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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)

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

[video] Why do you vote? There are so many reasons to vote. Watch and learn how voting is connected to your well-being.

Newcomers to Minnesota sometimes joke that “Minnesotans will give you directions to everywhere but their house.” But community leaders across the state are trying to change that – in a big way.

[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.

[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.

[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.

Think you don't live in a tourist town? Think again. Every town has visitors. Most visitors spend money that helps the local economy, similar to tourists.

[podcast] How has COVID-19 impacted daily lives and tribal communities? In this podcast episode, we talk with Dennis Olson, Jr. about his leadership journey and navigating change.

[podcast] How do you discuss ideas and issues with your neighbors? Listen to Jody Horntvedt share nuts-and-bolts advice for creating healthy community conversations.

[video] How can drinking a hot beverage change how you think about others? Learn about research done on how hot drinks can build trust and empathy.

[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.

[podcast] Our world is constantly changing; now more than ever before. Listen as we discuss strategies for leaders to help themselves and their communities navigate change.

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