How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
Kathy Jourdain and Amanda Haché hosted a "teaser" AoH event in Fredericton in October 2012. Prior to that I have delivered or participated in Open Space Forums since 2000. My recent work in organizing The Great Gathering for Fredericton NB (November 2012, 310 people on "How can we work together to make Fredericton better?" lead to an invitation from Kathy to help deliver an AoH event in Fredericton in January 2013 on "How can we emgage in conversation that matter on Social Innovation and Community Engagement."
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)
In some respects it is reasonable to say I have practiced this level of awareness, team-building, and attention to energy for almost 30 years. My early career as a coach, my professional work building volunteer organizations, my time as a politician, my academic and personal passion for play and language and community have manifested in ways consistent with AoH practices, only by another name on a similar path but all in the same direction. In addition, there is a direct relation to doing AoH work and doing personal work, of which much attention and intention has been my practice the past 25 years. While new to AoH, and as AoH is somewhat new itself, I feel comfortable to say I am an experienced practitioner with intentions of growth into the steward practice.
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
To help manifest the change of heart needed for the systemic changes occur. The dysfunction of our economy, relationship to environment, political systems and more are deeply rooted in the need to find our "heart" again. So, while in practice I am humbled and honored to practice AoH, and embrace whatever opportunities may arise, I am also powerfully drawn to the intention to shift or awaken systemic challenges we have today by offering pathways and perceptions where people may re-member their hearts and their connection to others, all of which makes up the very system which is in need of re-discovering the heart. Something like that ... :)
Isn't it fun?... Play is also a red thread throughout my work! Do you know Thiagi?... His first job was a street magician, then he got serious and got a PhD in nuclear physics (or the likes ...) then thought the human factor was more up his alley and got a second PhD in behavioral science. And today he's a consultant in training design. And all he does is have participants play! He says that's how animals learn, we're animals, why can't we learn through play. If you don't know him, have a look at his website and watch him do his thing on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYqm8ao1i2c (it's long ... he only starts 8 minutes into it). He changed my way of working ... and AoH did the rest! He also has a whole page of "freebies" on his site - free exercises and games. He personifies generosity and he says it always comes back to him in some form or another.
I know Kathy Jourdain - can't remember when we connected but we did!
Hello Dennis and welcome to the AoH ning! Post a picture of yourself so we can all become better virtually acquainted. Your post is a beautiful illustration of the mushrooming of conscious conversations that is happening, all relatively new as you say. I like to believe that my grandchildren (I have none yet!...) will find these practices commonplace ... and yet continue to relish the magic that emerges. You'll find here great resources and engaging conversations. Welcome onboard!