How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
I have been on the mailing list for some years and have learned much from this. The attraction was my longstanding practice as a facilitator of OST and TWC and my good personal connecting to several members, among whom are Chris Corrigan and Bob Stilger.
Tell us about your experience with Art of Hosting as part of your life and work. What would you say your competence in it is? (new, starting practitioner, experienced practitioner, steward)
From 1994 I have called myself a professional conversationalist, a person who co-creates contexts in which participants converse about questions that matter. This naming was in association with bringing Humberto Maturana to Adelaide, taking an early retirement from academe and the start of my new career as facilitator of OST.
Since then I have been developing my skills as a process artist through facilitation of conversational processes, attending conferences (eg, four World Open Space on Open Space), connecting with fellow practitioners through the OST listserv and TWC Community. I was a co-founder of the Open Space Institute of Australia, with Fr Brain Bainbridge and have been named a World Cafe Pioneer. I was one of the first people to use OST and TWC in combination. I am an experienced practitioner and could be called a steward.
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
My current focus of my hosting work is on the role of a host in a new way of socialising. This is to co-create contexts in which participants (all are welcome) converse with people they may not know, in public places such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, community centres. This happens through invoking elements of the principles and practices of OST, TWC and AI. Nothing is asked of all present except that they question and listen carefully to 'the other' with whom they share a meal. I call this Conversare - to turn or to dance together. I developed the format in Hong Kong and am now introducing it to Australia. It has vast applications.
I am joining now as I wish to contribute to Stephen Duns' post on 'What is missing in AoH?' and am considering attending the gathering in Slovenia in late August.
Where do you live/work?
I now live and work back in Adelaide, South Australia, having been away from 2005 until April last year in Hong Kong. Until a few weeks ago I was living in an ecovillage called Christie Walk and maintain a close connection with the residents of this community.
Are there interests/passions that you'd like to share?
My passion is to bring to widespread attention group processes in which the starting point is that we are here to treat each other well. For in my lived experience whenever this happens something good emerges. My life is guided by this in association with the principles of OST and with people who name themselves as 'evolutionaries.'