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Thursday, April 23, 2015

New alumni join the Extension leadership network

We welcome 18 more great leaders from across the state of Minnesota who have worked to build their leadership for their communities. Congratulations to the 2014-2015 graduates of the U-Lead Advisory Academy.

The U-Lead Advisory Academy is a leadership development program for friends of University of Minnesota Extension. If you might be interested in participating, registration for the next class opens June 1 and will be addressing the topic Leadership in the face of change. We will keep you posted here with more details to come.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Welcome to new graduates from the Emerging Leadership Program

We recently had 34 new graduates of the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program join the fold of Extension's Leadership and Civic Engagement alumni. We are excited to support your work, passions, and communities.

The Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program is one of Minnesota's oldest leadership development programs, existing in the northwest part of the state for more than 30 years. It's great to see the tradition continue.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015 Leadership Series Announced

We are excited to announce our upcoming slate of events for the 2015 Leadership Series! Topics for this year include:

  • Creating connection in your personal and community lives (online)
  • Emotional intelligence: A pathway to self-understanding and improved leadership (St. Cloud)
  • Leading ourselves through change (online)
To learn more about each, the dates, and how to register, visit the 2015 Leadership Series page.

Registration is already open for the first webinar which focuses on the impacts of creating positive relationships to transform the people and environment around you. If you, your coworkers, or friends in the community can benefit, please let them know about the opportunity.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Perspectives on Civic Engagement - Donna Rasmussen

Check out this great, quick video from Donna Rasmussen of the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District. Donna also participated in the Southeast Minnesota Civic Engagement Cohort on Water Quality. She discusses how citizen-led conversations brought about a plan to improve the water quality of the Root River. For more information about Extension's Civic Engagment program offerings, visit

Monday, March 30, 2015

Opportunity: MN Cup for Minnesota Entrepreneurs

Calling all entrepreneurs! The MN Cup is happening. Considered a "venture competition," aspiring entrepreneurs are supported to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures.

Past participants in the competition have gone on to successfully launch businesses, raise capital and create jobs in Minnesota. Let's show them some great ideas coming from all parts of the state.

Welcome and thank you for your interest in MN Cup! We're looking for aspiring entrepreneurs who mean business. Whether you are at the point of inception or have already created a company, MN Cup is here to provide support for the next breakthrough ideas in our state. Entering its 11th year, MN Cup has worked with over 9,000 entrepreneurs and awarded over $1,000,000 in seed capital.
Rules to apply: Your company needs to be based in MN and have less than $1M in annual revenue. Past participants of MN Cup are welcome to enter if they have not reached the finalist round of the competition. Semifinalists and entrants are encouraged to reapply.  
The application will remain open from March 23 to May 8, 2015. Applicants will have the ability to edit their submission until 11:59 p.m. on May 8th. Entries may be submitted individually or as a group of up to four people. Participants will self-select their division. For a detailed description of competition divisions, please click here. 
Top entrants will be notified on June 8th of their advancement to the semifinalist round. Eight division winners will be chosen from the semifinalist pool. Division winners will present their ideas to a prestigious panel of executives, investors and notable entrepreneurs who will choose the 2015 grand prize winner. The contest will culminate with an awards event on September 11th at the University of Minnesota. 
Division winners will each receive $30,000 and various other benefits. The grand prize winner will receive an additional $50,000 in seed capital and mentorship from the state's leaders in finance, accounting, legal, marketing and management support services.  
If you have any questions during the application process, please contact MN Cup at 
Good luck!
MN Cup

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Opportunity: Community Innovation Grants

Are you looking to do something great in your community? The Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Bush Foundation want to help make it happen.

What is this about? From the website:
Community Innovation Grants support communities to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. We think of this as civic research and development, allowing communities to develop and test new solutions to community challenges. Grants range from $500 - $10,000.
The deadline to apply is midnight on May 15, 2015. So try something new and bring something great to your community.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Opportunity: Skills Symposium by IAP2 USA

2015 IAP2 USA Skills SymposiumWednesday 27 May through Sunday 31 May, 2015
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

This year the International Association for Public Participation USA is supplementing the annual North American conference with an exciting five-day training event that will deliver a smorgasbord of learning. The 2015 Skills Symposium features a wide range of workshops of varying duration and topics exploring skills, tools, and techniques that support effective public participation. This training will be undertaken in a rich learning environment, with activities that build a creative and supportive space for participants whether they spend a day or the whole week at the event.

Here’s the information and registration link – register early to get the courses you want. Any courses that haven’t hit their minimum numbers by April 27 will be cancelled, so hurry and register!

Special offer from University of Minnesota Extension: For those of you in Greater Minnesota, Extension is offering 10, $100 stipends to reduce your costs to participate in the Symposium.
  • Eligibility: Minnesota residents who live outside of Ramsey, Hennepin, Washington, Anoka, Carver, Scott, or Dakota counties
  • Support: $100/person, limit one per person; first come, first serve basis; available until all 10 stipends are gone
  • Special registration process: If you wish to seek this financial support, please choose the course(s) you want using the link below but submit the following information via email at
    • Name, address (including county of residence), phone and email
    • Selected course name and date
    • A statement that you are requesting this stipend
    • Our team will reply whether or not there is a stipend available and record your payment information
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