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Vital Connections

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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

Community members showing agreement through stacking hands

A community approach to evaluating programs

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

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.

Uncover your purpose - Carin Rockind and Lori Rothstein

Uncover your purpose

[video] Do you ever wonder what is your life’s purpose? Learn about a model to help you uncover your purpose and find more meaning in life.

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)

Yes, and ... [video]

How often do you say yes to requests? Learn about improvisational theatre and how saying "yes, and ..." can lead to positive results.

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

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

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.

How do you center yourself? Learn about a simple practice to help you become more present in your life.

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.

Minnesota is experiencing a child care crisis that directly affects workers and employers. Listen as Marnie Werner shares insight from the Center for Rural Policy and Development's research.

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

Playfulness [video]

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

What can you do to savor your positive experiences? Learn how recalling positive events and help you live and lead with intention.

Do your questions lead to change? Learn about appreciative inquiry and how your questions have the power to navigate change.

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.

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