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Inspiration: Brain GAIN

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Many people know the term "brain drain" but are you familiar with "brain gain?"

University of Minnesota Extension Research Fellow Ben Winchester has been examining the phenomenon of small towns seeing 30-49 year-olds and their families moving into rural communities. He recently recorded a presentation about brain gain - check it out to learn more. The video lasts an hour so treat it like a podcast and get ready for some strong food for thought.

Check out the Brain Gain website for even more information on the trend, resources for communities, the research backing it up, and how it has been covered in the news.

Leadership skills for engaging others

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2014 Leadership Graphic - Engaging Others.png

The 2014 Leadership Series continues with an exciting offering made up of three webinars examining different aspects of engaging others.

Do people tune out of meetings? Does the group always head down the same path? Looking for ways to include new people and perspectives in your work? This offering, over three separate webinars, will provide insight into these common situations. In preparation, participants will be invited to watch a short,LHinz.jpg online presentation in the week before the live webinar. On that day, educators Lisa Hinz and Jody Horntvedt will lead conversations that invite participants to consider and apply the tools and tips to their real-life situations.

Webinars are offered on the second Friday of September, October, and November. Register for one, two, or all three. The cost for one webinar is $15. Sign up for all three and receive a $10 discount.

  • Questioning skills - Friday, September 12 - Lisa Hinz and Jody Horntvedt - It has been said that people move in the direction of their questions. This webinar addresses ways in which questions can serve as tools for leading groups. The webinar will share methods and techniques that can help promote involvement and engage people in reflection, decision-making and other group processes.
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  • So, you're leading the meeting. Now what? - Friday, October 10 - Lisa Hinz and Jody Horntvedt - Skills for leading a meeting can be taken for granted - we assume that when we show up, it will all just work out. And yet, we've all been to plenty of poorly run gatherings. Join this webinar to refresh and add to your skills for effective design and facilitation that engages others and gets results too!
  • Going beyond the usual suspects - Friday, November 14 - Jody Horntvedt - Involve new people and new perspectives in your work. In this webinar, we will share ideas for going beyond the usual suspects to recruit and engage a more diverse range of people and perspective from your community or organization. Not sure you need more diversity? Come share your ideas - we can all learn.

Register now! The deadline for September's webinar is August 29.

Odds and Ends: Want to work for Extension? and more

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Sometimes we have so much news to share that posts could be overflowing. Odds and Ends is here to help by aggregating a few noteworthy items.


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Three bits of information to share, including two great opportunities and an informative read about how civic engagement can look and work in communities.

  • Interested in being a part of the work Extension does in Leadership and Civic Engagement education? We are looking to a hire an educator who would primarily serve the West Central part of Minnesota. If this is you or someone you know, please take a look at the full job posting.
  • Minnesota offers many great summer festivals and fairs across the state. One such event, Flom Farm Fest, is coming up next month. Located in Norman County, this is a great, weekend get-together with mudding, music, and even bed races this year! Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program alumni Christina and David Lien are a part of the effort to put it on, so go out and support them August 22-24. Track their Facebook page for more information.
  • Ever wonder what civic engagement looks like in practice? This article suggests how civic engagement done right can get people engaged and create better outcomes. Read it here.


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