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Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

Leadership and civic engagement

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

— John F. Kennedy

Extension is in the business of growing leaders and strengthening leadership. We believe that sound leadership will create a better future for Minnesota. See what we have to offer.

Ways Extension can help

Expanding community involvement

We help community leaders make better decisions and design more effective meetings. We teach leaders how to create stronger connections with community members.

Growing community leaders

Leadership education helps communities grow their local leadership capacity.

Our community approach and models

Our approach to leadership and civic engagement is grounded in research. But we always keep the real needs of communities in mind.

Strengthening tribal leadership

We work to engage with tribal leaders and strengthen tribal partnerships and communities in Minnesota.

For your community

Find educational resources below that include articles, podcasts and videos to help strengthen leadership skills and community engagement.

Assessing your leadership

Is your community willing to invest in its future? Take our assessment and discover your community's leadership strengths and priorities.

Building trust in communities

Social capital is the glue that holds communities together. Learn about building trust and basic ways to grow it every day.

Impact of charismatic leaders

How do charismatic leaders impact communities? Learn how the relationship between them and their followers offers key insights to experienced and future community leaders.

Public engagement strategies

How do you engage with the public? Find resources to help you increase public involvement, assist with meeting planning and facilitation, and make group decisions.

How are you managing conflict? Dive into our self-paced course to grow and re-energize your skills around conflict, rebuilding trust, and more.

News and insights

Explore our community news and insights page for current topics on leadership and civic engagement.


Listen to conversations on community-focused topics from Vital Connections On Air and Indigenized Connections On Air.


Videos: Two for You

Two for You is a series of two-minute videos.You will learn about positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention.

Learn more about the video series


For program alumni

"I will become more involved in my community. No more staying behind the scenes."

— Tina Swanson, Emerging Leadership Program, 2016

Alumni resources

Extension strengthens the leadership and civic engagement skills of community members across Minnesota. Our educators have guided thousands of participants through their leadership journey.

Consult with us

Community economics • Leadership and civic engagement • Tourism

Extension educators work in communities with partners throughout Minnesota. Contact us for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.

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