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Extension is expanding its online education and resources while in-person events and classes are canceled.

Vital Connections

Learn more about topics important to Minnesota communities through articles, videos and podcasts. Find stories and information to help you get engaged in your community. Help others better know, decide and act.

Community features

A person leading an online meeting

Four tips for leading online meetings

Do you feel comfortable leading an online meeting? Learn four tips for a more effective online meeting that will help you grow your skills and confidence.

Open sign on a sidewalk in a retail district

Impacts on retail

[podcast] COVID-19 has impacted businesses differently. Listen as we discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on retail and the implications for business succession.

Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme share resiliency taglines

Resiliency taglines

[video] How do you manage stress? Learn about two resiliency taglines that help you center yourself and lessen negative self-talk.

All articles, podcasts and videos

Find content on topics that include:

  • Community development (e.g. attracting new residents, evaluating programs and local foods)
  • Community economics (e.g. local economies, retail, retaining businesses and workforce)
  • Leadership and civic engagement (e.g. assessing and developing leaders, facilitation, building trust and engaging communities)
  • Tourism development (e.g. learning about visitors and planning festivals and events)

[video] How do you foster creativity and innovation in you and your community? Learn about the importance of playfulness.

[video] How can your subconscious mind help your community? Learn about RAS (Reticular Activating System) and how it can help focus you on the positive in your community.

[podcast] How can we create a vibrant Minnesota workforce? Listen to a variety of speakers share insight on workforce issues and how to prepare and help those affected.

[podcast] What do jobs and other economic factors look like in rural Minnesota? How about urban Minnesota? Listen as we discuss their top job industries and economic success.

Retail is a mainstay for Minnesota’s economy. It adds to our economic output and jobs. Looking deeper shows shops and retail contribution is more than economic.

[video] How do you handle being rejected by others? Learn about rejection and small actions that can help lessen the pain.

[podcast] What does being an involved citizen mean? It isn't always about running for office. Hear from community members who helped protect and promote a hidden nature spot in Woodbury, Minnesota.

[video] Can smiling help you through a difficult situation? Learn about the science of how grinning and bearing it can reduce stress.

[video] How well do you listen to others in your community? Learn about the practice of capitalization and how to see its benefit.

One in 10 Minnesota retail dollars (in taxable sales) is spent outside the state. Learn how Minnesota's retail market is changing and ways communities and businesses can adapt.

Visitors come to your community with expectations about what they will do and see in your area. But what are those expectations exactly?

[video] How can you handle feeling socially isolated? Watch our video and learn about oxytocin and ways to lessen that feeling and connect with others.

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