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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)

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

If community groups are to find good answers, it is important they ask the right questions. That's why asking questions is a leadership skill worth studying.

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?

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

What would happen to the state's economy if rural Minnesota went away? Would the Twin Cities area notice?

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.

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.

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.

Sisu [video]

Is there a cultural concept that is a part of your community? Learn about the Finnish concept of sisu.

Can stress be good for you? Learn about the benefits of stress and how to use it to connect with others.

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

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