The Art of Hosting

Core Art of Hosting Practices

Work in progress!

As you may notice, this page is getting step-by-step to completion. More gets added as time passes by...





Here is the short article that gives you a quick overview of how to set up and run a World Café. More information can be found on the WorldCafé website - under Resources. (also translations available)






  • The original document which gives you a clue how it was originally used and how it came into being.
    100623 The Pro Action Café.pdf
  • This is the latest version, updated after using it a lot all over the world by Toke Møller. "Here is a updated description of the Pro Action cafe that I have enjoyed to practice and initiate in many parts of the world in 2010 and I have incorporated my learnings into this description. The very powerful wise blend of Open Space Technology and World Cafe works in a very good way in any context it seems. Once again, thank you to Rainer and Ria for giving birth to this wicked and powerful process and let us keep sharing our experiences and learning as the practice evolves and find it next level and deeper applications."
    "From my experience in facilitating processes and completion, the Pro Action Café is a breakthrough approach to resolution and clarity. It became ‘my tool’ for working in groups." Marcello Lacroix
    101121 The Pro Action Cafe 2p.pdf - a 2 page document
  • 100623 The Pro Action Cafe 3p.pdf - a 3 page document with some more context
  • And a nice graphic, made by Sonja Niederhumer created at AoH Karlskrona - summer '10. Benjamin states: "I found it helpful when
    coaching the participant-hosting-team on the PA Café."
  • From the Art of Hosting training in Zagreb, early 2011, there is a slideshow available.
  • Thanks to the Hub Amsterdam we now have a beautiful video from a Pro Action Café in action!
  • There is a conversation about regular Pro Action Café's here, with news from all over the globe.


  • Collective Story Harvesting as developed mostly by Mary Alice Arthur and Monica Nissen
    110312 Collective Harvesting of AoH Practice Stories.pdf
  • This Group Story Harvesting document has now grown to 18 pages!  It captures our practice to date and contains two case studies — one on how to use the method with one systemic story and one on how to harvest many stories simultaneously. As Toke wrote: "this is one wicked process - with much future in it. Every time we use it is amazes me how simple, profound and potent it is for transfomational mind and heart shifts." and a quote from a participant: "We used it in Tasmania with Toke, Monica and Phil, and it was good. Sandra and I told the story of bringing AoH here. It was powerful to tell as a story teller with such beautiful listening. I still keep the notes of the listening to my story for inspiration and staying awake. Best wishes."  110914 Collective Harvesting of AoH Practice Stories.pdf
  • Collective Story Harvest To Go document and PDF - for those who aren't familiar with the Art of Hosting community but are interested in this process. Inspired by the World Cafe To Go document. Some language changed a bit from my travels with the process with non AoH groups.  
    • Storyteller Support document- to help the Storytellers prepare.
    • Collective Story Harvest Host Guide - I share this with the hosts ahead of time and have it printed out for them during the session (and walk them through it at the in-person host briefing).
    • Wisdom Catcher sheet example - for times when people need to harvest on 8.5 x 11 paper - I do up a sheet for each theme and print them on different colours (e.g. Pivotal moments all yellow, leadership all blue etc) which helps when they gather in their like groups. 




Jan Hein, Monica Nissen and Toke Moeller were traveling by train from Belfast to Dublin in 1997 and asked themselves: What have we actually been practicing all these years of working with process and the methodologies…. They drew intuitively the 4 fold practice of 4 circles on a napkin and had a profound conversation about what it meant.
Here is the link to the story told in an interview by Helle Solvang - a radio program host at Danish national radio and also a AoH practitioner (January 2012 at the AoH training in Kalundborg).
And here is the most recent version of the image-document, put together by Mary Alice Arthur: 130300 Four Fold Practice MA.pdf



Two blog posts written by Kathy Jourdain on the art of finding the guiding questions for conversations that matter.



A blog post, written by Kathy Jourdain, on the groanzone, the time inbetween the divergence, before it converges to a new clarity: Navigating the groanzone is an art. This pattern is building heavily on the Diamond of Participation, by Sam Kaner.


  • The original document on harvesting, in its 3.1 version, compiled by Chris Corrigan and Monica Nissen
  • There is now a 30 min video available telling the main points of this intro document, by Jeff Barnum. The slides of this presentation can be downloaded here.
  • A blogpost by Tenneson Woolf, on Four Levels of Harvesting; and Interior and Exterior Harvest - (the last point inspired by Chris Corrigan)
  • Blogpost by Amy Lenzo, on the Gift of Harvesting


In Art of Hosting trainings we normally use only the first step and the heart of the full Appreciative Inquiry process: looking for the strengths in what is already here, and using interview to understand this.

Here is an ebook to download, with many good examples - from the website: "The Appreciative Inquiry approach is described in this e-book in many practical case studies applied in many European countries/organisations. It is very stimulating to read them and gives good inspiration for applying into your own practice."

An article co-autored by Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair: "Co-Creating Futures: Appreciative Inquiry in Learning and Development", written for the Canadian Learning Journal?






The latest version of the 8 Breaths from Mary Alice Arthur

Previous versions:

We have reached 8 breaths. One page description by Monica Nissen. Visual created by Simone Tiesinga-Poutnik, inspired by a graphic harvest by Sonja Niederhumer

8 Breaths of Process Design in word & pages

8 breaths visual in ppt & keynote




  • Underneath what we do and believe in Art of Hosting is the worldview we share. This is a one page document that describes why worldview is important. Last editted by Jerry Nagel.
    100900 Our Worldview is Important.pdf



  • People in Melbourne have a great website,, with some very interesting material on storytelling:
    • a podcast on the importance of storytelling;
    • a collection of stories with keywords;
    • a guide to "anecdote circles", where a group gathers and everyone tells a story.
  • Another cool method to facilitate story telling in real time is through Storify.  It's a social media tool that allows users to collate stories across social media platforms into collaboratively written articles.
  • If you are interested in organizational storytelling, you might want to check out a practitioners network:



Compiled by Ria Baeck

The number in front of the documents reads as: Year - Month - Day; the date when it is was put together or last edited. And thanks to all who contributed to writing or finding all the resources!

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