Story of Day 1 by Caspian Almerund and Sélim Oucham
After a very brief introduction on the opening evening, where we dipped our toes in the ocean, we started the great dive today. Right from the beginning, the participants were invited to dive into some core Art of Hosting themes by answering two powerful questions: ’What animal are you?’ and ’What animal would you like to be?’ It felt unexpected, but also made a lot of sense in that we were invited to reflect on ourselves, our feelings and our experiences. Being present, being a host for yourself and for others are some of the key aspects of AoH. Two surprising questions, a stretching and breathing exercise later, the conditions for participants to be present and dive into different methodologies to connections with oneself and others were in place. Time to swim.
The World Café was the first of these methodologies participants started to explore. It invites the group into diversity of views and experiences. Organized over several rounds of small and different groups, it is a widely practiced and powerful way to generate incredibly big quantities of data and input. Harvesting all the content generated makes us realize that listening to others is so important and a way to discover new perspectives. Finally, one realizes that capturing the diversity of nature helps solving issues. The method, bringing different perspectives, is an invitation into reconsidering our own views.
After capturing the diversity of nature with World Café and learning the Four-Fold Practice, we were invited to dive onwards with Appreciative Inquiry. What if we focused in what works well instead of what is wrong? Maybe that would help bring awareness to the conditions that help us shifting towards ”the animal we want to be”. In groups of three, one participant is invited to share a story while the two others actively listen, focusing on the emotions and strengths of the person sharing the story.
A strong feeling of connection and empathy is unavoidable. Hosting others by listening to their stories and actively contributing by determining what conditions help make the shift to another mindset makes the conversation strongly meaningful. We leave the exercise with the feeling of having shared something and being more aware of what can help us to create the best conditions to reach our objectives; to find out what works.
Circle was the last methodology explored on our journey towards the bottom of the sea. Another surprise emerges from this approach: as a more reflective experience, and where one is encouraged to take time to think and is free to choose when to speak, we experience another approach of communicating to reach a common purpose. The circle is self-organized, generous, and one should ask and offer. The focus of each participant is on the purpose that the circle wants to reach, and we don’t seek to answer to one another. If one follows the invitation of the methodology to step in with empathy, compassion, intention and attention, you’re guaranteed to leave the circle with the feeling of excitement and gratitude.
We end off with a check out that brings us back up on the shore for some breathing over night. We’ll be doing even more diving tomorrow, and for that, rest is needed.
Question Round 1: What are my experiences of co-creation and what capacities support me in that?
Question Round 2: What collective capacities do we need to cultivate in order to co-create in our communities and organizations?
Question Round 3: What is the Earth asking from her human inhabitants?
The Chaordic Path
Question: Tell about a time when you adopted a practice (either for yourself or as a team) that made a real difference? Harvest: What conditions made a real difference?