facilitating & hosting

What Are We Learning Together in the Art of Hosting?

In 2004 the first Art of Hosting was held on Bowen Island, British Columbia. Ten years of people gathering from far and wide to re-discover and re-claim the art and practice of hosting conversations that matter. Some from those sessions have been interested in staying together and to continue their learning; to create a community of practice.


The Art of Hosting was born to answer the question of how we lead together when we don’t know where we are going? From the personal to the global, practices of participatory leadership are helping to co-create resilience, opportunity and renewal in organizations, communities and families.

Rooted in the work of courageously hosting conversations that matter, the Art of Hosting is a field of practice that helps groups of people tap into and unleash the creativity that is needed to deal with unprecedented circumstance.

I dream of sitting down with my friends and colleagues to discover what they are discovering about invitation, working with core teams, variations in the Collective Story Harvest process, harvesting, and more. To sense where we have shared learning edges, and where some of our foundational practices could benefit from some tending. I dream of asking the questions “What kinds of conversations for change have you been involved in, and what are you learning about how they are hosted and harvested? Where have you experienced failure, as well as glimmers of hope?”


It is happening!

The YVR Art of Hosting Community of Practice is gathering for an afternoon of meaningful conversations on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 from 12:00pm to 4:30pm, co-hosted by myself and Chris Corrigan.

As hosting practitioners we come back to the circle to stay connected, accelerate our learning, and to share and support each other. In this gathering we will be hosted in Open Space Technology, providing a chance for us to share what we are working on, bring our hosting and harvesting practice questions, or to find co-conspirators for upcoming projects.

The theme for our Open Space is: What questions are percolating in your hosting and harvesting practice? Bring your ideas, projects, questions, perplexing challenges and seeds of possibility. Join others in conversations that matter and prepared to be surprised!

Learn more about this day here, and you can register now for this open and affordable event.


A community of practice is not merely a community of interested people who like certain kinds of movies, for instance, or simply a club of friends or a network of connections between people. Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems —in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction. A good conversation with a stranger on an airplane may give you all sorts of interesting insights, but it does not in itself make for a community of practice. The development of a shared practice may be more or less self- conscious. The “windshield wipers” engineers at an auto manufacturer make a concerted effort to collect and document the tricks and lessons they have learned into a knowledge base. By contrast, nurses who meet regularly for lunch in a hospital cafeteria may not realise that their lunch discussions are one of their main sources of knowledge about how to care for patients. Still, in the course of all these conversations, they have developed a set of stories and cases that have become a shared repertoire for their practice. ~ Art of Hosting, based on an introduction to communities of practice by Etienne Wenger


Leading Change OS
photo credit Chris Corrigan


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