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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.

Smiling reduces stress - positive psychology from Denise and Lori

Smiling reduces stress

[video] Can smiling help you through a difficult situation? Listen and learn about the science of how grinning and bearing it can reduce stress.

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)

What do you do for fun around here? When visitors come to your town, replies to this question can make or break their impression of your community.

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

Most in the Minnesota tourism industry agree there are advantages to applying sustainability practices to the business, but the implementation is slowed by the perception of high costs.

From bass fishing to biking and skiing to snowshoeing, rural Minnesota offers tourists opportunities for fun and relaxation.

[video] Do you intentionally create connections with others? Learn about creating micro-moments in your community through connections with others.

Awe

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

Local food growers are working to have their day in the sun. And rural leaders are anxious to see how local food production might diversify and strengthen their economy.

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

[podcast] What does being an involved citizen mean? It isn't always about running for office. Hear from community members who helped protect and promote a hidden nature spot in Woodbury, Minnesota.

In community leadership, having a good sense of self can help you relate well to others. But knowing yourself means spending some time looking inward.

Retail is a mainstay for Minnesota’s economy. It adds to our economic output and jobs. Looking deeper shows shops and retail contribution is more than economic.

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

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