Large group conversations

What if the answers to the problems we confront today lie not in bringing in outside experts to tell us what to do, but lie instead in the wisdom that’s already there within the community?  How do we make space for the collective intelligence within the community to emerge?

Through well-designed conversations that invite all the stake-holders to speak and be heard.

The Art of Hosting (AoH) is a community of practice and training which recognizes that there is no single way to engage large groups in conversation. So much depends on the circumstances at hand, in the moment.  The “art” in the Art of Hosting comes from discerning what is the best methodology to allow the community to self-organize and advance the conversation to the next level.

The “art” is also grounded in recognizing and trusting that a certain amount of order and a certain amount of uncertainty and chaos are necessary to allow for the collective voice to emerge and for communities to self-organize.

Why “hosting”?

Practitioners in the AoH recognize that no single person can “hold” a conversation when large groups convene.  It takes a team of hosts to discern what needs to happen next and design a process that will move the community/organization/conversation forward.

“Hosting” also suggests another truly important leadership distinction.  In the AoH, leaders are no longer seen as the experts, instead, they are the conveners, participants, collaborators.  A leader is simply someone who steps forward to offer their skills and knowledge in service of the whole and to host the next level of conversation.

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