The Art of Hosting

Stories - case studies and published articles


In 2013, a new website with lots of Art of Hosting stories has been built; and you can contribute your own story there! Please take a look at the Art of Hosting storymap and add yours too!

And the AoH community within University of Minnesota did what a lot of us, AoH practitioners, would love in all local communities: they gathered their stories and build a website for it - in other words: an ebook for everyone to read! Cultivating Change in the Academy. (can also be downloaded in various forms!)


Below you find a collection of stories/projects that have used the Art of Hosting pattern over a longer time in organisations, communities and and/or for large scale systemic change processes. (in no particular order)

  • Public engagement in Vorarlberg region in Austria, a succes story about Wisdom Councils.
  • Kufunda Village in Zimbabwe, is a self-organizing rural learning village, using the Art of Hosting pattern from the start. You can hear Marianne Knuth, the founder, speaking about it in this video.
  • A large scale project working with the question How to create sustainable and affordable health care in the city and county of Columbus, Ohio, USA. The story was written as one chapter of the book Walk Out Walk On, written by Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze; a very good explanation about what Art of Hosting can do and is.
    110100 From Hero to Host Columbus AoHstory.pdf
    On their website you will find a lot of learnings they have gathered over the years, with reports to download and Prezi presentations on the history of the whole project.
  • An ongoing journey to re-imagine, regenerate, and reinvigorate public health in Nova Scotia, Canada - steps taken to “articulating a collective vision”; started in Dec.'08
    101113 Nova Scotia Public Health - Journey Towards Renewal.pdf (28p)
    a short blog post offering a short overview
    an interview with the Chief Public Health Officer
    an article in the Huffington post: Designing and co-creating the best possible National Health System
    a great article (is part of the book No Straigth Lines: Making sense of Our Non Linear World): System Change Through People Power. A look at how the Nova Scotia public health care system transformed from the inside out; written by Alan Moore
    From Stanford Social Innovation Review, an article on the Nova Scotia Public Health Change: System Change through People Power
  • a link to a list of more projects in Nova Scotia, using the AoH approach; one is a project of civic engagement with a large development project Nova Center. A quote from Tim Merry, driving force in many of these projects: "We have been developing our work in the last few years and near a time when we shall begin to call in our own projects. The basic inspiration is around re-designing democracy to become participatory - where directionality for society is in the public realm with collective intelligence of citizens."
  • An overview of purpose and way of working for a large-scale project in Minnesota to build capacity around convening and designing community conversations; with AoH practitioner Jerry Nagel and support from InCommons: great video!
  • The Finance Lab, a project with the guiding question: How can we create a financial system that sustains people and planet? Co-initiated by a group from WWF and a think tank of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales.  Here you can read an interview with one of the co-founders. They also run a blog with good and regular posts.
    Here a most beautiful harvest document from AuditFutures, rethinking and revisioning the future of the audit profession, July 2012 - 120704 AuditFutures AssemblyInsights.pdf
    And a beautiful designed document that gives a description of what the Finance Lab is and has done over the years - 110900 TheFinanceLab Prospectus.pdf
  • Improving health and access to health services in an Oregon county rural health network
    111100 Steve Ryman Healthcare Reflections.pdf
  • Using conversational leadership to shift education and development in a large Canadian labor union
  • A report - and a published article in the IAF Newsletter - about a one day process on Collaboration in York, UK. Written by Linda Joy Mitchell.
    110712 LindaMitchell Leeds.pdf
    110000 LindaJoyMitchell Hosting collaboration.pdf
  • Somebody in Canada wanting to change the world of Dentristry in Canada by using Art of Hosting methodology.
  • Engaging community members, elders, youth and leaders to build an Aboriginal child welfare authority on Vancouver Island in Canada
  • Introducing new models of participatory leadership within the European Commission (Art of Hosting is here translated as Art of Participatory Leadership) - a one page document to give an overview of what happened so far: 2012 Story of AoPL in the European Commission.doc
  • Participatory process with all stakeholders regarding a public open space in Coul Harbour, Canada.
    Here is the website with reports from all the different gatherings and lots of good pictures, also from the harvests.
    link to Tim Merry's website who facilitated this process, with video.
  • From Consumers to Citizens, a keynote by Manfred Hellrigl, working in the Zukunftburo - Office for the Future - in Austria. He talks about some case studies in a few cities and mentions Art of Hosting at the end of his talk.
  • Another project co-initiated by WWF: Tasting the Future, a growing community of practitioners working towards a sustainable food future. - a most beautiful prospectus tells you all about it, partners and different phases of the project: 111200 Tasting the future Prospectus.pdf
  • The New Mentality, a network of youth and adults in the mental health system in Ontario, use Art of Hosting to engage youth in decision-making processes and decrease the stigma of mental illness. Disable the Label 2010 (video) was an Art of Hosting training for 50 members of the community.
  • An article written by Tim Merry, asked to gather his learnings from civic engagement work over the last couple of years. It references the AoH and the engagements in Nova Scotia. The article is already out in O&E and a shorter version is going to be published in the IAF (International Association of Facilitators) newsletter. Also on his website.130300 Tim Merry democracy one step at a time.pdf





PeerSpirit, the company of Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, offers in each newsletter a beautiful story of how someone used the circle practice in their own environment. Here are two stories, written by Art of Hosting stewards:



From the Harvard Business Review, May 2012: Leadership is a conversation.

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