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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)

Minnesota is experiencing a child care crisis that directly affects workers and employers. Listen as Marnie Werner shares insight from the Center for Rural Policy and Development's research.

Will Minnesota's economy continue to grow? Listen as we talk about the state's economy and workforce challenges facing employers and communities.

Think you don't live in a tourist town? Think again. Every town has visitors. Most visitors spend money that helps the local economy, similar to tourists.

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.

More and more, a task of local leaders is to find the next generation of people willing to lead. This can be a challenge in rural Minnesota.

How do you center yourself? Learn about a simple practice to help you become more present in your life.

Five generations of Minnesotans are now living and working together in communities and challenging each other to work across differences.

A visit to Willmar, Minnesota's Vision 20/40 website makes creating community change look easy.

Yes, and ... [video]

How often do you say yes to requests? Learn about improvisational theatre and how saying "yes, and ..." can lead to positive results.

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.

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

Sisu [video]

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

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