How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
I first heard about the Art of Hosting at the Shambhala Authentic Leadership Institute in the Summer of 2007. The place was abuzz with it, like a whisper that surrounded me. I experienced my first World Cafe there, and got to live in a Hosted space for a week. Halfway through the Institute, I sat bolt-upright in my bed and realized that I had to scrap my current thesis topic and write about the Art of Hosting from the context of hosting a nonprofit organization. I wanted to learn how to host space so that the wisdom of a nonprofit could emerge, and the dysfunction that permeates so many organizations could dissolve...even if just a bit. I did a deeper dive by participating in the 2007 Art of Hosting gathering at Wooded Glen, and completed my thesis in December 2007 (which has previously been shared with this community).
Tell us about your experience with Art of Hosting as part of your life and work. What would you say your competence in it is? (new, starting practitioner, experienced practitioner, steward)
I'm not sure what to call my experience. I don't focus on myself as a practitioner so much as an imperfect embodier. Since the Shambhala Institute, I've done my best to practice these skills in all settings. From 2007 to 2009, I ran my nonprofit with these principals. I've designed and facilitated events and cafes in the US and Mexico in that same way. In 2009, I began a new career path as a graphic recorder and visual meeting practitioner...and haven't looked back!
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
Blame Chris Corrigan for this one - I love being a merry harvester. : )
My primary focus in my hosting work is to listen deeply to what's going on in a group - not just to the information being discussed, but to the emotions, reactions, questions, connections, a-ha moments and challenges. I listen deeply to it all, and translate that group experience into a visual map in real time. When the group convenes, I have a blank sheet of paper on the wall. When the group concludes, their experience is captured. In 2010, I've realized that while I am able to facilitate, not many people are able to do this piece of harvesting...so that's where I prefer to dedicate my energies: working in partnership with other facilitators so that they may fully focus on hosting the group, and I may fully focus on harvesting the experience for them.
Are there interests/passions that you'd like to share?
I am passionate about using pictures to solve problems and share ideas - I've been volunteering at local schools to teach students these skills, and it's wonderful. I'm passionate about changing the way people think about what is possible, and how we communicate. I love film, story, and music. If I could do anything in the world, it would be to fly all over the world to attend conferences and conventions, learning and connecting with amazing people, and creating graphic recordings of those events so that the important messages can grow legs and live long after the conference or event has ended. I love a great cup of coffee, and I love my family and friends.
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