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

Vital Connections

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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

The importance of non-doing

Boketto: The importance of non-doing

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

A person leading an online meeting

Four tips for leading online meetings

Do you feel comfortable leading an online meeting? Learn four tips for a more effective online meeting that will help you grow your skills and confidence.

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)

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?

[podcast] What does civic engagement mean? Listen to Extension educators discuss its meaning and share best practices for working with others and tools to get involved.

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.

[podcast] How do we address Minnesota's workforce issues? Listen to speakers from the University of Minnesota and Extension share their insight on the labor market.

[video] 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.

[video] Do you feel stress during interracial interactions? Learn three tips for building your patience based on positive psychology.

[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.

[video] How can exercise help you connect with others? Learn about research on exercise and how it relates to our mental health.

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.

50 great American towns. 25 best colleges. 10 top restaurants. Everybody seems to love lists. But are they useful?

[podcast] Listen to our inaugural podcast episode focusing on the leadership journey and resiliency of tribal leaders. In this episode we talk with Bradley Harrington, Jr.

Minnesota festival themes often celebrate food, music and culture. Besides being fun, well-managed festivals and events offer many economic and social benefits.

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