Art of Hosting 3-day trainings


This case study relates to several occasions – in 2013, 2014, and 2015 – where Connecting Scotland has organised, designed and hosted full residential 3-day Art of Hosting training events in Scotland.


As citizens, communities, organisations, if we are to unlock the potential of our people, if we are to better navigate the deepening complexity, and if we are to move from crisis to opportunity, then we need new ways of working together, more effective engagement processes, new forms of leadership and the ability to transform conversation into wiser action.

Need and Purpose

The Art of Participatory Leadership training is an intensive training course which develops participants’ skills and experience in using a range of participatory processes and practices. It provides models and tools to enhance people’s abilities to work with complexity, uncertainty and change in their community, place of work and home.


During the training the participants:

  • Practice and explore hosting conversations as a core leadership practice and skill-set for leading change in complex systems.
  • Have the opportunity to apply what is being learned to a real-life change project brought to the training by the participants. From policy and national initiatives to grassroots organising, business change and movement building. 
  • Gain experience in using participatory processes, including Open Space TechnologyAppreciative InquiryCircle World Cafe – Collective Story-harvest. 
  • Learn about frameworks and process design tools which support participatory practices such as: Chaordic Design – Four-Fold Practice – Art of Harvesting – Organisational Paradigm and Living Systems approaches.

The aim of the training is to:

  • Build capacity for community, organisational and business leaders across Scotland and beyond to respond in innovative and collaborative ways to the increasingly complex challenges we face now. 
  • Train citizens and decision-makers in hosting meaningful conversations for substantive and long-lasting solutions that work for people and organisations in all sectors in Scotland and beyond.

Benefits Delivered

Participants leave the training event feeling inspired and energised, having gained insights to and begun their personal learning of and development in the practices and processes. This enables them to plan, design and host events where people finally have the conversations that really matter, in order for them to do their work better, and thus helping to build the capacity of others in this field!

What People Said

  • "The best training course ever!"
  • "This has truly transformed my life"
  • "I now know how I can approach the issues we face with confidence, knowing that these practices really do work! We can simply trust in the practices and the people!"