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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.

Stress - Denise and Lori

Two for You Stress Series

[video] Feeling overwhelmed or stressed? Watch a series of videos from Extension educators, Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, as they share positive psychology research on stress.

A downtown business district in rural Minnesota

Rural-urban economic interdependence

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

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)

When visitors recall a memorable trip or vacation, they talk about three things: What they saw; what they did; and the people they met.

[podcast] Communities have the power to tell their own story. Litchfield, Minnesota has been working to create a narrative that is optimistic and focused on the future.

[podcast] Many communities in Minnesota face workforce housing issues. Listen as we talk about Glenwood's housing study and how understanding existing workers' needs helps them plan for the future.

In community leadership, having a good sense of self can help you relate well to others. But knowing yourself means spending some time looking inward.

[video] How does gratitude fit in your life? Learn how gratitude can boost your happiness and hope.

[video] How do positive emotions help you? Listen and learn how experiencing positive emotions helps with your creativity and resilience both now and in the future.

Minnesota festival themes often celebrate food, music and culture. Besides being fun, well-managed festivals and events offer many economic and social benefits.

[podcast] There are challenges with Minnesota's workforce. We hear about baby boomers retiring, fewer workers, immigrants and the proximity of jobs to job seekers. Listen as we discuss the challenges, opportunities and ingenuity within Minnesota.

[podcast] Evaluating programs and initiatives is critical. Hear how listening to community members' stories and interviews can impact your evaluation process.

Politicians and corporations are now realizing they may not be able to succeed unless they understand what's in the hearts and on the minds of the burgeoning Latino population in America.

In the 1950's, most rural Minnesota communities could afford to go it alone. But in the 2010's, rural economies are growing more diverse, more regional and more global.

[podcast] How do you inspire entrepreneurship in your community? Listen as we talk about a framework used to energize entrepreneurs in six southern Minnesota communities.

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