How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
I first learnt heard the name 'art of hosting' a little over a year ago when I received the invitation to attend the first NZ event. I have been part of the Auckland CoP since then and we meet regularly to share experience, to work together and to engage in deep conversation. My experience of hosting conversations lies mainly in my work as a leader and faciliator within the Playcentre movement. Playcentre is a unique New Zealand organisation that started in the 1940's and has 10,000 member parents, 16,000 member children engaged in 489 neighborhood cooperatives providing parent-led early childhood and adult education. We are a consensus based organisation and I have found that working with consensus based cooperative groups has evolved and stretched my facilitation practice.
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
One of my primary focuses at present is the attention and intention paid to creating containers for group work and in particular group agreements and rituals. We use our own version of 'circle' practise within the Playcentre movement that has evolved from our 60 years of working in cooperative groups. We are an organisation that has become increasingly strained in our ability to engage in the level of conversation required to reach consensus by the push down of policy, process and compliance that came with our decision to take government funding many years ago. Much of my current hosting work is now at the national level of my organisation and is centred around challenging how we meet, the conditions for consensus and sowing the seeds for independance from government funding. The other key focus of my hosting work is beginning to share the learnings and lessons in the wider field from my work as a facilitator and member of a large grass roots consensus based orgnanisation.