award Application, Statement of Work, Timetable, Budget and Evaluation Plan.

The Program Update that follows, details a revised Program Plan based on well-specified projects and activities with a detailed budget and strategies for further funding.

To truly have an impact on rural futures in North America, NARFI must follow a clear path - determining where rural citizens are currently focused, helping them to widen their view of the issues and problems they will need to face over the next 10 – 50 years, and providing opportunities for them to gain the skills they will need, to make wise choices and sustaining decisions.

The NARFI Program Update, starts at the beginning of this path and lays solid groundwork for rural Montana to become a leader in rural futures planning. There are eight NARFI-led projects and five collaboration agendas described in this Update.

The Program Update has purposely been designed to use the Congressional Award to seed various projects and to support start-up only activities. All of the NARFI projects and the continuance of NARFI itself will depend on developing networks for collaboration and partners for grant supported funding.

Understanding the importance of “ties” – the Network Society and the Network Economy as the framework for sustainable 21st century rural life – is the cornerstone of NARFI’s rural futures mission.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsi

Abstractii

Table of Contentsiii

I. Introduction1

Recommendation. 2

II. NARFI Program Update Overview. 3

A.Introduction. 3

B.Goals and Objectives. 3

C.Mission and Roles. 4

1.    Mission Statement4

2.    Mission Objective. 4

D.Projects and Collaborations of the Program Update - Overview.. 4

1.    NARFI-led Projects. 5

2.    NARFI Collaborations. 6

III. NARFI-led Projects in Detail9

A.Futures Thinkers Mini-grants Project9

1.    Goal9

2.    Description. 9

3.    Implementation. 9

4.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 9

5.    Cooperating Organizations. 10

6.    Staffing and Administration. 10

7.    Work Plan/Timetable. 10

8.    Project A - Mini-grants 2003-2005 Budget10

9.    Budget Justification. 10

10.  Plan for Future Funding. 11

11.  Evaluation. 11

12.  Dissemination and Utilization. 11

B.Rural Futures Information and Community Outreach Project11

1.    Goal11

2.    Description. 11

3.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 12

4.    Cooperating Organizations. 12

5.    Staffing and Administration. 13

6.    Work Plan/Timetable. 13

7.    Project B – Community Outreach 2003-2005 Budget13

8.    Budget Justification. 14

9.    Plan for Future Funding. 14

10.  Products/Outcomes Summary. 14

11.  Evaluation. 14

12.  Dissemination and Utilization. 14

C.NARFI Interactive Rural Futures On-line Portal15

1.    Goal15

2.    Description. 15

3.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 15

4.    Cooperating Organizations. 15

5.    Staffing and Administration. 16

6.    Work Plan Timetable. 16

7.    Project C - Interactive On-line Portal – 2003-2005 Budget16

8.    Plan for Future Funding. 16

9.    Products/Outcomes Summary. 16

10.  Evaluation. 16

11.  Dissemination and Utilization. 16

D.NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory. 17

1.    Goal17

2.    Description. 17

3.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 17

4.    Cooperating Organizations. 17

5.    Staffing and Administration. 18

6.    Work Plan/Timetable. 18

7.    Project D - NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory – 2003-2005 Budget18

8.    Products/Outcomes Summary. 18

9.    Evaluation. 18

10.  Dissemination and Utilization. 18

E.Future Futurists Outreach Project18

1.    Goal18

2.    Description. 18

3.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 19

4.    Staffing and Administration. 19

5.    Work Plan/Timetable. 19

6.    Project E - Future Futurists Outreach 2003-2005 Budget19

7.    Plan for Future Funding. 20

8.    Products/Outcomes Summary. 20

9.    Evaluation. 20

10.  Dissemination and Utilization:20

F.NARFI Communities of Practice. 20

1.    Goal20

2.    Description. 20

3.    Collaborating Institutions. 21

4.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 21

5.    Staffing and Administration. 22

6.    Work Plan/Timetable. 22

7.    Project F - NARFI Communities of Practice 2003-2005 Budget22

8.    Plan for Future Funding. 22

9.    Products/Outcomes Summary. 22

10.  Evaluation. 23

11.  Dissemination and Utilization. 23

G.Futures Planning – Skills Workshops. 23

1.    Goal23

2.    Description. 23

3.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 23

4.    Staffing and Administration. 24

5.    Work Plan/Timetable. 24

6.    Project G - Project Budget24

7.    Budget Justification. 25

8.    Plan for Future Funding. 25

9.    Products/Outcomes Summary. 25

10.  Dissemination and Utilization. 25

H.Rural Futures Institute Conference. 25

1.    Goal25

2.    Description. 25

3.    Cooperating Organizations. 26

4.    Project 2003-2005 Activities. 26

5.    Staffing and Administration. 26

6.    Work Plan/Timetable. 26

7.    Project H - Rural Futures Institute Conference Start-up Budget26

8.    Plan for Future Funding. 27

IV. NARFI Collaborations in Detail28

A.NWAF Poverty Reduction Proposal28

1.    Poverty Reduction in North Central Montana. 28

2.    Northcentral Montana Brand and Internet Portal28

B.The Network Economy Research Theme. 29

1.    The “Rise of the Creative Class in the Small” Research Agenda. 30

2.    tROCCits Creativity Index Project31

3.    tROCCits On-Line Conference. 32

C.Microenterprise Networks Research Agenda. 32

1.    The Chandler Guild and Big Sky Chandlers. 33

2.    Montana Scatterlings Project34

V. Summary36

A.Statement36

B.Fund Raising Plans. 36

C.Advisory Board. 36

VI. Appendices37

A.NARFI Program Update - Overall Budget and Funding Plan. 37

1.    NARFI Expenditures – September 2002 through June 30, 2003. 37

2.    General Program Budget - July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2004. 38

NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table. 40


I. Introduction

The idea of a rural futures institute grew out of a Hewlett Packard Digital Village grant proposal effort undertaken by community and campus leaders in Havre Montana. When the proposal did not receive funding, the team contacted the President of Communities of the Future, a North Carolina-based futures thinker.

In December 2000, a small business futurist organization, (Sohodojo, the technical support provider for the Communities of the Future network), was engaged to develop an Internet-based community platform website for a potential rural futures institute. The new institute was to be located in Havre Montana. It was named the North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI), to define the scope of its mission.

The NARFI community website (http://narfi.org) was designed, developed and put on line by early April 2001. Initial Internet search engine promotion of the NARFI website was conducted from April through June 2001.

In July 2001 the Regents of Montana State University approved the Havre-based North American Rural Futures Institute as an MSU-Northern agenda.

In June 2002 a Congressional appropriation was awarded from the “Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education” as start-up funding for the new institute.

In mid-September, 2002 a director for the new institute was hired. The director, then living in Raleigh, North Carolina, was provided with the 4-page budget proposal/narrative from the Congressional Award Application as the guideline for initial activities, which commenced remotely from North Carolina.

On January 30, 2003, the director and family completed the selling of their house in Raleigh and their move to Havre Montana.

On February 3, 2003, the director was provided with a full copy of the Directed Grant Application and Grant Award Notification (Award No: P116Z020226), which included the Statement of Work submitted with the Congressional Award application.

In March, April and May 2003, the director of NARFI conducted an in-depth evaluation of the Congressional Award Application, Statement of Work, Timetable, Budget and Evaluation Plan. The Program Update was written in June 2003.

 

The Program Update provided here:

Recommendation

In-depth evaluation of the original Statement of Work determined that the program originally proposed relied on there being expertise and interest among the faculty at MSU-N, as well as keen interest in the region, for rural futures planning. Evaluation showed that this was not yet so.

In order for any futures-oriented program to occur, a number of steps must be taken to first develop knowledge and expertise among those charged with providing the education – in this case, MSU-N faculty. Grass-roots interest must be developed in the rural communities, among community leaders, economic developers, decision makers, educators and citizens to even seek alternative models and innovative solutions to issues that not all of these stakeholders yet see as serious.

Information on emerging trends, research and case studies of programs working on rural futures and rural sustainability must be disseminated across the rural population in a very pro-active, easily understood, forthright, friendly, and visible manner.

Young students – the next generation of rural decision makers – need to understand that rural life is changing. Before they reach adulthood, we must inspire them to seek innovative solutions to rural futures issues. They must gain basic skills in planning for the future and understand the impact decisions can have on complex problems.

We cannot afford to wait for potential teachers in teacher education programs to be inspired, graduate and then perhaps begin developing rural futures curricula in their classrooms. We must approach young students and their current teachers, with rural futures issues now. Planning for a sustainable rural future is that important to all of us!

Reacting to crises is not a sustainable strategy.  Rural citizens need to start thinking now about how to shape their future.

Montana is not alone in facing rural futures planning challenges. But it is here where we can experiment, test, model and call rural citizens to action to find some of the “best practices” for all of rural North America.

To truly have an impact on rural futures in North America, NARFI must follow a clear path. NARFI must find where rural citizens are currently focused, help them to widen their view of the issues and problems they will need to face over the next 10 – 50 years, and help them gain the skills they will need, to make wise choices and sustaining decisions.

The NARFI Program should start at the beginning of the path and develop a strong mapping to potential successes. The Program Update detailed below is focused on that road to a strong rural future for Montana - and all of North America.

II. NARFI Program Update Overview

The Program Update that follows details a revised plan for the use of the Congressional Award - P116Z020226 to seed and start the North American Rural Futures Institute at MSU-Northern. (Note: A number of the projects listed in the update plan are already underway and are indicated as such below.)

A.   Introduction

Although the original NARFI Program tasked Montana State University-Northern faculty with creating relevant curricula and sponsoring a Rural Futures Summer Institute based on faculty futures-oriented projects, it was clear during the evaluation, that the faculty does not yet have the relevant background to launch into such an endeavor.

For MSU-N to become a leader in rural futures thinking and to be able to collaborate with local, regional and national partners on rural futures issues – as is supported by the Congressional Award – a strong foundation must first be laid.

B.   Goals and Objectives

The thrust of activities in the Program Update is on the step-wise progression to move MSU-Northern and rural Montana, from where they are now to where potential lies for Montana to become a leader in rural futures innovation and education.

The NARFI Program Update includes the following overall goals:

·       Educate MSU-N faculty on emerging trends in their respective fields.

·       Help local and regional decision makers to develop basic skills in the methodologies of futures planning.

NARFI’s overall objective is to connect educators, rural citizens, community leaders, researchers and futurists throughout Montana, North America and around the world who are working on innovative visions to enhance the sustainability of rural regions.

C.   Mission and Roles

Beginning with revised mission, roles and objectives statements, the North American Rural Futures Institute Program Update more sharply focuses on building the background required for NARFI at MSU-N to become a change agent for rural Montana – to help position the State as a leader in rural futures innovation.

1.     Mission Statement

The North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI) is an applied futures institute. Its mission is to provide the most important information relevant to decisions that must be made over the next five decades by rural citizens across North America; and to provide opportunities for those citizens to acquire the skills necessary to evoke and evaluate change and innovation for a sustainable rural future.

NARFI has four key roles to its overall mission:

·       LENS - to be the eyes and ears for rural sustainability in North America.

·       CATALYST - to evoke change and innovation among rural leaders and educators and to develop a rich network of collaborators to engage in rural futures research, experimentation and thinking.

2.     Mission Objective

NARFI’s mission objective is to connect educators, rural citizens, community leaders, researchers and futurists throughout Montana, North America and around the world who are working on innovative visions to enhance the sustainability of rural regions.

D.   Projects and Collaborations of the Program Update - Overview

To accomplish the mission, goals and objectives of the NARFI Program Update, a number of NARFI-led Projects are already underway.  To position NARFI, MSU-N, and Montana as leaders in rural futures activism, a number of Collaborations are already under development with key researchers from across North America and Australia; others are being explored with rural futurists from New Zealand, Japan, and the UK. 

Below is the list of Program Update Projects and Collaborations with a brief overview description of each. Following this Overview section, each NARFI-led Project is more fully described with details on specific activities, cooperating organizations, staffing and administration, work plan and timetable, budget, evaluation, dissemination, etc. Each Collaboration agenda is described in greater detail in terms of goals, collaborators, anticipated projects, and strategies for funding.

1.     NARFI-led Projects

            The following projects are under the direct leadership of the North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI). These projects are currently being seed funded by the Congressional Award as they get underway.  Detailed information can be found on each project in the NARFI-led Projects in Detail section that follows the Overview.

a)    Futures Thinkers mini grants

This project funds individuals from rural regions in Montana to attend information events on alternative energy, emerging technology, etc., and skill-building events in futures studies methodologies.

b)    Rural Futures Information and Community Outreach Project

NARFI’s downtown Havre location provides rural futures information - brochures, pamphlets, informative events (speakers, films, discussions, etc.) and suggested sites to visit in Montana to see innovative projects already underway.

c)     NARFI Interactive Rural Futures On-line Portal

This project provides in-depth information on emerging technologies, events and conferences, white papers, articles and research in any way related to rural sustainability.

d)    NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory

This Directory provides annotated links to information sources, organizations, research, field tests, best practices, legislation, value-added agendas, etc., on any and all issues related to rural future issues across North America.

e)    Future Futurists Outreach Project

This project engages rural youth and the adults involved in their education in information-based exhibits, hands on experiences, contests, classroom projects, field trips, etc., focused on current issues and emerging trends in various aspects of rural Montana life.

f)      NARFI Communities of Practice

This project stimulates the creation of grassroots-based special interest groups on rural futures issues and facilitates local and regional expertise in emerging knowledge areas essential to future rural economic sustainability.

g)    Futures Planning – Skills Workshops

This project for educators, community leaders, economic development stakeholders and rural citizens, provides basic skills in the methodologies of futures studies, e.g., environmental scanning, scenario building and assessment, and forecasting.

h)     Rural Futures Institute Conference

This project for educators, community leaders, economic development stakeholders and rural citizens, provides education, information and hands-on opportunities to explore best practices, innovations and on-going research on rural futures issues.

NARFI-led Projects

Lens

Catalyst

Educator

Repository

Futures Thinkers mini grants

X

X

X

 

Rural Futures Community Outreach

 

X

X

X

NARFI Rural Futures on-line Portal

X

X

X

X

NARFI Rural Futures Directory

X

X

X

X

Future Futurists Outreach

 

X

X

X

NARFI Communities of Practice

X

X

X

X

Futures Planning – Skills Workshops

 

X

X

 

Rural Futures Institute Conference

X

X

X

 

Table 1:  NARFI-led Projects and the key role of the NARFI mission
to which each primarily relates

2.     NARFI Collaborations

            The following Collaborations are already underway with key researchers and stakeholders from across North America and Australia. The Congressional Award is currently being used to fund some initial costs e.g., travel expenses to attend meetings, teleconference and long-distance phone calls, and to provide seed money for design and initial development of on-line collaboration websites. Detailed information on these Collaborations can be found in the NARFI Collaborations in Detail section that follows the Overview.

a)    NWAF Poverty Reduction Proposal

            In the Spring of 2002 the 11-county region of North Central Montana was selected as one of four regions in the U. S. with a high level of poverty, yet potential, to which the North West Area Foundation (NWAF) provided seed funds to develop a 10-year plan proposal to reduce poverty.  At the end of 2003, NWAF will select 1-2 of the 4 contending regions with which to partner over the next ten years, providing seed funding for the poverty reduction 10-year plan for that region.

The key NWAF criteria for proposal selection is for regional citizens and community and organization leaders to develop a region-wide plan that would move forward with or without NWAF funds.

(1)   Poverty Reduction in North Central Montana

Since February 2003, NARFI has been a key participant on the Economic Development Strategy Team of the North Central Montana Community Ventures Coalition – the Montana regional group working on this NWAF proposal. Timlynn Babitsky, the Director of NARFI was asked in May to join the Leadership Council and made pivotal contributions to development of the Mission Statement and Guiding Principles for the 10 year Poverty Reduction Program proposal.

(2)   North Central Montana Brand and Portal

Development of a rich network of economic developers, marketing and technology specialists to focus on regional, national and global marketing of North Central Montana agricultural, arts, crafts, cultural, history-related, and tribal products through deployment of a North Central Montana Internet portal. This is the key project in the 10-year plan in which NARFI will participate.

b)    The Network Economy Research Theme

The Network Economy focus within NARFI’s applied futures research program brings together a collection of communities of practice, projects, and research collaborations that address the social and economic opportunities for rural citizens and communities to “Live locally, think globally.” How do we tap the inherent creativity and independent spirit of rural entrepreneurs and rural communities to find ways to effectively participate in the global economy without succumbing to the too-often self-destructive trends toward over-consumption and unchecked growth that plague urban areas?

NARFI’s initial projects and collaborations within the Network Economy theme address innovations in small business and workforce independence that tap what Richard Florida, Carnegie Mellon’s distinguished professor of regional economic development, calls “the rise of the Creative Class.”

(1)   The “Rise of the Creative Class in the Small” Research Agenda

Knowledge workers of the last twenty years have transformed to become members of what Richard Florida calls the Creative Class. In his best-selling book of the same name, Florida suggests that we are witnessing “The Rise of the Creative Class” (the book and theory being widely referred to by the acronym, tROCC). Necessarily independent in a world where employment relationships are measured in months rather than years, members of the Creative Class value “place” above the “job.” Where folks live is increasingly more important than for whom they work.

(a)   tROCCits Creativity Index Project

NARFI, together with its collaborative partners Sohodojo and The Richard Florida Creativity Group, will engage in fundamental research to identify and understand the dynamics of “the Rise Of Creative Class in the small” (tROCCits) to complement and extend Richard Florida’s social and economic theory. Dr. Florida recognizes the extension of his theory into rural regional economies as vital and timely to the growth of his research.

(b)   tROCCits On-Line Conference

As part of an initial awareness program and to stimulate collateral research projects related to the Creativity Index Project, the tROCCits partners will host and sponsor a web-based, on-line conference to network researchers, local and regional rural economic developers and graduate students wanting to intern and otherwise participate in this research agenda.

(2)   Microenterprise Networks Research Agenda

With the erosion of life-long, career employment, especially in rural economies, we are seeing the reinvigoration of solo and family-based entrepreneurship. Multi-job “portfolio” work-lives and the growth of owner-operated (no employee) small businesses are as much a return to the past as they are a reflection of 21st Century rural lifestyles where independence and a can-do spirit are vital to personal and community sustainability.

(a)   The Chandler Guild and Big Sky Chandlers

ME-nets applied research is being most actively pursued by NARFI collaborator, Sohodojo, the non-profit applied R&D lab supporting solo and family-based entrepreneurship in rural and distressed urban communities. Sohodojo co-founder and research director, Jim Salmons, is currently NARFI’s Entrepreneur and Futurist In Residence. He brings a deep understanding and practical experience to this position that is helping to create and shape the research focus of NARFI’s Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice.

Sohodojo has strategically partnered with Iowa-based Soyawax, Inc. on the development of The Chandler Guild, a microenterprise network of soybean wax candlemakers. NARFI’s Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice will mentor and support the creation of Big Sky Chandlers, a statewide hub within the larger Chandler Guild microenterprise network.

(b)   Montana Scatterlings Project

As the employment system, social relations and regional economic opportunities increasingly are driven by the dynamics of the emerging global network economy, social networks and local economies are transcending the limits of place and moving toward extended networks of trust and mutual interdependence. NARFI calls this extended social and economic network the Montana Scatterlings – Montanans who have the best interest of Montana at heart but who do not currently reside in Montana.

This collaborative project will map the distribution of Montanans within the extended social and economic networks that transcends geographic borders. By first mapping the composition and extent of this extended network, NARFI will seek to articulate and advocate programs and business strategies that maximize the effectiveness of the participation of rural small businesses in the network economy.

            NARFI Collaborations

Trend

Focus

Economic

Social

Research

Applied

NWAF Grant Proposal

 

 

 

 

- Poverty Reduction - North Central Montana

X

 

X

 

- North Central Montana Brand and Portal

X

X

 

X

Network Economy Research Theme

 

 

 

 

The Rise of the Creative Class in the Small

X

X

X

 

- tROCCits Creativity Index Project

X

X

X

 

- tROCCits On-Line Conference

X

X

 

X

Micro-enterprise Network

X

 

X

 

- The Chandler Guild and Big Sky Chandlers

X

 

X

X

- Montana Scatterlings Project

X

X

X

X

Table 2:  NARFI Collaborations and the trend and focus to which each most relates

III. NARFI-led Projects in Detail

The following section provides greater detail on the projects under the direct leadership of the North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI).

These projects are currently being seed-funded by the Congressional Award as they get underway. Further funding will be pursued through focused grant proposals aimed at particular project activities, appropriate funding sources, and a specific set of goals and objectives for each fundable activity.

A.   Futures Thinkers Mini-grants Project

1.     Goal

Leadership in rural futures planning will develop in rural Montana.

2.     Description

This project provides funds for individuals from rural regions in Montana to attend information events on value-added electricity, fuel cell development, bio fuels, solar power, wind power, alternative energy and emerging technology in general; new trends in agriculture, ranching, conservation, housing, transportation, community decision making, education and so on – essentially on any issue related to rural futures. Mini grants are also provided to individuals to attend skill-building events in futures studies methodologies.

3.     Implementation

NARFI staff members select mini-grant opportunities and alert MSU-N faculty, local organizations, media sources, educators, and community leaders in rural Montana of the availability of a mini-grant for a particular event. Prospective mini grant recipients are selected through a short interview and outside recommendation.

Following the event, mini-grant recipients must provide a copy of any information distributed in the event and an event report and interview for the NARFI Interactive on-line portal. The recipient is identified to the community and on-line as a “NARFI Futures Thinker.”

Futures Thinkers are subsequently kept informed on their particular topic area through inclusion on all NARFI information dissemination lists and newsletters. A NARFI Future Thinker becomes part of the local, regional and state network of interest in the topic area; will be invited to NARFI sponsored events as a VIP; and is expected to take a leadership role in his/her community on rural futures issues.

4.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

5.     Cooperating Organizations

The North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI) at MSU-Northern with promotional help from MSU-Northern, the Havre Daily News, and NARFI’s growing network of futures focused organizations across Montana. Internships will be for work with MSU-N faculty engaged in rural futures projects.

6.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI Director, Assistant, and the technical services of NARFI’s contract Webmaster.

7.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project is already underway. NARFI’s first Futures Thinker was granted funds to attend the Montana Secretary of State’s “Energy from the Farm” bus Tour in May.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

8.     Project A - Mini-grants 2003-2005 Budget

2003:  5 mini-grants @ approximately $500  =     $2,500.00

2004: 10 mini-grants @ approximately $500 =     $5,000.00

2005:   5 mini-grants match funds @ $200 =         $1,000.00

Develop internship opportunity

      Research/design                                    $200.00

      Promotion                                              $200.00

              Seek funding (grant proposal)               $200.00

NARFI matches funding for two
      Futures Thinkers interns @ $1,000                 $2,000.00

Total Project A =      $11,100.00

9.     Budget Justification

Our first mini-grant provided for a Havre recipient to attend the Montana Secretary of State’s Farm Energy three-day bus tour out of Helena. Promotion was by word of mouth, a news article in the Havre Daily News, phone calls and use of the NARFI network of relationships across North Central Montana.

Costs for this event were:  $100 to the SEC for registration; $147.60 for mileage at (.365/mile x 410 miles); $81.00 for food ($23.00 x 3 days); for a total of $228.60.

This was very inexpensive in terms of event registration, as the bus tour was subsidized with government money. Lodging was provided as part of the low registration fee. Other events will cost more for registration; will need to cover lodging, and could cost more for travel depending on the location of the event and the grant recipient.  

10.Plan for Future Funding

The first two years of this project will be fully funded by the Congressional Award.  Year three activities will be partially funded by the Congressional Award, but to continue this project and NARFI in general, further funding will be pursued through grant proposals. The internship activity will be supported by proposals for outside funding; the Congressional Award will cover proposal development costs.

11.Evaluation

The mini grant project will be evaluated at the end of each year to determine if the grant events provided a broad range of issue coverage consistent with the NARFI mission.  At the end of each mini grant recipient’s cycle, a short survey will be sent to the recipient to elicit feedback on improvements for the project. Recipients will be tracked over three years to determine if they have continued their interest in the event topic and if they have developed their Futures Thinkers role into a leadership role within their community or organization.

12.Dissemination and Utilization

Information about NARFI’s mini grant project, the Futures Thinkers spotlights, and the information brought back from each funded event will be developed into website content on the NARFI on-line Rural Futures Portal for free public use. Event sponsors will be invited to use this information or to link to it from their respective websites. Presenters who participated in or sponsored the event will be contacted for brochures and information packets to be used in the NARFI Community Outreach Project.

B.   Rural Futures Information and Community Outreach Project

1.     Goal

Visitors, educators, students and rural citizens in the North Central region of Montana will become knowledgeable advocates of rural futures planning.

2.     Description

NARFI has chosen a downtown Havre location in the Heritage Center as a Community Outreach Center for FY 2003-2004.

“The Havre Heritage Center is the historic and cultural hub of Hill County and the Hi-Line of Montana. It houses the H. Earl Clack Museum and hosts numerous cultural activities.”

NARFI will provide visitors to the Heritage Center and the H. Earl Clack Museum with a selection of brochures and pamphlets developed by NARFI and related organizations. The focus of these publications will be innovations, emerging technologies, new models, experiments, and alternative solutions related to any area of sustaining rural communities and the rural way of life. NARFI will also provide a list of suggested sites with maps and contact information to see innovative projects already underway across Montana.

NARFI will sponsor and present informative events on rural futures issues (films, speakers, discussions, etc.) to the Hi-Line community on a regular basis.

Teachers bringing students on field trips to the Heritage Center and H. Earl Clack museum, will be offered the option of having a short presentation and information event on topics related to rural futures issues presented to their students during their field trip.

NARFI will participate in the Montana Committee for the Humanities Open Bookreading and discussion programproviding a focus on rural futures issues.

3.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Develop a 15-minute presentation on rural futures issues for use with middle school and high school students on field trips to the H. Earl Clack Museum. (Fall 2003)

·       Develop a focused reading list on rural futures topic most relevant to North Central Montana and provide a NARFI discussion leader for the Montana Committee for the Humanities Open Bookreading and discussion program. (Spring 2004)

·       Invite researchers and organization leaders from North Central Montana who have a keen interest in a topic relevant to rural futures issues to present topic-focused discussion sessions. (2004-2005)

·       Develop a library of current publications focused on rural futures and rural sustainability for reference use by visitors. (2003-2004)

4.     Cooperating Organizations

The Heritage Foundation, the Havre Historic Preservation Commission, the H. Earl Clack Museum, Sohodojo and JFS Consulting. Other organizations that may help on this project include MSU-N faculty, educators from the Havre School District, Montana’s Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Ethanol Producers and Consumers (EPAC), and others. 

5.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI Director, Assistant, and the tech support services of NARFI’s technical services contractor, JFS Consulting.

6.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project is already underway - NARFI is in process of setting up offices in The Heritage Center in downtown Havre. We are slowly building a small, focused library of books and publications.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

7.     Project B – Community Outreach 2003-2005 Budget

2003- 2004:

Heritage Center rent *10 @ $600 =          $6,000.00

(Note: first, last and deposit paid in June 2003)

      Postage                                                            $   200.00

      Envelopes (printed)                                        $   120.00

Library/Repository

Books                                                        $  400.00

                  Videos                                                 $  200.00

                  Magazine subscriptions                       $  125.00

NARFI collaterals

Desktop Publishing Service                      $  200.00

Printing                                                      $  200.00

Format/PDF for portal                              $  100.00

Montana Innovative Projects Lists

Printing                                                      $  100.00

Format/upload to Portal                            $  100.00

      Rural Futures brochures - Five

                  Desktop Publishing Service

5 @ $200                                                  $1,000.00

                  Printing                                                $   250.00

                  Format/PDF for portal 5 @ $100       $   500.00

2004-2005: Rural Futures brochures - Five

                  Desktop Publishing Service

5 @ $200                          $1,000.00

                  Printing                                                $   250.00

                  Format/PDF for portal 5 @ $100       $   500.00

Public Information Events                         $   500.00

2004-2005: Travel to Open Book sites                 $   500.00

Total Project B =       $12,245.00

8.     Budget Justification

Content for the printed brochures will be provided by NARFI staff. Desktop publishing services will include editing, formatting, layout; each brochure will be unique requiring idiosyncratic design, layout, etc.

9.     Plan for Future Funding

The Congressional Award will be used to set this project in motion and to fund most of the activities for the first two years.  If this program is successful, additional funds will be sought to continue these activities as part of NARFI grant proposals to fund the Institute’s overall activities. There is room in the Heritage Center for NARFI to showcase hands-on exhibits on rural futures related topics. Future funding would focus on developing this aspect of NARFI’s Community Outreach agenda.

10.Products/Outcomes Summary

This project will significantly increase NARFI’s public presence and visibility. It will provide rich opportunity to expand NARFI’s network of potential partners and collaborators while gathering a repository of information to share with rural citizens and the next generation of community leaders in rural North Central Montana. NARFI’s community outreach is key to developing among rural citizens in Montana, the awareness of: a) innovative projects throughout North America focused on rural sustainability and b) the need to plan and shape our rural future and not just react to unexpected change.

11.Evaluation

Although this is an ambitious project with many activities, each is easily accomplished. For the first year of this project in particular, we will keep tight records on the number and topic of the pamphlets that are picked up by visitors. Our success in reaching educators and students will be evident in how well they respond to the presentation on rural futures issues and how many request more information from NARFI staff or visit/contribute to the web portal discussions. Rising interest in the rural communities will be evident in how many requests for Open Book discussions on the rural futures reading list come in once the NARFI contribution to the program is established.

12.Dissemination and Utilization

This is an information dissemination project. All information will be made available to the public in print form and electronically in PDF format on the NARFI Rural Futures website portal. NARFI staff and volunteers will make themselves available to meet with community organizations wanting more information and particularly those expressing interest in potential partnerships or collaborations.

C.   NARFI Interactive Rural Futures On-line Portal

1.     Goal

The NARFI website will be a well-known, often accessed, user-friendly, interactive community on-line location for timely in-depth information on emerging technologies, events and conferences, white papers, articles and research in any way related to rural futures issues.

2.     Description

The NARFI website (http://narfi.org) was initially developed as static placeholder pages using an innovative combination of free and open source Internet services in 2001. In early 2002, website content was updated to reflect the Congressional Award. In early 2003, website content and structure were revised to present the emerging NARFI Program Update in progress.

In order for the NARFI web portal to fulfill it’s purpose and make it a true community of interest resource, visitors must be able to add comments, opinions, articles, web links, and such without the bottleneck of a webmaster designing, coding and uploading the information. To accomplish this requires a complete redesign of the web site using current leading edge technology.

The underlying structure of the current NARFI website is being totally redesigned using a Drupal interactive community framework. This will allow NARFI partners, collaborators, stakeholders, volunteers and members of NARFI’s Communities of Practice to engage in interactive content development on a wide range of rural futures and rural sustainability topics.

Web traffic to the NARFI website is still rather pitiful. Site promotion activities have not been conducted since the Spring of 2001. Once the static website is redesigned into an interactive community portal, staff will get busy growing NARFI’s visibility on the Internet through reciprocal links, shared content, collaborative agendas and invitations to contribute among NARFI’s growing list of contacts.

3.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Update NARFI site content to reflect Program Update; include doorway pages for Futures Thinkers profiles, articles by the Director and invited others. (2003)

·       Redesign the site into an interactive community web portal using DruPal underlying framework and NARFI’s tech service contractor’s programming. (2003)

·       Contact organizations working in the rural futures area, offering reciprocal links between our organizations’ websites and opportunities to share content and articles. (2003-2004)

·       Develop an on-line newsletter that is published every two weeks with relevant information to rural futures issues, announcing events, articles, legislation of interest, etc. (2004)

·       Add new features and content and/or web portal redesign as technology provides greater functionality and ease of use. (2004-2005)

4.     Cooperating Organizations

JFS Consulting, NARFI’s technical support service provider.

5.     Staffing and Administration

The NARFI Director, Assistant, members of the rural futures community, and the NARFI Communities of Practice will handle content development activities. NARFI’s technical services contractor, JFS Consulting, will handle technical design, redesign, development, deployment and maintenance of the NARFI Web Portal.

6.     Work Plan Timetable

This project is already underway. JFS Consulting has been tasked with redesigning the NARFI website using Drupal frameworks; this work is in progress.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

7.     Project C - Interactive On-line Portal – 2003-2005 Budget

Contract/Consultant Technical Services               $ 9,600.00

Website general maintenance        $200 @ 12 =   $ 2,400.00

Website monthly hosting 2003 $50 @ 12 =            $    600.00

Website monthly hosting 2004 $50 @ 12 =            $    600.00

Total Project C = $13,200.00

8.     Plan for Future Funding

The major redesign of the NARFI website will require high-end technical consulting and design services as one-time development costs. The Congressional Award will cover costs. The Congressional Award will also cover Website hosting and general maintenance costs for 2003 – 2004. As with all of NARFI’s costs, further funding will be pursued through various grant proposals. Grant proposal activities will commence in Fall 2003 and intensify in 2004. 

9.     Products/Outcomes Summary

As NARFI becomes more visible, both on-line and off, we should see greater participation by others in terms of adding information to the on-line portal. The content – topics, news items, calendar updates, etc., – should increase significantly over the three-year period.

10.Evaluation

Web traffic to the NARFI website is still rather pitiful. Log files of the number of visitors over time will indicate the success of the NARFI information portal to attract visitors. The growth in content and calendar posts over time will indicate if NARFI has been successful in attracting a community of rural futures thinkers.

11.Dissemination and Utilization

This Internet portal is public and open to anyone to access. The underlying Drupal framework and the programming by JFS Consulting to configure and customize it for NARFI will be available to the open source community for free under the usual open source agreement.

D.   NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory

1.     Goal

The NARFI rural futures directory will be a well-respected, often accessed, exhaustive repository of annotated links to the wealth of on-line sources for information on any and all issues related to rural future issues across North America.

2.     Description

The NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory is part of but separate from the NARFI on-line Portal. It is an annotated repository of links to a wealth of on-line sources for information on projects, organizations, research, field tests, best practices, legislation, value-added agendas, educational curricula and projects for teachers of all grade levels - and much, much more - on any and all issues related to rural future issues across North America.

Each entry in the directory is annotated with a short description and designated to appear under one of the topics and many sub-topics relating to rural futures issues. Any NARFI community member can submit entries to the Directory. The Directory manager, reviews submissions and then validates the entry or deletes it from the submission list.

There are currently over 360 entries in the on-line directory, almost all have been submitted by the NARFI Director. Until NARFI develops several Communities of Practice and becomes more involved in the rural futures field, the Directory will need to be built by NARFI staff and volunteers.

Of the 360 plus entries currently on line, most links are to U. S. sources. In order for NARFI to fulfill its mission as the North American Rural Futures Institute link coverage must expand to include rural futures sources in all of North America (U. S., Canada, Mexico, Greenland, Bermuda, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon).

3.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

4.     Cooperating Organizations

NARFI’s Communities of Practice and Future Futurists Club members will help build parts of the Directory.

5.     Staffing and Administration

The NARFI Director currently provides directory submissions.  The Director and assistant will continue until help from others can be accomplished. JFS Consulting provides technical maintenance of the Directory, its underlying program and NARFI’s relationship to the program provider, Gossamer Threads, Inc.

6.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project is already in progress. There are over 360 annotated entries in the NARFI Rural Futures Directory.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

7.     Project D - NARFI on-line Rural Futures Directory – 2003-2005 Budget

Directory general maintenance $200 @ 12  =  $ 2,400.00

Student Volunteer hosted events                        $    200.00

Part time Student Assistant                                $ 1,200.00

                                                Total Project D =      $ 3,800.00

8.     Products/Outcomes Summary

The NARFI Directory will become a key repository for all rural locations in North American.

9.     Evaluation

The Directory will be evaluated monthly to be sure there is a good balance between topics and North American locations. It is important to represent more than just U. S. information.

10.Dissemination and Utilization

This Internet Directory is public and open to anyone to access.

E.   Future Futurists Outreach Project

1.     Goal

The next generation of rural citizens in Montana will have a broad knowledge of the current issues and emerging trends in rural life and basic skills in the methodologies of futures planning and decision making.

2.     Description

This is a pilot project that will be designed and tested in North Central Montana. If successful, the Future Futurists Club idea will be expanded elsewhere.

The project is designed to engage rural youth and the adults involved in their education to learn about current issues and emerging trends in various aspects of rural Montana life, and to develop skills in analyzing information and understanding complex issues in order to make informed decisions required for futures thinkers and planners.

Students and teachers who attend the NARFI Futures Thinkers presentation on a field trip to the H. Earl Clack Museum will be invited to participate in contests aimed to develop rural futures thinking. Teachers will have access to ideas for classroom projects supported by curriculum modules and be encouraged to develop a Future Futurist Club in their classroom or in their school.

NARFI will develop a space in the H. Earl Clack Museum area with fun, hands-on learning exhibits to pique student and teacher interest in learning relevant information and skills to become a rural futures thinker.

NARFI will work closely with Future Futurist Clubs to develop an on-line learning network among them and between these young learners, their educators and subject matter experts.

3.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Develop an information brochure for teachers on the Future Futurist Club and how it can be part of their science and rural futures curriculum. (2004)

4.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI Director, assistant, and various educator partners will take part in this project.

5.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project will begin in August, 2003.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

6.     Project E - Future Futurists Outreach 2003-2005 Budget

2003: Teachers info packet

Desktop Publishing Service                $  200.00

Printing                                                $  100.00

Format/PDF for portal                        $    75.00

 

2004: Future Futurist Club Brochure

Desktop Publishing Service                $  200.00

Printing                                                $  100.00

Format/PDF for portal                        $    75.00

 

Start up pack for Future Futurist Clubs

Desktop Publishing Service                $  300.00

Printing                                                $  300.00

Format/PDF for portal                        $  100.00

 

2003-2005:

            Postage/mailing                                   $  250.00                                

            Travel to schools                                $  300.00

                                        Total Project E  = $ 2,000.00

7.     Plan for Future Funding

This is a pilot test and will be fully funded by the Congressional Award. NARFI staff will develop these brochures and the format and content of the Future Futurists Club collaterals. If the pilot test is successful and begins to grow in popularity, further funding will be pursued through outside grants and sponsorship.

8.     Products/Outcomes Summary

There should be at least three Future Futurists Clubs started in the pilot project.

9.     Evaluation

As a pilot test, all activities related to this project will be evaluated at every step of the project. Feedback forms will be provided to teachers following their field trip presentation, requesting feedback and suggestions for improvement.

10.Dissemination and Utilization:

All information about this pilot project will be available on line at the NARFI rural futures portal. Any teacher or group interested in starting a Future Futurists Club will be provided with a start up packet. If successful, NARFI will proactively promote the Future Futurists Club across North America.

F.    NARFI Communities of Practice

1.      Goal

Grassroots-based special interest groups formed in Montana will take on leadership roles on rural futures planning for North America.

2.     Description

This is a pilot project domain of the North American Rural Futures Institute. Subject matter experts and/or innovative thinkers - from the local region, the state of Montana and North America in general – will be invited to form the core of a Community of Practice (CoP) for a specific area of concern to rural futures planning. Alternatively, innovative thinkers interested in forming a Community of Practice around a particular rural futures topic area can contact the NARFI Director to solicit seed funding support.

Communities of Practice can be formed around any area of concern to the sustainability of rural communities and the rural way of life.  Potential Communities might be formed to focus on rural entrepreneurship, economic development, value added agriculture, alternative energy, innovations in farming/ranching, agricultural tourism, cultural tourism, diversity and community, agricultural policy, rural health services, elder care, aquaculture, conservation, sustainable resource management, sustainable development, youth leadership development, out-migration, innovations in rural education, harnessing technology, economic networks, community networks, to name just a few.  

The key objective of each rural futures CoP is to focus on a particular area of rural futures concern and to develop and expand a network of local, regional, state and national stakeholders who can help rural decision makers assess the impact of their potential choices.

The CoP examines emerging trends, on-going research and relevant information; identifies promising innovations, policies, research, and ‘best practices’; engages in field testing innovations where relevant; and considers the impact of various scenarios on particular rural locations of interest.

NARFI, through the Congressional Award, will provide: seed funding for the initial activities of a Community of Practice; an Internet-based on-line community platform for organizing, holding on-line meetings, and sharing information; an Internet based repository for storing and sharing on-line information and resources; and a means and source for promotion of the CoP and dissemination of its findings and recommendations. 

Members of a NARFI Community of Practice will be invited to take on leadership roles in the Rural Futures Conference in 2005.

In March, 2003 formation of the Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice was announced. This group is focusing on developing and field testing Sohodojo’s micro-enterprise networks (M-E Nets) business model for rural entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial families. (See NARFI Collaborations below.)

3.     Collaborating Institutions

The Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice is a collaboration between NARFI at MSU-Northern, Sohodojo, Bear Paw Development Corporation, and a number of potential others across North America with whom Sohodojo and NARFI have collaborative relationships in developing new business models for rural entrepreneurs. Other CoPs will be formed from collaborations as the NARFI network grows.

 

4.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Form two Communities of Practice. (2003)

·       Initial organization, brainstorming meeting each CoP (2003)

·       Develop first Community of Practice public and secure private areas on the NARFI Rural Futures Information Portal (2003)

·       Form three additional Communities of Practice. (2004)

·       Initial organization, brainstorming meeting each new CoP (2004)

·       Develop new Community of Practice public and secure private areas on the NARFI Rural Futures Information Portal (2004)

·       CoP Workshop – building a Community of Practice, developing futures studies skills, using rural census data (Summer 2004)

·       Form three additional Communities of Practice. (2005)

5.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI will spearhead formation of each Community of Practice by identifying rural futures leaders at the local, regional and/or national level, inviting their involvement with the NARFI mission and developing their interest in taking on a CoP role for action. 

6.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project is already underway. NARFI’s pilot Community of Practice – The Rural Entrepreneurism CoP – has been named. It is lead by Jim Salmons of Sohodojo and Tracey Jette of Bear Paw Development Corporation.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

7.     Project F - NARFI Communities of Practice 2003-2005 Budget

2003:    Start-up meetings                                           $1,000.00

On-line tech services for new CoPs.               $1,500.00

2004:   Start-up meetings                                            $1,500.00

On-line tech services for new CoPs.               $2,000.00

            CoP full day workshop                                    $3,000.00

                                                      Total Project F  =      $ 9,000.00

8.     Plan for Future Funding

The first two Communities of Practice will provide the prototypes for expanding the CoP project. The Congressional Award will be used as seed money to cover the costs for establishing the first five CoPs and the CoP workshop. If this project is successful future funding, will be pursued to expand NARFI CoPs through 2005 and beyond. The CoP workshop will be developed in this project area and then folded into the Rural Futures Conference in 2005 and Project G workshop offerings. Further funding may be provided by grants supporting Project G and H.

9.     Products/Outcomes Summary

Each Community of Practice will develop the repository of information relevant to its particular focus for the North American Rural Futures Institute on-line Portal.

10.Evaluation

This innovation will be closely evaluated at every point of development. Participants will be highly involved in the self-organizing process of developing their own CoP and also in the evolving design of the CoP model in general.

11.Dissemination and Utilization

All CoP information will be made freely available on the NARFI Information Portal. NARFI CoPs will provide leadership in particular areas of concern through participation in meetings and conferences, on-line discussions, the NARFI newsletter, etc., All information related to the CoP model and best practices for developing a CoP will be available on line for the public to use at will.

G.  Futures Planning – Skills Workshops

1.     Goal

Educators, leaders and citizens in rural Montana will have basic skills in the methodologies of futures studies, e.g., environmental scanning, scenario building and assessment, and forecasting.

2.     Description

NARFI will present a series of short, focused Futures Planning Skills Development Workshops – for educators, community leaders, economic development stakeholders and rural citizens.

The workshops will be developed, delivered, refined and tested first at various locations across the Hi-Line of Montana. If successfully received, workshops will be offered throughout rural Montana and workshop materials will be offered on the NARFI website for delivery by rural futurists across North America.

Each workshop will focus on a particular skill area and be taught over time by a combination of NARFI staff and experts in futures studies skills. 

Collaborating Institutions:

This project is currently in the early stages of development. Collaborators are being identified.

3.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Research the futures studies programs at various universities and institutes and the texts, materials and on-line CD and video sources that may be available. (2003)

·       Develop network of futures studies experts and university researchers to help the North American Rural Futures Institute as advisors and subject matter experts. (2003)

·       Collaborate with universities teaching futures studies – offer two advanced students a NARFI internship to help develop the basic skills presentations and workshops:

o      Remote internship working via the Internet (2004)

o      On-site internship to work with faculty in rural Montana (2004 and 2005).

·       Offer pre-workshop presentations using available videos, CDs and other resources through NARFI’s Community Outreach Project (above). (2003-2004)

·       Develop three hour-long prototype workshops – environmental scanning, scenario building, forecasting – and test them through presentation in NARFI’s Community Outreach Project location. (2004)

·       Expand each hour-long introductory prototype above into a three-hour workshop for public delivery. (2004)

·       Develop marketing materials and publish workshops schedule across Montana Hi-Line. (2004)

·       Deliver first Futures Planning – Skills Workshops at MSU-N. (late 2004 – early 2005)

·       Market workshops for delivery to communities across rural Montana (2004-2005)

·       Offer a “train the trainer” workshop to MSU-N faculty members who are interested in developing a futures studies focus in their respective disciplines and who have gained pre-requisite knowledge in methodologies of futures studies.

·       Deliver workshops across Montana (2005)

·       Develop on-line resources, possibly CD, for use by others to present basic skill-building workshops. (2005)

·       Offer three MSU-N faculty who have gained pre-requisite knowledge of emerging trends in their respective fields and basic skills in methodologies of futures studies, modest stipends to develop new courses incorporating both into their subject matter expertise. (late 2004 or 2005)

4.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI staff will provide management and planning and pre-workshop presentations using videos and other available prepared materials in the Community Outreach Project. NARFI staff collaborating with student interns from futures studies programs or partner subject matter experts will develop the workshop prototypes and workshops.

5.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project is in the early stages of design.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

6.     Project G - Project Budget

2003-2004: Videos and short presentations                           $  300.00        

2004-2005: Internships to help build workshops

                        Remote (2004)                                                $1,500.00

                        On-site in Montana (2005)                              $1,500.00

* match funds                                                                    

2004:  Prototype, test, evaluate, refine
2-hour workshops on futures studies skills           $1,500.00       

Develop half-day workshops                                $2,000.00

Market half day workshops                                   $2,300.00

2005:  Public workshops at MSU-N                                       $1,000.00                                                        “trainer” workshops for faculty                       $1,000.00

Stipends to develop new workshops               $4,000.00

                              Total Project G Budget =     $15,100.00                 

7.     Budget Justification

The budget for this project is provided in broad strokes to indicate how the Congressional Award will be used to seed-fund a large agenda. Award funds will fully fund the development of the futures skills workshop prototypes and will be used for the remote internships in 2004. On-site internships in 2005, train the trainer workshops for Northern faculty and stipends to faculty will be funded by other sources in full or will be partially funded by NARFI as “matched” funds while pursuing other funding providers.  

8.     Plan for Future Funding

Some of the activities in this project area will require outside funding for matching NARFI funds. Public workshops will be developed using Congressional Award funding, but workshop registration fees (modest), should cover costs of presenting each workshop.

9.     Products/Outcomes Summary

Several workshops for learning basic futures studies skills will be developed and offered to rural citizens, decision makers, educators and community leaders.

10.Dissemination and Utilization

The materials, curricula and workshop leader’s guide for each skills-workshop will be offered to the public on-line at the NARFI Rural Futures Community web portal.

H.   Rural Futures Institute Conference

1.     Goal

Rural futures researchers and planners from across North America will see Montana as a leader in rural futures planning, best practices, innovations and on-going research on rural futures issues.

2.     Description

This three-day Conference will provide in-depth information on emerging technologies and research in any way related to rural sustainability (including agriculture) in North America.

NARFI will invite a combination of recognized subject matter experts, Montana leaders and thinkers, and faculty from MSU and U of M to make up the Executive Committee. The Conference committee will be comprised of a Program and Operating Committee, and a recognized leader will chair each subcommittee in rural futures planning. The Program Committee will prepare a Call for Papers and develop the program for this conference. The Operations Committee will set up and manage the logistics and delivery of the Conference.

The focus of the three-day event is education, information and hands-on opportunities to explore best practices and innovative case studies and previously un-thought-of alternatives for farm/ranch diversity, alternative crops, alternative and emerging technology applications to agriculture, new models for economic development, rural entrepreneurism, and any topic related to rural futures issues. 

A major marketing campaign will precede this event to ensure good attendance and participation.

3.     Cooperating Organizations

The North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI) at MSU-Northern collaborating with MSU-N, MSU-B, U of M faculty, Bear Paw Development Corporation, CEIC of Montana Dept of Commerce, Montana Economic Development Association, Census Bureau Denver headquarters and many others to be determined.

4.     Project 2003-2005 Activities

·       Develop the Conference start-up plan. (2003)

5.     Staffing and Administration

NARFI will provide conference leadership and spearhead the conference.  The Conference Executive Committee will develop and manage the conference itself.

6.     Work Plan/Timetable

This project will begin the design phase in the Fall of 2003.

(See Appendix B - NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table)

7.     Project H - Rural Futures Institute Conference Start-up Budget

            Postage/mailing                                   $   300.00

            Start-up Planning Meetings                 $2,000.00

            Miscellaneous                                     $   500.00

                                    Total Project H =      $2,800.00

8.     Plan for Future Funding

The Congressional Award will be used to seed this Conference by providing early funding for the start-up costs of the Conference. Outside funding to support this conference will be pursued through grant proposals. Conference registration costs will cover the bulk of the costs of this three-day event.

Current plan is to hold a three-day event on campus at MSU-N. Alternatively, if travel costs are a challenge for potential committee members and conference attendees, NARFI will pursue use of an on-line virtual conference via the iCohere virtual conference service. 

IV. NARFI Collaborations in Detail

The following Collaborations are already underway with key researchers and stakeholders from across North America and Australia. The Congressional Award is currently being used to fund meetings travel expenses, teleconference and long-distance phone calls, and to provide seed money for design and initial development of on-line collaboration websites. Detailed information on these Collaborations is provided in the sections below.

A.   NWAF Poverty Reduction Proposal

In the Spring of 2002 the 11-county region of North Central Montana was selected as one of four regions in the U. S. with a high level of poverty yet potential to which the North West Area Foundation (NWAF) provided seed funds to develop a 10-year plan proposal to reduce poverty.  At the end of 2003, NWAF will select 1-2 of the 4 contending regions with which to partner over the next ten years; providing seed funding for the poverty reduction 10-year plan for that region.

The key NWAF criteria for proposal selection is for regional citizens and community and organization leaders to develop a region-wide plan that would move forward with or without NWAF funds.

1.     Poverty Reduction in North Central Montana

a)    Description

Since February 2003, NARFI has been a key participant on the Economic Development Strategy Team of the North Central Montana Community Ventures Coalition – the Montana regional group working on this NWAF proposal.

The NARFI Director was recently selected to join the Leadership Council helping to transition from grant proposal to program activities. She has also been noted for her pivotal role in the development of the Mission Statement and Guiding Principles for the 10 year Poverty Reduction Program proposal for North Central Montana.

There is a tight fit between the goals of rural futures planning and poverty reduction in large rural regions. NARFI will continue to be tightly involved with the North Central Montana Poverty Reduction program and will seek to collaborate with regional and state leaders to strengthen rural Montana.

2.     Northcentral Montana Brand and Internet Portal

a)    Purpose

A “Northcentral Montana” brand provides an organizing identity for disparate and often competing communities and organizations to come together to share resources, ideas, and agendas. The Internet Portal provides the focal point for gathering information on all aspects of community activities, economic agendas, business development, cultural identity, tribal and non-tribal groups to collaborate, etc.

b)    Description

A rich network of economic developers, marketing and technology specialists will focus on regional, national and global marketing of North Central Montana agricultural, arts, crafts, cultural, history-related, and tribal products through deployment of a North Central Montana Internet portal.

Using the advantages gained through high-speed, global connectivity and new marketing strategies combined with leading edge technological capability, new markets potentially can be developed for Montana agricultural products.

c)     Collaborators

The North American Rural Futures Institute (NARFI) at MSU-Northern collaborating with Bear Paw Development Corporation, Sohodojo, CEIC of Montana Dept of Commerce, MEDA, North Central Montana Community Ventures Coalition (NWAF poverty reduction grant development network) and a rich network of potential collaborators developed at the Montana Economic Strategy Summit 2003. 

d)    Some Strategies for Funding

Most of the seed funding for this effort will come from the NWAF grant if achieved. If not, various organizations on the North Central Montana Council (being developed) will collaborate to achieve small grant funds for parts of this larger project. The Congressional Award will only be used to fund participation in meetings and so on by the NARFI staff.    

B.   The Network Economy Research Theme

The basic fabric of modern social and economic systems is undergoing a fundamental transformation as we enter the 21st Century. North America is a primary stage on which global capitalism and international politics will evolve to shape our world. Mature affluent economies such as the U.S. and Canada are seeking new ways to meet the needs of their citizens as well as ways to collaborate with emerging economies (such as those of North American nations Mexico, Greenland, Bermuda, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon).

A principal driver of this transformation is global, high-speed communication technologies and innovations in the transportation and shipping industries.

While seemingly isolated and immune to the dynamics of global economic and political dynamics, nothing could be further from the truth when we look at the future of rural life and rural economies. The presumption of ‘trickle-down’ urbanization is neither a viable nor necessarily a desirable strategy for rural communities working to retain and develop their local and regional economies.

Prominent social, business and economic researchers including academics – MIT’s Malone and Laubacher, UC Berkeley’s Manual Castells, Notre Dame’s Albert-László Barabási, Carnegie Mellon’s Richard Florida, U Texas’ Stan Liebowitz, and Stanford’s Lawrence Lessig – as well as non-academic researchers – Jeremy Rifkin, James Maxmin, Don Tapscott, among many others – are exploring the implications of the Information Age. These and many others are describing and assessing the impact of the evolution and emergence of the Network Society and the Network Economy.

Rural challenges, such as depopulation and the ‘invasion’ of Big-box retailers, are highly visible impacts of the evolution of our increasingly global and mobile network society and network economy. For better or worse, these and many other challenges are a part of rural life. The wide-ranging reach of social and economic ties can be viewed as a seed of destruction or of opportunity for rural citizens’ way of life.

NARFI is founded on the belief that the biggest challenges for rural communities are the source of their greatest opportunities. They can reinvigorate the quality of life in rural communities and define new means for rural communities to relate to and participate in the global society and its emerging network economy.

The Network Economy focus within NARFI’s applied futures research program brings together a collection of communities of practice, projects, and research collaborations that address the social and economic opportunities for rural citizens and communities to “Live locally, think globally.” How do we tap the inherent creativity and independent spirit of rural entrepreneurs and rural communities to find ways to effectively participate in the global economy without succumbing to the too-often self-destructive trends toward over-consumption and unchecked growth that plague urban areas?

NARFI’s initial projects and collaborations within the Network Economy theme address innovations in small business and workforce independence that tap what Carnegie Mellon’s distinguished professor of regional economic development calls “the rise of the Creative Class.”

1.     The “Rise of the Creative Class in the Small” Research Agenda

As we transition from the Industrial to the Information Age, the nature of work, and the relationship between employee and employer are undergoing fundamental reorganization. As manufacturing jobs disappear or move to emerging economies with cheaper labor costs, work in mature economies has become increasingly cerebral and non-repetitive. Gone, too, for most workers today is the prospect of secure, life-long career employment. The very act of working is becoming a creative, entrepreneurial venture with all the risks and opportunities that this implies.

Knowledge workers of the last twenty years have transformed to become members of what Richard Florida calls the Creative Class. In his best-selling book of the same name, Florida suggests that we are witnessing “The Rise of the Creative Class” (the book and theory being widely referred to by the acronym, tROCC). Necessarily independent in a world where the half-life of employment relationships is measured in months rather than years, members of the Creative Class value “place” above the “job.” Where folks live is increasingly more important than for whom they work.

For many with salable creative skills, the best places to live – where work opportunities are abundant in our increasingly transient world – are a relative handful of urban centers like Austin, Boston, and Atlanta. But these Creative Class hotspots are quite literally the tip of the iceberg, which is the emerging Network Society and Network Economy.

While rural areas are increasingly losing educated, creative young people through out-migration, these population shifts can work both ways. Communication technologies and transportation opportunities mean that creative workers can live where they want, not where the job is.

2.     tROCCits Creativity Index Project

For an increasing number of Creative Class members, rural places and rural lifestyles are desirable as an alternative to the hectic, crowded life of congested urban areas. And rural people with salable creative skills are not all longing to move to the Big City just for the chance to exercise their talents.

But creative folks are not being attracted to move to or stay in rural places indiscriminately. As Richard Florida has observed of urban Creative Class hotspots, people and work opportunities gravitate to and are maintained by places that exhibit the “three T’s” of Talent, Technology and Tolerance. Rural regions that are emerging as hotspots for creative workers and entrepreneurs have a similar infrastructure – albeit “in the small” – when compared to urban Creative Class hubs. Indeed, beginning with the 2000 census, the U.S. Census Bureau now recognizes this emergence of rural regional economic vitality by listing “micropolitan” areas as well as the more familiar “metropolitan” areas that drive economic vitality.

NARFI, together with its collaborative partners Sohodojo and The Richard Florida Creativity Group, will engage in fundamental research to identify and understand the dynamics of “the Rise Of Creative Class in the small” (tROCCits) to complement and extend Dr. Florida’s social and economic theory. Richard Florida recognizes the extension of his theory into rural regional economies as vital and timely to the growth of his research.

a)    Goals

In short, to add the “fourth T” of Ties – as in linkage relationships within the Network Society and Network Economy – to the “three T’s” of Talent, Technology and Tolerance that characterize dynamics of place in Florida’s theory of the Creative Class.

b)    Collaborators

Primary initial partners in this research agenda are The Richard Florida Creativity Group, Sohodojo, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and MEDA (the Montana Economic Developers Association).

c)     Anticipated projects

The initial focus of this research collaboration will be to devise an extension of Florida’s Creativity Index to measure the economic and social vitality of rural regions. Currently, the Creativity Index is tuned to distinguishing among metropolitan urban areas. The Census Bureau’s recognition of 500+ micropolitan areas, with detailed demographic and economic profiles for each, will provide a wealth of research data to jumpstart this investigation.

Once Creative Class hubs “in the small” can be identified and characterized, the tROCCits research agenda will shift to exploring the intentional manipulation of social and economic network relations to improve rural regional economic vitality.

d)    Strategies for Funding

We will seek initial funding for tROCCits Creativity Index research from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (as an extension of their Iowa Creative Economy study) and through MEDA by seeking USDA funding under the Rural Business Opportunity Grants program.

3.     tROCCits On-Line Conference

As part of an initial awareness program and to stimulate collateral research projects related to the Creativity Index Project, the tROCCits partners will host and sponsor a web-based, on-line conference to network researchers, local and regional rural economic developers and graduate students wanting to intern and otherwise participate in this research agenda.

a)    Goals

To kick-off the creation of and to sustain the interest of an active and effective community of practice dedicated to the identification and development of government, business and community best practices for nurturing the creative spirit and economic vitality of rural regions.

b)    Collaborators

iCohere Inc. (the leading commercial provider of web-based on-line conference hosting services), Sohodojo, The Richard Florida Creativity Group, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and MEDA (the Montana Economic Developers Association) will collaborate on this project. In addition, we will seek sponsor/host participation by Babson College (the leading academic institution providing undergraduate and gradate business degrees with an emphasis on entrepreneurial training) and Net Impact (the world’s largest association of business school students and graduates interested in responsible business practice).

c)     Anticipated projects

The first phase of this project is planning and delivering a weeklong, web-based on-line conference that will identify the tROCCits research domain and solicit the attention of researchers and collaboration with rural regional and small town economic developers. The slate of conference presenters will provide a definitive assessment of the current state and future prospects for recognizing and capitalizing on Creative Class dynamics in rural regional and community development.

As a result of the successful delivery of the conference event, this project will shift its attention and resources to the creation of and on-going support of an on-line tROCCits Community of Practice.

d)    Strategies for Funding

Through MEDA, we will seek USDA funding under the Rural Business Opportunity Grants program. In addition to, or as an alternative to, USDA support, we will seek small grants and sponsorship contributions specific to such targeted event funding, such as from the Kaufmann Foundation and the New America Foundation. We are already off to a good start on this project with the active support and contribution of iCohere, Inc. whose provision of a state-of-the-art on-line conference hosting service is fundamental to delivering both the conference and its follow-up Community of Practice.

C.   Microenterprise Networks Research Agenda

With the erosion of life-long, career employment, especially in rural economies, we are seeing the reinvigoration of solo and family-based entrepreneurship. Multi-job “portfolio” work-lives and the growth of owner-operated (no employee) small businesses are as much a return to the past as they are a reflection of 21st Century rural lifestyles where independence and a can-do spirit are vital to personal and community sustainability.

While rugged individualism can be an admirable trait in many circumstances, in business it can be a source of business cycle vulnerabilities and of stagnation of innovation. That’s why NARFI’s Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice is exploring the emergence of microenterprise networks (ME-nets) as a source of creative self-employment. ME-nets are collaborative small business webs of solo and non-employee (dejobbed) small businesses that seek the benefits of individual private enterprise along with the advantages of “strength in numbers” by pooling marketing and business support resources.

In a business world increasingly devoid of full-time, career-long employment, it is not surprising that Creative Class workers are turning to self-employment and small business development as a means of creative and economically sustainable activity.

1.     The Chandler Guild and Big Sky Chandlers

ME-nets applied research is being most actively pursued by NARFI collaborator, Sohodojo, the non-profit applied R&D lab supporting solo and family-based entrepreneurship in rural and distressed urban communities. Sohodojo co-founder and research director, Jim Salmons, is currently NARFI’s Entrepreneur and Futurist In Residence. He brings a deep understanding and practical experience to this position that is helping to create and shape the research focus of NARFI’s Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice.

Sohodojo has strategically partnered with Iowa-based Soyawax, Inc. on the development of The Chandler Guild, a microenterprise network of soybean wax candlemakers. In addition to firsthand exposure to the evolution of a microenterprise network through its Entrepreneur and Futurist In Residence, NARFI’s Rural Entrepreneurism Community of Practice will mentor and support the creation of Big Sky Chandlers, a statewide hub within the larger Chandler Guild microenterprise network.

a)    Goals

To support the development of a prototypical microenterprise network, The Chandler Guild and Big Sky Chandlers, and to act as a catalyst for the legal and financial services needed to support a diversified “super-network” of product- and service-oriented microenterprise networks. In particular, NARFI seeks to make Montana a leader in support of ME-nets.

b)    Collaborators

Sohodojo and Soyawax, Inc. are drivers of this agenda. We anticipate strong Montana support through Bear Paw Economic Development Corporation, including its Small Business Development Center and Micro-business Loan Program, and through the Montana Cooperative Development Center. ME-nets will make strategic use of both ag-based and non-ag co-op business organization. In addition to Montana-based support, NARFI anticipates active collaboration in Iowa based on its good relations with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board. The Richard Florida Creativity Group maintains a peripheral interest in NARFI and Sohodojo’s microenterprise networks research and development agenda because they recognize ME-nets as a natural and potentially preferable business organization form for entrepreneurial members of the Creative Class.

c)     Anticipated projects

Sohodojo, and indirectly NARFI through its Entrepreneur and Futurist In Residence, are intently focused on the founding and initial growth of The Chandler Guild. This initial phase of business development will culminate in late August 2003, with the convocation of the Guild’s First Continental Congress.

d)    Strategies for Funding

With the hometown focus of Iowa-based Soyawax, inventor of soybean wax for candlemaking, and the largest active community of soybean wax candlemakers, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, through its Imagine Iowa 2010 Initiative is an ideal source of direct funding for seed projects and a partner for larger follow-through funding from external sources. In addition, the USDA Rural Business Coop and Community Development programs as well as foundations supporting innovations in rural entrepreneurism are funding source candidates.

2.     Montana Scatterlings Project

As the employment system, social relations and regional economic opportunities increasingly are driven by the dynamics of the emerging global network economy, social networks and local economies are transcending the limits of place and moving toward extended networks of trust and mutual interdependence. NARFI calls this extended social and economic network the Montana Scatterlings, Montanans who have the best interest of Montana at heart but who do not currently reside in Montana.

a)    Goals

To map the distribution of Montanans within the extended social and economic networks that transcends geographic borders. By first mapping the composition and extent of this extended network, NARFI will seek to articulate and advocate programs and business strategies that maximize the effectiveness of rural small businesses’ participation in the network economy.

b)    Collaborators

NARFI and Sohodojo are drivers with MEDA, Bear Paw Development Corporation, the Montana Jobs Network, and various rural communities in Montana. NARFI will nurture a collaborative research partnership with the Center for Urban Simulation and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington, creators of the Open Source UrbanSim software package and its associated policy assessment research methodology,

c)     Anticipated projects

A kick-start research opportunity with the potential to substantively contribute to Federal policy, NARFI will seek to apply a software simulation technology to the assessment of economic impact of the New Homestead Act of 2003. This act has the potential to substantively affect the individual and community behaviors that affect population shifts between rural and urban areas. With knowledge of the composition of the Montana Scatterlings Network, NARFI will collaborate with Sohodojo to apply “Scatterlings-aware” marketing strategies of microenterprise networks and small business clusters.

d)    Strategies for Funding

Through MEDA, we will seek USDA funding under the Rural Business Opportunity Grants program. In addition to, or as an alternative to, USDA support, we will seek direct and/or indirect funding through the offices of Montana’s elected Federal representatives, Senators Baucus and Burns, and Representative Rehberg. This research can bear timely insight into the issues related to passing and funding the New Homestead Act of 2003 (S. 602).

V. Summary

A.   Statement

To truly have an impact on the future of rural North America, NARFI must find where rural citizens are currently focused, help them to widen their view of the issues and problems they will need to face over the next 10 – 50 years, and provide them with opportunities to gain the skills they will need to make wise choices and sustaining decisions.

Montana is not alone in facing rural futures planning challenges. But it is here where we can experiment, test, model and call rural citizens to action to find some of the “best practices” for all of rural North America.

B.   Fund Raising Plans

All of the projects in the NARFI Program Update will require future funding in order to continue. NARFI itself will need to find continued funding immediately in order to survive beyond July 1, 2004. Fund raising is a top priority.

The Program Update has purposely been designed to use the Congressional Award to seed various projects and to support start-up activities of very focused projects. Focused, well defined projects are more successfully funded by continued grant support. Designing sharply focused projects with well defined goals and objectives and measurable results is a top priority for NARFI fund raising activities.

Immediately following the distribution of this document, continued funding for various NARFI-led projects, collaborations and overall program agendas will be pursued through focused, modest grant proposals. The plan is to build a history of success in accomplishing modest grants and managing them well before seeking to accomplish highly competitive, major funding.

C.   Advisory Board

The NARFI Advisory Board must be carefully selected in line with the overall NARFI mission and the full scope implied by its name; each Advisor should provide Subject Matter Expertise on a particular element of Rural Futures agendas, research or education. Such subject matter experts must be sought out wherever they exist across Montana and North America, be informed of the NARFI projects and collaborations, and be invited to help guide NARFI on its mission.

VI. Appendices

A.   NARFI Program Update - Overall Budget and Funding Plan

            As of June 30, 2003, a total of $68,407.47 has been spent from the original Congressional Award of $250,000

1.     NARFI Expenditures – September 2002 through June 30, 2003

Salaries and Benefits

            Director                                                           $31,875.00

            Assistant                                                          $     807.09

            Benefits                                                           $ 8,594.84

Total Salaries and Benefits =           $41,276.93

Indirect Costs                                                              $ 3,686.15

Website Maintenance                                                  $ 1,827.50

Conferences/Professional

Professional Development                                          $ 1,895.00

            Conferences                                                    $ 1,408.00

            Professional memberships                              $    275.00

Total Conferences/Professional =    $ 3,578.00

Food Service – hosted events                                    $    222.49

Reprographics                                                             $      62.00

Texts                                                                           $    136.59

Equipment                                                                   $ 6,856.50

Office Supplies                                                           $ 1,069.83

Postage                                                                        $      49.46

Long Distance/Networking                                          $ 1,525.62

Travel

            Professional Development Events                   $ 1,718.48

            Conferences                                                    $ 1,877.70

            Director to Havre Aug. and Nov. 2002           $ 2,001.60

In-state travel for meetings, etc.                      $ 1,168.62

                                                Total Travel =            $6,766.40

Rent The Heritage Center
(1st, last, deposit)                                            $ 1,350.00

                                                            TOTAL          $68,407.47

 

As of July 1, 2003, there is $181,592.53 remaining in NARFI’s Congressional Award budget.

2.     General Program Budget - July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2004

Salary and wages

            Director                                                           $45,000.00

            Assistant                                                          $18,532.80

            Probable overtime                                           $  1,800.00

            Total Salaries and Wages =              $65,332.80

Employee Benefits

            Director                                                           $12,825.00

            Assistant                                                          $  5,281.85

                                    Total Employee Benefits  = $18,106.85

Indirect Costs                                                            $ 3,686.15

Technical support services                  $300 @ 12 = $ 3,680.00

Communication Services

Telephone                                                                   $ 400.00

Internet wireless                                                          $ 500.00

                          Total Communication Services =  $ 900.00

Travel

            Within Montana                                              $2,000.00

            Outside Montana                                            $4,000.00

                                                          Total Travel = $6,000.00

Professional Development

Director                                                           $1,000.00

Assistant                                                          $   500.00

Workshop Related travel                                            $1,000.00

                        Total Professional Training =           $2,500.00

Office Expenses (not including rent for downtown center)

            Equipment                                                       $ 500.00

            Supplies                                                          $ 500.00

                                                Total Office =            $1000.00

                                                            Total   =     $101,205.80

*****************

One Time Expenses

Office Expenses (not including rent for downtown center)

            Furniture                                                          $1,000.00

            Equipment                                                       $1,000.00

                                                          Total Office=   $2,000.00

Retroactive Compensation (March 2002 – January 2003)

            Assistant                                                         $2,029.99

                        Total Retroactive Compensation =  $2,029.99

 

Miscellaneous Expenses

            Operating                                                        $1,000.00

            Programs                                                         $1,500.00

            Collaborations                                                $1,111.74

                                          Total Miscellaneous =     $3,611.74

*****************

Individual Project Budgets

Project A - Mini-grants 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project A =      $11,100.00

Project B – Community Outreach 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project B =       $12,245.00

Project C  - Interactive On-line Portal 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project C =      $13,200.00

Project D -  Rural Futures Directory 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project D =      $ 3,800.00

Project E - Future Futurists Outreach 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project E  =      $ 2,000.00

Project F - NARFI Communities of Practice 2003-2005

                                                             Total Project F  =     $ 9,000.00

Project G – Futures Planning Skills Workshops 2003-2005

                                                            Total Project G =      $15,100.00

Project H - Rural Futures Institute Conference Start-up:

                                                            Total Project H =      $ 2,800.00

                        Total NARFI-Led Projects Budget =           $69,245.00

Collaborations Seed Funding

tROCCits Creativity Index Project                                          $  500.00

tROCCits On-Line Conference                                                $  500.00

The Chandler Guild/Big Sky Chandlers                                  $1,500.00

Montana Scatterlings Project                                                  $1,000.00

                        Total Collaborations Seed Budget =            $3,500.00


NARFI Program Update – Overall Work Plan Time Table

Click this link to view the NARFI project timetables that are available as a three-page document in the PDF format.

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