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Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

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

An educator walking with two emerging leaders in a community

Greater Minnesota’s communities respond to calls for racial understanding

How does a community become more welcoming for everyone? Learn some reasons to create change and read stories from communities that are taking action to be more inclusive.

Space between stimulus and response

Space between stimulus and response

[video] Have you ever said something that you later regret? Get ideas on recognizing and controlling how you respond emotionally.

A Minnesota State Fair grounds sign reads 'Hang in there Minnesota'

Festivals and events during a pandemic

[podcast] Festivals and events around the state and country have seen many changes in 2020. Listen as we discuss how organizers and community members can weather the storm.

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)

[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.

[video] When you start to notice your body entering a stress mode, what do you do? Learn about a grounding technique to help you stay focused.

[video] Are you easily distracted or struggle to make decisions when many things are on your mind? Watch a short video and learn three strategies to help you focus.

[video] How do you stay connected with others who live or work away from you? Learn how a Virtual Coffee can help form better and deeper relationships.

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

[podcast] Selling a small business is not the same as selling a house. Listen as we discuss how business owners and buyers can prepare for this transition and how communities can help.

[video] When’s the last time you did NOTHING? Learn about Boketto and why it is important for your leadership.

How do you evaluate your community development work? Learn about ripple effect mapping (REM) and how it tells the story of a program through maps.

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

[video] Can having positive emotions help you live longer? Learn about the Nun Study and research on positive emotions in this short video.

Are followers just 'sheep'? Learn about followers, their characteristics and how leaders should work with them.

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.

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