Art of Hosting Training 2024

To learn more about this Art of Hosting Training please click on the drop down menu below


The last 4 years have moved at a relentless pace, with crisis upon crisis. The pandemic and the rise in cost of living have seen us all stretch as individuals, organisations and wider systems. We’re stretching to work harder (to pay the bills), faster (through back to back zoom meetings) and stretching to respond to the rise in demand in services.

We need to slow down, so we can listen to each other and discuss the future we need to create: A future built on the wisdom of experience, rich in human connections.

The Poverty Truth Commission in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, has spent the last two years working with commissioners – those struggling against poverty, and those who are in positions of power making decisions about poverty. Together commissioners have slowed down, listened deeply and worked together for wiser action. Throughout the process commissioners spoke of ‘humanising the process’ and ‘nurturing the soil’, creating the right environment for culture changing ideas to grow: An environment that champions slowing down to have meaningful conversations and to listen to the wisdom of experience, especially in times of crisis.

Art of Hosting has been the foundation that this Poverty Truth Commission has been built on. The Poverty Truth Commission in BCP has called together this Art of Hosting training to share these practices with people across Dorset who seek to ‘nurture the soil’ in their own organisations and communities.


Art of Hosting Training is a hands on three-day training where you will experience and learn to work with a suite of practices including: World Cafe, Circle, Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space technology, Pro-Action Cafe, the art of Powerful Questions, and how to Harvest the fruit from conversations. You will have the opportunity to use these practices to design and host conversations whilst on the training, with coaches at your side.

We will discuss working with emergence and complexity, the philosophy behind the practice – the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’. This includes: holding space for not knowing and for collective wisdom to emerge, working with the chao-ordic (place between chaos & order), and thinking and acting systemically.

This training, in Poole, will be for people from across Dorset in all sorts of settings, whether professional or personal. As a mixed group we are connected by the common desire to have meaningful conversations and to “nurture the soil” in our communities.


This type of training would normally be in the region of £750 or above. However, we want to make this accessible to as many people as possible, so our fees are structured to reflect that. Please consciously consider how you would like to support this training.

  • Standard Rate for large organisations – £750
  • Standard Rate for small organisations or individuals – £350
  • Access Rate – £150

This training is being offered to around 40 people who share a common interest and commitment to working in genuinely participative ways with and communities in Dorset. This training is good for Community groups, community leaders, statutory sector organisations, decision makers, and anyone recognising the need for diverse perspectives and shared leadership.


19th – 21st March 2024
9.00am – 5.00pm
Additional coaching sessions are available after each day’s training (optional but encouraged)


The Factory
Alder Hills
BH12 4AS

Arriving by car? Free parking is available on site
Arriving by train? Nearest train station is Branksome Train Station
Arriving by bus? Look up your best bus route to Alder Road Sainsbury’s.
Arriving by bike? You can park your bike at The Factory


If you have any questions about this training please contact


A number of people in Dorset have been on Art of Hosting Training over the last 10 years or so, here’s what they have to say about it:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but what happened on those three days was quite astonishing. I found a level of community support, collaboration and depth that I’d never experienced before. Although many of us had come from different places and with different goals we were all united in working in new and different ways to bring about change in our communities. I came away not only with new ideas, skills and tools to use to enable great conversations to happen but also connections with others that have remained strong to this day. I would highly recommend this training – be prepared to be changed!

It transformed my relationship with the ‘messy bit before things start making sense’. I can now sit very comfortably with this essential stage in project design, and value it fully. It has changed forever how I approach listening to and working with people, and opened me up to investing in learning more at every opportunity. The training connected me to other people who also want to create systems change. In different ways we’ve variously worked together since, resulting in all sorts of positive, magical, transformational projects.

Discovering AOH was transformational and has impacted the way I hold pretty much all the spaces I now host. I haven’t come across anything which is quite so unlocking of the quieter voices and enabling for everyone involved. It was brilliant, really powerful.