We are a community of practitioners hosting participatory and transformative processes, spun-off from FoAM's hosting craft training and other hosting activities, which - over the years - evolved into a unique “hosting culture”. For now, we'll call ourselves simply “the hosting community”, but (soon!) we will come up with a better name and a clearer description of who we are and why we exist.

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The uniqueness of the community lies in:

  • its' diversity,
  • depth and authenticity (it isn't just about knowing (branded) methods),
  • holistic perspective,
  • ability to improvise and adapt on the spot,
  • willingness to openly share successes and failures in a group;
  • we exist in the “interspace beyond flemishness”
  • a good mix of front-wo/men and those who prefer to be behind the scenes, assisting (without the full weight of responsibility)
  • openness to being playful and bringing playfulness to 'adults' and professional contexts.
  • integration of multiple ways of knowing (analytical, synthetic, creative, bodily and energetic/spiritual, etc.); we dare to go where others fear to tread…
  • we all acknowledge and appreciate messiness
  • we all enjoy the “magic” of designing things together
  • access to widespread cross-sectorial and international networks
  • beyond process facilitation: the hosting community can mentor, coach, innovate, hold space, enable, empower, and are experts in emotional labour

… and intentions:

  • Yearning, Learning, Earning (and connecting)
  • Community for Contemporary Contemplation and Celebration
  • Creating a place/organisation where I/we can co-grow on our professional path, where we can put into the world the things we’ve learned and experienced and “mold” them into a meaningful product or service
  • To become a self-sustaining, diverse, supportive community able to work in different, fluid constellations with a range of individuals and groups
  • Connecting personal with societal (or systemic) grounded in artistic/cultural sensibilities
  • To support multistakeholder groups to work together (and transform), influencing wider systems
  • To encourage, enable and facilitate “unholy alliances” of people committed to work together in the long term
  • To create peak experiences (rituals, “total experiences”, celebrations…) as well as function as guides through the “forests” of daily life (transitions, challenges, dis-ease…)
  • To apply holistic methods of group dynamics to our own group
  • To learn more about various strands that are our group synergy
  • To design four-fold “ensemble synergy” 3 quartets, 1 “director/conductor”
  • To select 'help gifts' among us - “solo synergy”. Quite specific + one on one, like a study.
  • Important to have a community of practice/supervisory group where we can connect back to!
  • Miracles, smiles, energy
  • Exercise by the side of the experienced
  • Safety and trust
  • New horizons
  • Wild plans that energise

From a wide range of needs and offers of individual members, we distilled three complementary approaches, all of which allow us to support, inspire and learn from each other, in different ways. The simplest yet effective approach is to see our community as a chest of drawers, where we can pick-and-choose collaborators and advisors depending on what each of us is doing at the time. A process design lab is a more involved approach to community development, where we can support each other in learning and testing new participatory processes. Finally, seeing the community as a hosting culture studio, would allow us to create our own unique programmes, focusing on connecting personal experiences with wider societal patterns.

Chest of drawers

(curatorial/free-lance approach, driven by needs of individual community members)

This approach focuses on supporting our individual pursuits (things we're already doing) by being able to tap into a pool of people with a diverse repertoire of skills. Most of us occasionally get commissions that go beyond our individual knowledge and abilities and we could benefit from involving one or more of the other Hosts. The community in this case is a collection of people ('the drawers') with complementary skills. When needed each of us can call on one or more of the other Hosts to co-create and facilitate a process. In order for this approach to work we would need to know more about each others' skills and interests. The best way to do this is to experience all of our hosting styles in action (e.g. by assisting each other, or trying things out together). Another playful way to begin is to create a set of 'holistic index cards' (ref. 'goddess cards ;) for each of us, which can be browsed by us and maybe potential clients as well (somewhere down the line). While we realise that just reading a card won't in itself be enough to decide if you want to work with someone, by co-creating the cards together we'll get to know each other better (we also just enjoy doing this, so why not!).

Process design lab

(design/engineering approach, case/client driven)

A lab or experimental time/place where we can work on designing processes and testing/prototyping them with the other hosts. We can challenge each other and help each other tackle challenges, experiment with new techniques, connect or adapt existing ones. For example, when one of us gets a brief from a client, we can invite the group to help us design the process and/or function as lab-rats (aka test audiences). The benefit of this approach is that it can boost confidence, allow us to experiment with each others' (playful) approaches before doing 'the real thing' and get support in the research, creative and reflective processes. In some cases one or more of the Hosts could end up co-facilitating the real session, but in others the community is there primarily during the design, testing and/or reflection process. Any of the Hosts who have a client or commission who'd like to try out using this approach are invited to suggest a session with all or some of the others.

Hosting culture studio

(artistic/(fundamental)scientific approach, community/collective driven)

This is a unique community of creative people with diverse backgrounds and a keen sense of the connection between personal experience and wider societal patterns. As such we have an opportunity to pro-actively address burning issues, emerging trends, systemic changes that are deeply rooted in our (holistic) values and life experiences. We can co-create meaningful experiences that go beyond process facilitation, involve non-human entities or stretch our senses beyond consensus reality. While the creative process might be similar to the one used in the 'process design lab', in this case we are 'our own clients'. We create our own brief, based on the collective vision of the Hosts community, informed by our individual life experiences connected to observed societal needs, arising from our hopes and dreams. And then we celebrate. The studio is our playground, where we can be completely self-driven to explore things deeply care about. The results of our studio could be hosting packages, which can be adapted to different groups and contexts. For example, a “burn-out prevention clinic”, “rituals for everyday transitions”, “grow your own futures kit”, “botanic choir” or “flavour pairing” as team-building, etc. See the page on activities to find out what these packages might become…

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Dreams

  • Deep Impact (healed earth and healthy society)
  • Transformational long-term relationships
  • Small steps with small groups – Small drops changing the form of the rock
  • Connecting past, present and future
  • Make ideas happen
  • Diversity and transdisciplinarity
  • Unexpected happy-endings
  • Non-linearity’s
  • Dynamic

Nightmares

  • Cynicism, overly critical, overly rational, disconnected, disengaged, demotivated groups (emotional vampires)
  • Superficiality
  • Unrealistic goals
  • Burn out
  • Noise pollution
  • Violence
  • Banality

Principles and values

  • Healing, personal growth, spirituality
  • Transition, creating positive impact and growth
  • Generating energy, systemic change, sustainable, ecological practices
  • Holistic practice, pantheistic, non-anthropocentric approaches, cross-sectorial, cross-cultural, cross-generational bridging
  • Openness and curiosity, generosity, slowness, experimentation
  • Make music (and other arts) matter

Hart

Passions and interest (Ingrid’s hart reflects the mind)

  • Storytelling and symbolism
  • Spirituality and spiritual healing (bodywork and contemplation)
  • Alternatives, searching, learning
  • Holistic, systemic transition
  • Personal growth
  • Senses, music, cooking
  • Nature, plants

Skin

Feminine, agile, comfortable, soft, perky, proud, strong, adaptive, spacious, elegantly practical, playful, cheerful, light, deep, calming, sparkly, with colourful accents

Arms & legs

Strength, hands, muscles (see uniqueness at the top of this page)

Feet

Future directions

  • Multisensory, total experiences (mind-body integration, zinnestrelend)
  • Cross-sectorial experiments and creative processes (nurturing creativity, focusing perceptions, enabling change, unexpected happy endings, social innovation)
  • Life-changing courses (personal and professional growth)
  • Retreats (nature, landscapes, sense of joy)

Womb

If…

IF “BILL” (the community) WOULD BE AN….HE/SHE WOULD BE A:

  • Animal: dog, snake, owl
  • Plant: daisy, tree, oak, succulent moss
  • Movie star: Johnny Depp
  • Colour: red, blue, pink shimmery
  • Herb: hot peppers, lavas, sage
  • If Bill would have a better name it would be….
  • Ingrid???? To be continued….