Codes of Description — What is Hosting?

Hosting — I have searched for words to describe this form of work and way of being. It is work that I care about deep in my heart. It is work that I feel has impact, that serves needs in organizations, communities, families, and in myself. It builds community in ways that I have never known. Yet, it is work that can feel new and non-traditional. I have searched for the simple clarity that gives me room to feel and describe the surface and the depth, and that invites people in to do it together.

At a recent gathering, The World Cafe Stewards Meeting (August 2006), I met Finn Voltoff, a Danish man, who spoke of “codes,” the words he used to describe his work. Inspired by this, I was able to name some of the codes I find most accurate and helpful for me. Others may have different words. What matters to me is the energy that comes from clarity.

What is hosting? What is this conference, The Art of Hosting?

– Leadership Development. Stakeholder Engagement. Community Development. Employee Involvement. Which is code for…

– Participatory Methods. Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Circle, Appreciative Inquiry. Others. Which is code for…

– Hosting conversations that matter in the work that we do so that we get done the work that we most care about. Which is code for…

– Creating and opening spaces in which conciousness, energy, and love can flow at the center of our work and our humanity.

As clear as I can get at this point.

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