Last week, Extension Reconsidered was a featured part of the Rural Design Conference in Crookston. Plenary speakers set the stage for an afternoon design thinking session, with Eric Giordano of the University of Wisconsin providing an update on Extension Reconsidered in other states; U of M Associate Vice President, Andy Furco, considering the future of Extension in the context of an increasingly engaged university; and Jeff Gorfine, a longtime Southeast Minnesota community advocate and former Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships board member, urging the audience to keep the land-grant mission and citizens' needs at the center of Extension's work.
The afternoon breakout session, facilitated by Design Thinking @ College of Design, addressed the challenges: What is the purpose of Extension? What is the promise of Extension? How might we design U of M Extension to deliver on that purpose and promise in the next 100 years? Five teams of participants took on three themes, "University," "Community" and "National-Global Context," using design thinking methods and prototyping the results in a three-dimensional model. The work will be documented and shared in early November as part of the final Minnesota report. For questions, or suggestions, please contact Dan Gilchrist.
Assistant Statewide Director
Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships