The Art of Hosting

email to AoH List on February 24, 2011:


In the past 2 weeks, I have been part of conversations here in Berlin where I think, it is time for another Art of Hosting training in Berlin.
Within the Berlin coworking scene, I have heard these questions:
- How do we move from coworking to colearning spaces?
- How do we host collaboration spaces with an impact on society?
- How do we take responsibility of all these questions currently emerging:
And we hosted a Learning Lab with some Knowmads, where a group is currently self-organizing around "the intention to keep learning from each other and the will to meet again to share knowledge on facilitation and transformation." Here a harvest from that Learning Lab:
There is also a working group for a future learning lab - looking for a space to manifest itself in the city. And a need to develop the content and questions of this future learning space...
I guess, I am looking for mates and stewards to co-host these questions during an Art of Hosting training...
Best from Berlin...

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And there are now two options to have a sensing circle on skype into this call. Tomorrow, Tuesday, 01.03.2011 20:30 CET or Wednesday, 02.03.2011 08:30 CET. Please let me know, which one you would like to attend. Or a short notice, if none of them works for you...

The Art of Transformation Berlin Lab is a group of  facilitation enthusiasts, designers, mediators, educators, catalysts, and visionaries that are getting together for self-organized monthly workshops.


the topics that we want to address are diverse:


- what is the frame for freedom? where is the balance between control, freedom, chaos? Different roles/styles of facilitation and the role of “giving direction/limiting the elements”...
- Facilitating in public spaces: how to appropriate public spaces. Limits and relationship of ownership... Exploration of the physical comfort zone.


-How to harvest? which are the practices, methods, approaches to collect the experience? how to go from the experience to the next step? How to condense and gather results?


As a  coorganizer, energizer and enthusiast of the group, I would love to be hosted in a AoH workshop! Thumbs up for people coming to Berlin to support our learning path!



so cool to witness this from far... wishing you guys the very best for this developments, sounds really good :)

Harvest Sensing Circle March 01, 2011


In the circle:

- Valentina (Italian living in Berlin, started Berlin Art of Transformation Lab after Knowmadic Learning Lab in Berlin)

- Andreas (living in Brussels, from the field of executive education)

- Martina (living in Berlin, AoH participant at AoH Berlin 2009)

- Frauke (living in Berlin, caller of this circle)


What has called us to this circle?

- Interesting calling questions: how to bring different stakeholders together? What will be the impact of this AoH? How do we invite beyond the like-minded people? How do we involve the political stakeholders? Can this develop into a ThinkTank?

- What is the purpose of an AoH we are calling?

- Different themes on the table: Learning Spaces, Coworking, The Hub Berlin has not manifested in Berlin, yet, community-building of like-minded people to support each other to be able to support the change, how to engage with public spaces?

- Personal needs: to learn about AoH, to practice the AoH at the next level, to receive support from like-minded people

- People want the change and talk about it but don't know how to practice it, like-minded people are still in competition not in collaboration


What would an ideal AoH training in Berlin look like? 

-  First learning experience in the method

- Diversity beyond the AoH community, What would be a topic that would attract different people?

- Taking own AoH practice to the next level

- Example Dojo meetings in Denmark

- How to involve other networks in Berlin? For example, Gerd Walter, Aikido practitioner

- Important: how do we invite people? Not too much AoH language, English would help us in Berlin to get out of our cultural patterns since it invites the cultural diversity of the local international community and to connect more with the AoH practice but is not inviting everybody


What questions take us to the next steps?

-  Valentina: check and sense with the Berlin Lab which are the most compelling topics they would like to tackle in an AoH training

- Martina: still in chaotic space, how can AoH become more visible in Berlin?

- Frauke: happy in the chaos, likes to listen further, to look for needs and to define the purpose with the hosting team, yet to form

- Andreas: curious about the outcomes of the other call and to connect to the next steps

Harvest Sensing Circle March 02, 2011


Dialogue between Gabriele  (living in Sonthofen, South Germany) and Frauke (caller)



- Would there be space for a series of 2 AoH Trainings in this year, Berlin May/June and Allgäu in September? People who attend both trainings could get a special price? Questions in Berlin and Allgäu build on each other?

- AoH Training in Southern Germany in German? Are there (enough) AoH Stewards who speak German?

- need in the South: building trust to leave old structures of hierarchies and control to enable citizen participation, demographic change is already quite visible in rural areas: young people move to the big cities and return when they are old, Berlin is a young +cosmopolitan city


Next steps:

- sensing more into the regional needs in the South: Gabriele to contact Ursula from the Bregenzer Salon and to sense more into needs of local networks (e.g. Transition Town), Frauke to organize another call with Anne (Social Entrepreneurship Academy), Irmgard and potential Hub founders from Munich

- combination with Archiv der Zukunft Congress in Bregenz in October?

Thanks for a quick posting of harvest!


This just went out by Valentina, yesterday to different communities and networks in Berlin:



This email is to call your attention and to ask your feedback on the opportunity of an Art of Hosting training in the city of Berlin.

What is Art of Hosting

The "Art of Hosting - Conversations that Matter" (as the name of the concept goes) is a practice for all who aspire to learn and find new ways of living and working with others to create innovative and comprehensive solutions. It is a process orientated interpersonal learning technique.
The current generation of Art of Hosting practitioners uses amongst many others practices such asOpen Space, World Cafe, Circle and Appreciative Inquiry. These processes foster synergy and provide ways for people to engage with intention, design deliberately, focus on meaning and support deliberate action.

What an Art of Hosting Training looks like

Since Art of Hosting is not about techniques but about a collective experience based on process and dialogue, every training is different from each other. However, there are some fixed elements:

- The training lasts usually 3-4 days.
- The training starts with burning questions that brings  stakeholders together in conversation to seek new solutions for the common good.
-The approach is participative: who is attending is at the same time a learner and a leader of the process, each of the participants bringing different experiences and needs. When people are invited to work together on what truly matters to them, when space is opened for self organizing, then they take ownership and responsibility for moving their issues and ideas into wiser actions and innovative solutions that last.

How can I make the training happen in Berlin?

The first step is to define the burning question of the people interested in participating to the training. This is fundamental for us to come out with a clear idea of how to design the training on the real needs of the community (YOUR real needs).

Are you interested in an Art of Hosting training? Then, to make it happen we need to propose a set of questions that we want to tackle and investigate together. Please, reply here (click to be redirected to a GoogleDoc) on the following questions:

What is the most challenging topic you face in your daily work as facilitator? What are the issues you are working on? What matters to you? What do you want to learn during the training? What are the community needs of communities you work with in Berlin?

Read as inspiration “Burn for Something” by Art of Hosting Steward Sarah:

Who are we?
We are a group of facilitation enthusiasts who are regularly meeting under the name of Art of Transformation Berlin Lab to share our knowledge and organize monthly co-learning workshops.
To be active part of the community write to or sign up on the FaceBook Group.

I am very curious about the response you will get. Please keep us updated!

And great description of the AoH training - really great!

Love from Belgium,


Next steps with this call: we will set up a sensing call with some AoH stewards after March 15th. And we will post more here soon...Frauke

I've been thinking a lot about earthquakes recently, especially because I'm sitting close to a national disaster and this morning opened the paper to the photos of last night's earthquake in Japan.  For me these earthquakes, what is happening in North Africa and the inner shakes many people I know are going through are part of the same thing - a fundamental shake in our concept of structures and an opening to inquire into how we will be in relationship with each other and place.


I'm looking forward to see where this inquiry is headed!  Love to be part of it!

Yesterday, I was with 140 people at a strategy meeting of the national network "Archives of the Future" - a network of 1500 changemakers in schools and education in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The network is currently on the edge of maybe moving from a lose network to a learning network with communities of practice. Mary-Alice another possibility to host a storytelling-AoH workshop if you are coming to Berlin!
Wonderful!  Let's talk about that!

Frauke Godat said:
Yesterday, I was with 140 people at a strategy meeting of the national network "Archives of the Future" - a network of 1500 changemakers in schools and education in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The network is currently on the edge of maybe moving from a lose network to a learning network with communities of practice. Mary-Alice another possibility to host a storytelling-AoH workshop if you are coming to Berlin!


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