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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)

In the 1950's, most rural Minnesota communities could afford to go it alone. But in the 2010's, rural economies are growing more diverse, more regional and more global.

Minnesota's business community is on the front line of addressing workforce issues. Listen as we explore what is happening and how companies are supporting immigrants and immigration policy.

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

When do you stop "doing" to "being"? Learn about finding informal moments to meditate can help you reset.

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.

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.

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

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.

The year 2013 brought improved economic news to much of Minnesota, but a few towns took some hard knocks. Crises like these create tough times in local economies.

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.

Do you notice your everyday natural environment? Learn about nature and how it connects to well-being.

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.

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