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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

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)

Judy and Dave are back to give us an update on Make it Litchfield. The study circles finished their work, and they held a community meeting where residents discussed issues that are important to them. Hear them talk about their progress.

How do you show compassion? Learn about cultivating compassion. Discover four steps you can apply to your work, leadership and community life.

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.

Minnesota's voter turnout is impressive — almost 19 percent higher than the rest of the nation's over the past decade. Is voting all that matters for a democracy?

Two out of every three businesses in the U.S. are owned by a baby boomer looking to turn over the keys to the next generation in the coming years.

When a Walmart Supercenter opened in Winona, Minnesota in 2003, there was definitely a churning among local businesses. Eleven years later, what has been the net effect?

How do you plan for a successful business transition? Sharing resources and building supportive relationships can help. In this episode, hear how Spring Valley, Minnesota created a program that helps business owners.

How can living in the moment make you a more effective leader? Learn how mindfulness with kindness can help you become a more positive person.

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.

Most in the Minnesota tourism industry agree there are advantages to applying sustainability practices to the business, but the implementation is slowed by the perception of high costs.

We often hear that small, rural communities are disappearing. Ben Winchester, senior research fellow for U of M Extension's Center for Community Vitality, joins us to talk about what is actually happening.

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."

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