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Community Engagement Trojan Bees

I just came home from co-hosting a 3 day Art of Hosting gathering in Minnesota. While there a couple members of our hosting team got into a conversation about Trojan Bees (thanks Molly), a play on the idea of the Trojan Horse that the Greeks used to enter Troy.

These three days were magical. The people of the Department of Human Services showed up. They came ready and hungry to learn how they could serve the people in their community. They were vulnerageous, vulnerable + courageous. There were over 50 of us in the room together. People who have been with the Department of Human Services for over 30 years and people who were in their first month. From various departments in DHS and all wicked smart and deep hearted.

We talked about the importance of invitation to set the tone for what they are inviting people into and as a way to build trust. It’s more than just a calendar invite because starting with relationship changes everything. We talked about the difference between surveying and community engagement and the importance in being clear and honest about which one you are asking the community for. We shared our hearts with each other. We laughed, we cried, we danced, we sang, we surprised each other with small treats and big hearts. We were thought partners with each other for upcoming events and projects. We came into the room as individuals and small teams and left as a community.

We fell in love with each other in three days.

So what I am sitting with is something that Dustin, one of our apprentices said, “When we create spaces to change someone’s thinking we don’t just change them, we change everyone they touch.”

So we will never know how many peoples lives we changed this past week but we can know that we released 50+ community engagement trojan bees into the world. They are already cross pollinating. Yesterday we received a message from someone that wasn’t in the room with us that said, “I was just in a room with folks who went through this training, and the inspiration and concrete impact from their work made a notable difference in our collaboration.” 🐝

I will continue to invite people into their vulnerageous self and add to our community of Trojan Bees spreading the sweetness of life. Who knows, we might just change the world for the better.


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