The Art of Hosting

A message from Jerry Nagel, Sept.'12:

Dear AoH friends and colleagues,


As many of you know, we have been deep into a time of co-learning and co-creating here on the northern prairies. In the past two years 600 people have participated in an Art of Hosting training in our 3-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. We expect another 200 to participate in AoH trainings by the end of 2012. We recently checked in with the group and, perhaps no surprise, have found that people are actively using the practices in their work, their personal lives, their churches and schools and wherever an opportunity to change the conversation emerges.


We have also set a goal of significantly increasing the number of people in our region that can participate in an Art of Hosting training in the coming years. To accomplish this we have begun a program of training and coaching and mentoring a cohort of 30 people that, after careful reflection, decided to step into the journey of becoming an AoH trainer in our region. The learning journey for the cohort includes 3-day practicums in World Café, PeerSpirit Circle, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry. We will also create learning opportunities to explore more deeply ProAction Café and harvesting. September 5-7 Amy Lenzo and Frances Baldwin led the World Café practicum. October 2-4 Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea will lead the PeerSpirit Circle practicum and December 4-6 Diane Gibeault will lead the OST practicum. The AI practicum will be in 2013. We are also creating opportunities for the cohort members to support each other in co-learning, participate as apprentices on AoH training/hosting teams, and deepen their own personal skills and practice through hosting conversations. We will continue to support and possibly grow this learning community in the coming years.


We are also creating learning opportunities for the entire community of practice. Amy and Frances hosted a one-day workshop on World Café on September 8th, Christina and Ann will host a one-day PeerSpirit Circle workshop on October 5th and a one-day workshop on Story as the Foundation of Community on the 6th. Diana will host a one-day OST workshop on December 7th. All of these are open to our entire AoH community. We will also look for other opportunities to create learning and practice opportunities for the community.


We have been most fortunate to have AoH stewards Kathy Jourdain, Tuesday Ryan Hart, Chris Corrigan, Toke Møller, Monica Nissen, Stephen Duns and Mary Alice Arthur join us in here in the region to train, coach and support our emergent community.


So, the journey continues. It is a privilege for all of us to be in this field of co-learning, learning into, emergence and hope and possibility. I look forward to continuing to share or learning with you and benefit from your wisdom and counsel as we go forward.


In peace,



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