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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)

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

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

Do your questions lead to change? Learn about appreciative inquiry and how your questions have the power to navigate change.

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality educators Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme share positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention.

Minnesota State Economist Tom Stinson is bullish on Minnesota. "Minnesota has been very successful — especially for a cold weather state at the end of the road."

50 great American towns. 25 best colleges. 10 top restaurants. Everybody seems to love lists. But are they useful?

How can drinking a hot beverage change how you think about others? Learn about research done on how hot drinks can build trust and empathy.

When our educator focused a series of podcasts on Minnesota's workforce issues, she didn't realize covering the issue would take six months — and then some.

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

Do you question your talents or intelligence fearing that you don't measure up? Learn more about growth and fixed mindsets and which one aids resilience.

There are challenges with Minnesota's workforce. We hear about baby boomers retiring, fewer workers, immigrants and the proximity of jobs to job seekers. Listen as we discuss the challenges, opportunities and ingenuity within Minnesota.

Are negative emotions and thoughts undermining your leadership efforts and goals? Learn about emotional agility and four steps that can help.

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