Summer Programme 2019

Deepening the Practice,
Deepening the Practitioner

Apprenticing to My Next Level

June 6-11, 2019

The Island of Spetses, Greece

How do I apprentice to the next level of my practice?

What does it mean to move from applying methods to living my practice?

How do I deepen my capacity to host and hold complexity in times of change?

What is the art of creating transformative collective learning environments with and for others?

The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations practice began almost twenty years ago, with people from across the globe who saw a different way for humans to organise - a way that calls us more into our humanity and allows us to be more intelligent collectively. We met, cultivated friendships, deepened our questions, initiated translocal work – and into this fertile soil of relationship and learning, the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations was seeded.

What began with a series of trainings, called by a scattering of people in different countries, is now a worldwide, self-organising network of practitioners. These practitioners are currently working in education, governments, grassroots communities, social enterprises, civil society, European Institutions, the health sector and many other areas.

The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations sits within an even wider community of practices that originate from a living systems worldview. From this perspective, complexity, chaos - and even collapse - are seen as necessary for new and more life-affirming systems to emerge. We have witnessed real growth in these practices and communities over recent years. Despite this, we also see continuing disintegration around the world: more resources are held in fewer hands, populist and right wing movements are gaining votes, communities are fragmenting around issues such as Brexit, Earth’s resources are overexploited and climate change gathers pace.

So what now?

Do we give up and say we tried? Or do we step deeper into our practice, continue searching and challenge ourselves to transform even further?

Why this Summer Programme?

AoHAthina have identified a need for AoH practitioners to create the time and space to discover THEMSELVES as the practice. Another level of training is needed so that practitioners keep evolving to deeper levels of mastery, presence and skill.

The intention behind this Summer Programme is to embolden us as a community of practice and to host the increasing complexity - and even ‘chaos’ - in our world right now. Specifically, this programme is aimed at supporting practitioners who want to learn how to host trainings, as well as those who want to translate their learning and training into their own context.

We have brought together an incredibly rich diverse hosting team to create this learning container with and for you (see HOSTS).

Included in the Summer Programme is:

The Inner Field of the Host

  • Presence
  • Primary and secondary styles of hosting
  • Edges, hotspots and vulnerabilities
  • Inner diversity and inner team

Teaching and Designing for Complexity

  • Designing trainings and teaching participants how to design
  • Emergent design
  • Skills of teaching and coaching new practitioners: world views, mental models, methods of participatory leadership and hosting complexity

Contextualising and Framing

  • The art of framing
  • Translating our learning into our lived contexts
  • Application of AoH in the world: examples to help with contextualisation of practises

Field Dynamics

  • Hosting the hosting team: dynamics, partnership, power and rank, roles and responsibilities
  • Working with difficult moments: hosting polarity and diversity
  • Working with the invisible: group energetics, tracking participants going through change, holding space, using diverse forms of intelligence, (body wisdom, intuition, etc.)

Pattern Recognition and Meaning-Making

  • Harvesting practices for collective meaning and pathways of action and decisions

We invite you to join our 5-day Immersion into apprenticing to your next level of practice. Come with your curiosity and longing to learn, your projects, stories and burning questions. Be ready to step deeper into your practice in a brave and generative environment with fellow practitioners and teachers who are ready to take their lives and work to new levels. We invite you to explore, play and practice being a Participative Leader: someone who knows how to ask the right questions and who creates the conditions for others to join the inquiry.

Who is this for?

This Immersive learning programme is for practitioners who live and work with participatory methodologies, complexity, Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations and living systems practice and who wish to deepen their capacities to hold more and more complexity in their inner and outer contexts.

You have participated in or apprenticed at trainings. You have been practicing, learning, and growing your hosting practice and are asking how do I deepen my learning and sharpen my skills? You are ready to bring your practice to new contexts, more complex projects or life stages and you’re looking for mentorship, new perspectives, experienced friends and juicy conversations. You are needing to be hosted and held in your process by those who have been there, too.

The training will be held in English with Greek translation (if required).

Join this year’s Summer Programme


We offer our fees on a scale with a minimum and maximum so if you can offer a bit more, it will help others to participate.

The price does not include VAT (24%). If you are paying privately, VAT is required. If you are paying through a company or with self-employed status no VAT is required.

  • Early Bird (before April 30, 2019)
    895-950 euros

  • Regular Fee (after April 30, 2019)
    1125-1500 euros

Included in the price:

5 days of hosting and tuition (7-11 June) – welcome dinner on 6 June and departure on 12 June
6 nights Accommodation at the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses
6 breakfasts and 5 lunches
1 Welcome Dinner (on June 6th)
All materials

*All transportation and transportation costs are the responsibility of the participants
*4 Dinners will be self-organized and will cost 10-20 euros per meal

Cancellation & Refund Policy

If cancellation is within 45 days, full return of fee, within one month 50% of fee and two weeks 25% of fee, no return under two weeks. Extraordinary circumstances will be taken into account


We are seeking contribution to support people who do not have the finances to fully pay for the programme fee. We cannot offer full scholarships so if you need to apply for a scholarship please offer 50% towards a shared tuition fee and we will see if we can match this. We will confirm with you if we can, so please do not book your airfare until we do.

Shared Tuition Programme

The AoHAthina team is launching a call for funding. The money raised will be used to assist participants where money is an issue. The ethos of Art of Participatory Leadership trainings is such that money should never be a barrier to attending a training. Therefore, we would like to open up access to as many as possible.


Starts: 7 pm Thursday, June 6, 2019
Ends: 5 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Join us on the island of Spetses! We will be staying at the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses, a historical and cultural heritage site established in 1923 along the northern coastline of the island. The school is found in an enclave of unique natural beauty, surrounded by pine forests and olive groves and embedded with beautiful gardens throughout.

Your Hosts

Maria Scordialos
Maria has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Southampton University, UK. She grew up in the international environment of the United Nations, living in Congo, Guinea, India, Nepal, and the United States. Maria’s work focuses on creating participatory processes that invite people from all backgrounds to have conversations that matter. She designs gatherings, trainings, and longer-term initiatives that provide the opportunity for public engagement, organizational development, systemic change with long-term impact. Her focus, at this time of world wide crisis, is on we fundamentally reframing our leadership, governance and systems in order to create new ways of living and working. Maria has diverse experience such as working as a Corporate Director in Local Government in the UK, founded her own successful consulting company since 2002, co-initiated the Art of Hosting, and works world wide & in Greece for European Institutions, local government, private and non-profit organizations, as well as in local social innovation initiatives. Maria has an enterprising spirit with a social consciousness that researches new ways of living and working. She has co-founded the Living Wholeness Institute, the SIZ in Greece, AoH Athens and Axladitsa-Avatakia a place of learning with nature in Pelion, Greece.
Vanessa Reid
Vanessa is a pioneering practice leader, social innovator, participatory process consultant who brings her unique leadership and artistry to the field of civil society innovation. She was executive director of Santropol Roulant, a vibrant organization founded by young people in Montreal that uses food as a catalyst for social change, environmental sustainability and inter-generational community. Ever since, she has been immersed in creating personal, organizational, societal cultures that are alive and deeply aligned with the natural cycles and transitions of living and dying. Vanessa is active in local & global networks and movements that are creating new systemic change initiatives that work with the inner and outer, the visible and invisible, and the individual and collective. This includes creating the practice ground for social labs like the Finance Innovation Lab-UK, and working with the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada, as well transforming the “no” of protest in Greece to the “yes” of collective entrepreneurship. She is a co-founder of both the Living Wholeness Institute and the AoH-Athina. She has a Masters in Architecture and a Masters in Process-Oriented Psychology and Deep Democracy and so brings the essence of participatory design to create collective spaces of inner and outer transformation. As a writer and former publisher of the award-winning ascent magazine, she brings a depth of reflective, body and awareness practices.
Kieron Concannon
Kieron Concannon (MA) is a multi-instrumentalist Musician, Martial artist, Ethnomusicologist, Sound Healer, writer, composer and founder of the Irish Harmonic Ensemble. Kieron is also a co-founder, and CEO, of one of the UK’s most influential Independent Record labels (FDM Records) and has worked with some of the biggest selling artists on the planet today. He is an active member of the international Art of Hosting community and is also a Flow Game host and facilitator. He is nearing the completion of his book about his time in the music business ‘A Hero’s Journey Through the Music Industry’. He lives at the top of an Irish mountain – and does his best to live an intentional life.
Yitzhak Mendelson
Yitzhak has lived in Jerusalem in the past of 43 years and is part of the professional psychotherapist landscape of the city. Since 2008 he is pioneering a new field of practice of “protection” which has emerged during his clinical practice, vie dialogue groups between Palestinians and Israelis, as a co-founder of Art of Protection, and most recently as a psychologist and member of intercultural community created in Jerusalem after the National Protest in Israel in 2011. With his Jewish and Mexican identity, he has developed mastery in intercultural relationships. In the last three years he has developed theoretical and practical tools for a better understanding of the essence of relationships, in particular those between victims and perpetrators, people and groups, as well as conflictual relationships. Yitzhak is an Elder of Living Wholeness Institute, a founding Steward of Axladitsa-Avatakia and a proud grandpa of Danielle, Jonathan, Itamar, Shira, Nadav, Ruth, Eran and Ido.
Linda Joy Mitchell

Linda is a process design artist, crafting and hosting meetings, gatherings, trainings and spaces for personal, collective and whole system transformation.  Based in the UK but with an international soul, Linda is a serial collaborator at heart and loves nothing more than connecting people and ideas. A steward of the Art of Hosting, Linda cares for and holds the purpose, the deeper dynamics, the space and the design process by which people come together in cooperative exploratory dialogue about things that matter most to them.

With over 40 year experience of working alongside people in the social justice, civic society and the ‘more than profit’ field, she designs and hosts strategic consultations and large scale public conversations as well as learning journeys and personal retreat spaces for deeper dives into the ‘why and the how’ of life and purposeful work. Most recently she has been working with environmental leaders in the UK, participatory engagement practitioners in Kenya, young women leaders in Panama, social change activists and artists in Spain Greece Bulgaria and the UK. She also practices her hosting and design work within the European Institutions, training participatory leaders, advising on strategic change process and designing citizen dialogues. Linda brings a therapeutic and systemic lens to her coaching and mentoring work and is increasingly interested in the space beyond words; the body felt sense and collective intelligence. Linda is a solid anchor with an ability to hold enormous space for new potential to come through. She is a dancer, a singer and loves a good laugh.

Linda's Website

Bob Wing

Bob Wing, DSS, is director of WiseActionsTM, an organization he founded in 2003, dedicated to cultivating compassionate and transformative work in the world. He is founder of The Mountain Warrior Institute and Warrior of the Heart® Seminars, both designed to teach and enhance the ethical use of power through experiential practices.

Working with ‘The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter’ and ‘The Art of Transformative Leadership’ since their founding, he has led trainings worldwide.

Bob established and was chief instructor for Naropa University’s Aikido program (starting in1981) and was also an Adjunct Faculty Professor in their Contemplative Psychology Department, teaching Gestalt and Body Centered Therapy. He is now teaching and coaching at Naropa University’s Authentic Leadership Center.

Experienced in a number of energy based healing systems, he has worked extensively with Dr. Milton Trager (Psycho-Physical Integration), Mary Burmeister (Jin Shin Jyutsu), completed Reiki Master training, trained in Shiatsu and graduated from The Boulder School of Massage Therapy. Bob also has a deep interest and practice in Shugendo, a traditional Japanese ascetic mind-body training, practiced in nature as a pursuit of deeper levels of consciousness.

At home near Boulder, Colorado, Bob was instrumental in founding ethically based community cooperatives for maintaining dairy goats, chickens, and gardening. He is also a respected sculptor and painter, with a special interest in spontaneous, “in the moment” art, done in and with wild nature.

Silas Lusias
Silas Lusias is a steward of the Art of Hosting, meditator and permaculturist. Silas’ experience enables him to bring a genuine appreciation for diversity and a capacity for hosting groups into more reflective places. He has been a key leader in Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe since its inception in 2002 until 2011. Kufunda Learning Village [] is a learning centre that helps rural people to build self-reliance at multiple levels. To enable communities to survive Zimbabwe's challenging socio-economic environment, Kufunda demonstrates how to use environmentally and economically sustainable living practices so that each community can take care of itself and not be dependent on the failing system to cover its basic food, health, and educational needs. Silas lives currently in Germany.
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    I have been facilitating groups and running stakeholder engagement processes for 30 years but the art of hosting provided a new approach to engaging people around their most cherished values and beliefs.

    - Participant, 2015 AOPL Training Athens -

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    Immersive learning and rich, deep connections.

    - Tolulope, Participant, 2017 AOPL Training Athens -

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    This is the best training I have had in the 20 years I have worked in the European Commission.

    - Senior Manager European Commission -

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