The Art of Hosting

The 18th and 19th of December practitioners gathered in Copenhagen for a 24h Dojo hosted by Maja Rottbøll, David Reis, Toke Møller and Nanna Frank. The purpose of the Dojo was to practise methods, share experiences and honing our skills as facilitators and practitioners.

The HUB Copenhagen hosted a mixed crowd of old and new practitioners.


Here you can see a picture of the over all harvest


As part of practicing story telling, Monica Nissén and Toke Møller   told their version of how Art of Hosting came to life and how they became part of it. Jasmine Cargill, Maja Rottbøll and David Reis contributed to the story with their first experiences of AoH.


The listeners were focusing on 5 different things in the story. The 5 points were mirrored back to the story tellers afterwards.

1) Synchronisity

2) Transition points

3) Which elements come together for AoH to scale (spread)?

4) Which questions arise when listening to the story?

5) How does the visualisation of the story look like?


Visualisation by Oliver Lewis Christensen


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thanks Nanna for putting this up, looks great!!

if someone wants to download the two pictures in full resolution, you can either click on them and save the full-resolution picture that opens, or you right-click on this and this link and choose "Save Link as..." (or a similar option)

It would be wonderful if the people who took parts of the five harvesting-sheets home, can upload a photo of it here (as well as typing it?) - they looked so nice. And Mary Alice is interested in seeing it, she invented this way of collective story-harvesting...

warm post-xmas and pre-newyears greetings to you from south Germany :)

Yeye, good stuff!

In relation to number 4, Anne Christine Hagedorn and Kathrine Procter mindmapped the following questions that arose while listening to the story:

What is the essence of hosting?
- Is the AOH all about asking the right questions?
How do we invite into a ‘human core/call/course’?
What is AOH more than it’s methodology?
What is it in AOH that creates the life affirming quality?
What is life-affirming leadership?
What is the role of listening - to life, to ourselves, to each other?
What are the ten assumptions of AOH - now and then?

Is the AOH spiritual?
How do we dare holding silence?
What is it that creates trust?

The structure of AOH
Is there a hierarchy in this work? - and how is this useful?
Does co-ownership need structure?
How can hosting be encouraged informally? - everybody can take leadership as an initiative without having it as a formal position.
What is the key in the non-profit non-ownership development?
Are there some advantages in creating structure and organisation?
Should the structure be like stone or water? What will give most impact and benefit long term?
How can we stay awake and aware even as we create structure and concepts?
Does copyright and personal ownership have a place in AOH?

What is the quest behind AOH?

What was the initial spark that started the AOH?
The WHY behind?

Are there any prerequisites for becoming part of an AOH event?
How can we use stories to open a field or heal a group?
Do we start projects or do they find us?
Is this the end of work as work?

fantastic, thanks so much! and happy new YES :)

Thanks Nanna and evryone for this inspiring and rich harvest.

Anne Christine

Hi there everyone,

I wish I could make it, but I was already traveling. Great work Nanna and All! Thank you so much for sharing it and for making such a great and rich post! It made me capture a lot of what has been said even though I wasn't there! All the best, for a new year of growth, kindness, and positive change! Marco

posting this piece of the story-harvest for Nina Paludan-Müller: 




Around ’94: Toke and Monica (T&M) were very inspired in particular of  

Open Space technology, World Café, Leadership and the New Science by Margareth J. Wheatley (new edition is renamed: Discovering order in a chaotic world) and Living systems (James grier Miller)


T&M facilitate a World Café in Vejle, Denmark. Afterwards people feel they have a special take on it and ask


Now T&M start to describe what they do and by this a new kind of methology is about to be created. Some elements is that facilitating becomes hosting, the making use of inviting silence into the space.


They make a first try out with a group of 45 people from the danish educational system. A proces of a first meeting and a follow up meeting. 


they get is from a man who tells the silence was very uncomfortable but in the end he had realised how much good it did for him.


Things develops and in ’99 Pioneers of Change ( ask T&M to make a hosting for them in Santa Cruz, California, US.


This becomes an intense meeting where T&M leaves before planned because they want the young pioneers of change to step up to action. 


At this event there is a story about an akon and 13 trees and 13 assumptions.


Many people were there who would later become part of AoH: 

Bob Stilger from Berkana institute (, Juan Carlos Kaiten (, Carsten Ohm (Theory U) and many more.


summer 2001 T&M gets invited to a castle in Slowenia to make not just a selforganising meeting but a a social experience living this way for 5 days. And here they meet among others Marianne Knuth and Tenneson. And they become friends with a purpose - bringing the AoH out in the world.


And today the methods of AoH are being used in many wonderful and different communities, administrations, commerce etc.


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