The Art of Hosting

I am on friendly terms with the front runner in the mayoral race in our city (Winnipeg) and I really want to have a conversation with her that might spark her imagination about how AoH and The Circle Way might transform the way conversations are held in our city. In particular, she has just announced that she wants to create a roundtable to forge a new accord with the First Nations community.

Before I initiate a conversation with her, I'd like to pull together some stories of where AoH and The Circle Way have already been used in civic politics (or related environments) and ideas for ways in which it would be applicable.

Any thoughts, stories, ideas, insights, articles, videos, etc.?

Heather Plett


Hi Heather!

I've thought about responding to your e-mail for a while now, yet I've hesitated, as in the English-speaking world the work we do is not often perceived as being related to "Circle" approaches.
And then today, I received an e-mail newsletter (in German) from Matthias zur Bonsen, announcing two new books, both of which he has helped to birth. The first is his translation of "The Circle Way" into German, and the second is his translation of the Dynamic Facilitation manual, with additional chapters in German written by various European practitioners, including one by Matthias himself.
Two of the new chapters in the German-language book describe in detail the work that has been taking place in Vorarlberg with regard to  participatory public policy. In addition to hosting several Art of Hosting trainings, the Office of Future-Related Issues has also been hosting Wisdom Councils (a large-system application of Dynamic Facilitation) to generate high-quality public input into municipal, regional, and state policy issues. Since 2006, they have hosted 35+ of these councils, and this highly cost-effective format has begun to spread in Germany and Switzerland. Here is a link to the English translation of an article that originally appeared in Biorama, an Austrian online magazine on sustainable living, describing this significant body of work. 
If you are interested in any additional information, I can send you an English translation of two of the new German chapters, that are specifically focused on how  has been applied in the context of civic politics. Also if you are interested there is an evaluation of this work, conducted by Kairos and the European Institute for Public Participation.
with all best wishes,

Rosa Zubizarreta

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