Links to the best stuff
Community Toolbox ~ a vast resource
Ashoka ~ social entrepreneurs
Green Media Toolshed ~ great media training
The Control Game ~ spot fake involvement
Shelterforce ~ community dev articles
ZNet ~ articles on social change
National Civic League ~ citizen involvement
Civic Practices Network ~ lots of material
Community Development Discussion Listserve
Citizen Toolbox ~ 60 tools from Australia
Benton Foundation ~ media action
Rural Community Toolbox
Links for Building Democracy & Community
Creating Web Action Alerts
Training for Change

A bee or work bee is an ad hoc assembly of people created to get something done. Bees used to be common on farms; farmers would get together to build a neighbors barn, bring in the hay, or saw logs for the winter. Once an essential part of farm life, the bee has all but disappeared. Instead of relying on neighbours people now turn to the marketplace. This gets the job done but eliminates the most important contribution of the bee — the excuse and opportunity for social exchange.

Bees can serve as a vehicle for bringing people together in contemporary society. We don’t have to be pawns of the marketplace. Instead of buying a product, we can organize a bee to make it.

Consider this example from Vancouver. Every year on a Sunday afternoon in the first week of December, a group of women get together to make Christmas crackers. They could easily go out and buy Christmas crackers but this provides an excuse to spend time seeing friends, meeting friends of friends, and sharing stories. The first time the event was held a few women were skeptical and made fun of the project, but they attended anyway and quickly became engaged in the intricacies of cracker manufacture. The event has become surprisingly popular. Everyone who is invited shows up — even those without a shred of craftiness — and everyone wants to do it again next year.

Community Building Activities / Part 2-19
The Citizen's Handbook / Charles Dobson /