I started off the day meeting again with a few other participants of the training so that we could do a run-through of the activity we were hosting in the morning – I really like this about the AoH training, it is truly a participatory activity and everybody has the chance to contribute in many ways.
So once the day had been kicked off by the day hosts, my team and I shared the so-called meta-harvest of day 1, giving the other participants a quick overview of what they had gone through the day before. We decided to do this in a funny way and so we played to be weird reporters asking questions about people’s experiences and making this activity quite a show. The meta-harvest, however, can take several different forms and so we could have used our hosting time also to draw the outcomes of day 1, read a poem about them or to sing a song. This activity allows the hosts to play with their creativity.
After the following check-in, in which we connected to all of the other participants, the hosts presented the Two Loops model to us. This model explains the roles one can play in the transition from an old paradigm (e.g. oil as an energy source) to a new one (e.g. renewable energy sources). For example, one could innovate new ideas or one could help people engaged in the old paradigm to move to the new one. After explaining this model to us, the hosts asked us to move to the role we would like to play. Then we were engaged in interesting conversations with other people who were interested in the same roles as we were. We were then asked to voice to the others what our role will mean to the bigger collective and what we would need to be able to do our role well. This activity really opened up many new perspectives on what roles are actually needed in the transition towards a better future and it has also created a basis for reflections on what role each of us feels called to play. Inspired by this activity, we moved into a Solo Walk, where we reflected on the question of what we feel called to do.
We were not allowed to talk to any other person during this time. We were rather asked to go out into nature and either think or journal down what came to our minds about this question.
After a Swedish fika break, we were then introduced to the Four Levels of Listening, which opened up new perspectives on how else we could actually listen to one another. We were then sent out again into a Deep Listening Walk with another participant, in which we shared what invited us to “move to the edge” of what we feel called to do. In this way, we had the chance to immediately experience what it means to really listen deeply to another person and how to hear what possibilities lie in that person’s future. Listening to the other person’s future possibilities (generative listening) was a very interesting task. In a beautiful way it made very obvious to me how often we tend to put new information into existing boxes in our own minds, how quickly our brains make immediate judgments and how easy it also is to get lost in the empathy we may feel for a person’s current situation rather than helping them to see what the future could bring. Before we went into lunch, the afternoon was explained to us, where we would be engaged with the Open Space method, which I consider extremely powerful. The participants had the chance to come up with their own questions, which were all meant to follow the umbrella question of "what do we need to explore now to take our practice further?" Participants who did not raise a question could join other conversations following a few principles such as the law of mobility (also known as the law of 2 feet, which means that one is always welcome to leave a conversation and join another one). I ended up having conversations about integrating AoH methodologies into the public sector and about changes that are needed in Europe’s education systems. However, I know that there were a multitude of other conversations going on at the same time. After each of these activities, there was always a time to reflect upon the methodology used, and the hosts opened the space for us to ask questions about the methods. I really appreciate the experiential learning methods we use here at the AoH training. Each method we could immediately experience, some of them we could even host ourselves. I feel highly engaged in this training and can’t wait to make more sense of all of this tomorrow, when we see how we can move to action.
4 Levels of Listening
Question: What do we need to explore now to take our practice further?