The Art of Hosting

In a nutshell ?

The Art of Hosting is the art of having conversations that matter.

Can you elaborate on that ?

Not really. It is an Art, which means that it is not something precise. To me it is a bit like martial arts. You can describe the techniques you use, but the real transformation process of a practionner cannot be explained. I found AoH to be very much like it. The techniques are the equivalent of the Katas. Katas in Karate are a string of movements that you execute against an imaginary opponent. When you begin, you struggle just to remember what the next move is. As time and practice go by, you start "feeling" the kata in your bones, and you suddenly see all the possible applications. I felt the same with the AoH techniques. At first you desperately try to remember what the possible roles in a OST are, and then one day you reach a tipping point, where it all begins to make sense, and it just flows.
I am afraid this means that reading this whole website will not automagically transform you in a qualified practionner, but hopefully it may help :-).

This website

I discovered the Art of Hosting (AoH in short) via its European Commission incarnation, called the Art of Participatory Leadership (AoPL), in 2010. (The name change is purely cosmetic and both are the same thing).
While I only had my formal training in 2011, I was already familiar with many concepts before that. I became an Action Learning facilitator in 2008, roughly at the time AoH entered the Commission, and the two communities were very linked.
I originally stored the information which is on this site on the Commission internal wiki. It started as a simple place for me to remember things (which, by the way, explains why things are not always credited (*) ). However, I have the privilege to practice AoH by facilitating events and meetings, but also to co-host seminars to train others to become practitionners. Moving everything to a place anybody could access was therefore the next logical step.

So here it is. My point is not to be exhaustive on every technique, but rather to help people remember what a given technique is, and give pointers for further exploration or ressources.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you want to add and share things.

You can find me on LinkedIn and on Follow @Spock444 .

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(*) Many things came originally from various WikiPedia articles and the Art of Hosting website. Some were re-worked or simplified. Much comes from articles I curate on A previous version of this website can be downloaded as an epub.