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Vital Connections

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

Community features

An entrepreneur writing on an easel outside their shop

Entrepreneurial communities turn local dreamers into doers

What do entrepreneurs need to succeed? Read how you can help your community focus on entrepreneurs. Also, learn about a Minnesota conference that will help connect and inspire entrepreneurial communities.

An entrepreneur on their computer

REVing up entrepreneurship

[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.

It is as I am

It is as I am

[video] Do you say "it is what it is," especially when in a challenging situation? Learn how saying "it is as I am" instead can help you live and lead with intention.

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)

Self-Compassion [video]

Do you tend to fall into the trap of negative self-talk? Learn about self-compassion and three elements that can boost your resilience.

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality educators Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme share positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention.

The last full-service grocery store in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood closed more than 30 years ago, leaving residents stranded in a "food desert."

Can stress be good for you? Learn about the benefits of stress and how to use it to connect with others.

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.

Intention [video]

What values help you focus on living and leading with intention? Learn about tools that may help you connect you with your intention.

What would happen to the state's economy if rural Minnesota went away? Would the Twin Cities area notice?

More and more, a task of local leaders is to find the next generation of people willing to lead. This can be a challenge in rural Minnesota.

Confidence [video]

Are you willing to try something new and fail fast? Learn about building confidence by failing fast.

A visit to Willmar, Minnesota's Vision 20/40 website makes creating community change look easy.

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.

Do you notice your everyday natural environment? Learn about nature and how it connects to well-being.

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