At the recent stewards gathering I hosted an open space session with this title: 'What's possible beyond the 3 day training?'. I called this session because so often after AoH trainings participants come up to me and say how inspired they are but that they aren't sure how to continue/integrate what they learned. Some ask what to do if they wanted to start making this their work, where could they learn more.
So I was curious to find out form colleagues how they deal with this and what kind of formats people had already been experimenting with instead of 3 day trainings or as a follow up.
Formats were shared, we talked about diffusion strategy, how to spread the practice widely and steward the essence at the same time. On this note Juanita Brown (from World Cafe) shared that their diffusion strategy has been the book, to make resources and stories available. Amy shared about the World Cafe online course, which is an 8 weeks online program with some life sessions and some homework for participants to do in their own time. People are working together and creating projects beyond the course.
We also talked about language.Is training the right word for what we are hosting? In some contexts other language might be needed.
In France they call it workshop. In Brazil they call it encounters. In the European Commission it is not called Art of Hosting but Art of Participatory leadership. Like with everything, adapting to the context seems key.
And here is what I learned about formats:
Instead of 3 day trainings
In Minnesota there have been several experiments (for more info ask Jerry Nagel):
As follow up to the 3 day training
Peer support activities
Some interesting questions to leave with:
Was the 3 day training format designed based on the needs of participants or the needs of the hosts? Could we shift the format towards catering more to the needs of participants?
How to support those who caught the spark to become master hosts?
How can we together be intentional about seeding depth and mastery of the practice in service of life?
How can this kind of work be converged online?
What is the business model for hosting a community of practice?
If you have been experimenting with other formats, please add your comments here.