The Art of Hosting conversations that matter – a needed tool

I’ve learned (or learning) from the Finns that silence is golden. So, no need to apologize (again) for the long pause on this end then;)

I was lucky to attend the Art of Hosting workshop a couple weeks ago in Karlskrona Sweden, hosted by three of the most innovative and forward thinking education programs in Europe –Masters in Strategic Leadership for Sustainability (Sweden), KaosPilot (Denmark), and Team Academy (Finland/Spain). I came as an independent from Global Venture Lab (and as a  friend of Team Academy:)

The Art of Hosting is about hosting conversations that matter. Do you know when you go to conferences and practically fall asleep during “the program” and get what you really need during the coffee breaks and cocktail hour? Well, the Art of Hosting is almost all about the cocktail hour 🙂   Well, sort of, it gets a lot deeper than that…

There we learned about how to hold “the space”.  This was really like an unconference where the participants can hold the show – we signed up for “hosting”, “harvesting”, “organizing” and making it beautiful (yes, making the space “beautiful” is really important”). So you’re not only being taught, but you’re doing it as you go.

But back to this – how can you actually get people (up to thousands) have meaningful conversations? And the, how do you inspire people and give them space to act on passions/interests that arise? (Using these tools would have been extraordinarily useful when I planned my JYU Talks last year!)

In short, here are the core methodologies we were taught:

1. WORLD CAFE (quick, intimate way of collecting different perspectives in room)

2. OPEN SPACE TECH (quickest way of self-organizing a number of projects)

3. CIRCLE (we all know this one – but oldest, quickest and best way to enable people to open up – think of closeness you feel to someone just being around a campfire)

4. APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY (getting out of organizational slumps by focusing on positive, not the problems that need to be solved)

5. PRO-ACTION CAFE (combo of world cafe & open space tech to get clearer ideas and collaboration from many)

(For a very cool visual of this, check out my friend Ece’s work on Prezi – another new favourite tool!)

Think about the importance of what a good conversation can do.

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

Next up, my harvestings. (Not a word I used before, but actually quite a nice way to describe your key takeaways:)

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2 thoughts on “The Art of Hosting conversations that matter – a needed tool

  1. […] 20, 2010 · Leave a Comment It was exactly one month ago I attended the Art of Hosting […]

  2. […] AND LOTS OF INTEREST IN ART OF HOSTING (conference i attended in Feb in Sweden)!  As there were some challenges in the world cafe, fishbowl .. many wanted to […]

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