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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

A downtown business district in rural Minnesota

Rural-urban economic interdependence

[podcast] What do jobs and other economic factors look like in rural Minnesota? How about urban Minnesota? Listen in as we discuss their top job industries and economic success.

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.

Exercising and making connections outdoors - Denise and Lori

Exercise and connections

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

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)

[podcast] 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.

What do entrepreneurs need to succeed? Read how you can help your community focus on entrepreneurs. Also, learn about a Minnesota conference that helped connect and inspire entrepreneurial communities.

[podcast] How do you discuss ideas and issues with your neighbors? Listen to Jody Horntvedt share nuts-and-bolts advice for creating healthy community conversations.

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.

Are followers just 'sheep'? Learn about followers, their characteristics and how leaders should work with them.

[podcast] Are social roots keeping people in Northeast Minnesota? Listen to members of ReGen talk about the importance of community connections and share how they became the people they'd been in other communities as Iron Rangers.

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?

[video] What are your top strengths? Watch a short video on using your strengths to fuel your energy. Learn about tools to assess your strengths.

[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.

Awe

[video] How much awe do you experience in your day? Learn about the power of awe and about appreciating the goodness around you.

[video] How does gratitude fit in your life? Learn how gratitude can boost your happiness and hope.

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