Potluck as metaphor (and reality) of civic engagement
Check out potluckactionnetwork.org. Seems like a recipe (pardon the pun) for success. What brings people together better than food?
"We are people just like you. Our dream is: Food, Fun, and Action!
In the Potluck Action Network, we're building a network of thousands of potluck groups across the country, meeting in each other's homes on a regular basis for the long term, to plan and experience active civic engagement. Each person in each potluck group of 12 commits to doing one progressive action of their own choosing per month, while discussing it and getting feedback from the other members of the group at the potlucks.
Designed for members of every age, from 10 through college through retirement, our groups have no leader but instead are guided by a "Chef" in the group, whose action focus is to ensure group continuity, inform the network of the group's progress, and keep everyone meeting regularly, happy, engaged, and well fed. Each potluck group purposely works on a self-chosen set of topics, ensuring that each member stays interested and able to influence the directions and successes of the potluck group.
Through learning about and acting on the issues we choose, we create experienced specialists on a variety of topics, guard against burnout, have fun, make lifelong friends, and create a network of people learning to create constructive changes, all while enjoying dessert."