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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)

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.

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?

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.

Rural Minnesota continued to attract new residents aged 30 to 49 between 2000 and 2010, according to a new study of U.S. Census data from University of Minnesota Extension.

How do you inspire entrepreneurship in your community? Listen as we talk about a framework used to energize entrepreneurs in six southern Minnesota communities.

Many Minnesota communities are experiencing a leadership shortage. Hear about why this is happening and what communities can do to better engage newcomers to help fill leadership roles.

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."

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

Minnesota's workforce is changing. Our workers are aging and new employees are often newcomers to our country. Listen as we discuss the impact of immigrants in our labor market.

Communities are getting creative in how they work to understand and address child care shortages. Hear Greg Wagner from the West Central Initiative as he shares steps they are taking to increase child care capacity.

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.

It's not your grandparents' Greater Minnesota anymore. You know, the Greater Minnesota dominated by the industries of its founders - agriculture and mining.

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