The Art of Hosting

FROM CRISIS TO CREATIVITY: A Collective Story Harvest

Event Details

FROM CRISIS TO CREATIVITY:  A Collective Story Harvest

Time: October 15, 2012 at 6pm to October 17, 2012 at 4:30pm
Location: Vallekilde Folk High School in Odsherred, northern Zealand
Street: Hølskolevej 9
City/Town: 4534 Hørve
Website or Map:
Phone: Contact Anne Madsen on
Event Type: two, day, workshop
Organized By: Mary Alice Arthur
Latest Activity: Sep 11, 2012

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Event Description

Two hundred years ago Denmark faced total collapse.  On the losing side of major war, the country in tatters, it’s economy in ruin.  Having lost land, resources and the talents of all who died in the struggle, the country was bankrupt on every level.  Except one. 

Out of this crisis, a new way of viewing society arose, fundamentally changing the structures of power, privilege and connection.  Denmark as we now know it was created and a golden age was born.

Interestingly enough, this founding story is very little known by the Danes themselves, but it hold keys to how we might all face this time of uncertainly and challenge.

Join us in a grand experiment of hosted conversation and harvesting of this powerful story to uncover what it might offer Denmark and the world.  This is an invitation to co-create a new paradigm for future growth, based on collective historic memory.

How will we work together?

We will be using a method called ”Collective Story Harvesting”, which has been pioneered by the Art of Hosting network around the world over the past two years.  It has been used to engage with systemic stories of projects, initiatives, organisations and communities, but until now we have never tried to work with a systemic story this large and important.  The nature of this particular story and the eve of its 200th ”birthday” were an encouragement to us.  We feel the world is waiting for what we will find out and we feel that this story has a much longer lifespan than just this one event.

That is why we are calling this a ”grand experiment”.  We are inviting you into something that has not been done before and we’re inviting you as a contributor and fellow explorer.  We are seeking to create a learning community who want to delve into this story, see what possibilities it offers and create the next stage of our work with it.

We have invited people who represent the key threads of the story (power, economics, education, social movements, enlightment) to be our storytellers, and we will work with them to offer what they know in story form.  Some of them are holding the historical aspects of the story and some are representatives of where history meets present day.  We will be focusing on storytelling and story listening, so there will be no presentations, Powerpoints or lectures.  Each of us listening will also be asked to take an active role.

We will be working in English because of the international field we have invited to be present.  Already we have participants coming from Greece, Japan, Israel/Palestine and many other places, keen to hear this story and share their own.  We are inviting anyone who is

  • interested in creating systemic shift
  • working with collapse, breakdown and conflict
  • exploring how to foster creativity in challenging times
  • wondering how to engage diverse groups
  • working to engage people in wise action and citizenship
  • interested in the power of story and especially founding stories


The Hosting Team: Mary Alice Arthur, Toke Paludan Møller, Peter Engberg, Helle Solvang, Anne Madsen, Svend-Erik Engh

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Comment by Jasmine Cargill on September 11, 2012 at 4:00pm

got it! thanks MA. 

Comment by Mary Alice Arthur on September 11, 2012 at 11:04am

Hi Jasmine!  I've just sent the invitation to the whole AoH list with an email on Collective Story Harvesting.  Did you get it or do you ned me to send the invite to you separately?

Comment by Jasmine Cargill on September 11, 2012 at 10:34am

Hi Mary-Alice et. al, all going well I am planning to attend. Do you know what costs will be involved in participating? Looking forward to seeing you. 

Comment by Mary Alice Arthur on August 24, 2012 at 9:31am

Interesting idea, Rainer!

Comment by Rainer v. Leoprechting on August 24, 2012 at 3:58am

Hello mates, this is a beautiful gathering you're setting up there. On methodology, I sense you could go very deep (and that in little time) into the stories and what lives in them with the help of a moment in constellations. I recall a powerful moment where after a story told about the history of Belgium, a number of constellations highlighted the dynamics in the systems at play. This experience is unforgettable...

I look forward to explore this with you in Slovenia - see you soon!!


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