AoPL Training 2020

Art of Participatory Leadership

June 12-14, 2020

Impact Hub, Athens

How do we become more collectively intelligent to face these accelerating turbulent times?

Our world is in flux.  Many of our current structures and ways of operating are outdated. In a more complex and interconnected world, command and control is no longer a fit way to lead and manage. Organisations are going horizontal, taking out layers of management. Ordinary people, residents and citizens are stepping up to lead their neighbourhoods, communities, schools, organisations. We are seeing collective intelligence emerging, whether in civil society organisations, governmental institutions or companies as we learn to work in more interconnected ways.

Today, learning to work with complexity is an essential capacity, regardless of which sector you work in. Working collaboratively is key to bring about positive change in increasing complexity. Change is best assisted when people gather together around an idea or problem and create the conditions that allow for courage, knowledge and action to emerge collectively.

We are practitioners of the Art of Participatory Leadership - a practice that prioritises diversity and collaboration, where we can discover and cultivate new, collectively intelligent practices that bring us more in balance both locally and globally. Drawing on our experience of working with collaboration and participation, we invite you to explore a form of leadership, which is based on Living Systems – where interconnection, collaboration and self organising around purpose lead to results for the good of all. Where complimenting each other replaces competition and where all are invited to participate. 

We invite you to bring your questions, ideas and dreams to this experiential training. To meet others who bring similar or radically different inquiries. To be in a learning space where we will explore the underpinning theory of complexity, collaboration and participation. To be in inquiry together whilst also learning new methods, discovering new tools and practicing participatory leadership real time.

You are warmly invited to join us in Athens, where we, AoHAthina will host you with our strong heritage, history and current culture of hospitality. We will share with you our own experience of what we have learned over the recent years of how to work with collapse and complexity and we will invite you to also learn from this vibrant city and its people.

Who is this for?

Anyone who wants to develop collaboration and participation skills - public service professionals, entrepreneurs, social innovators, NGOs, leaders in business, educators, and anyone who see themselves stepping into new ways of leading.

Where will we learn?

Join us in the heart of Athens, at the beautiful Impact Hub, a locally founded, globally connected collective work space for social entrepreneurs and creatives who are prototyping the future of social business.

We will learn, explore and practice

  • Participatory methods of engaging small and large groups in conversation.
  • Forms and strategies to build conditions for co-operation and collaboration.
  • Worldviews and models that will help you to work with complexity.
  • New perspectives, tools and practical ways of engaging a diverse group of people to discover new ideas and solutions by working generatively with complexity, conflict and emergence.
  • Process Design, designing and planning the process before implementation, as a structure for new potential and possibilities to emerge.
  • Theories, models and teaching sessions from experienced practitioners.

You will also:

  • Generate new and collective knowledge that you can apply to your context
  • Listen to stories from different people, places and perspectives
  • Contribute to other people’s learning by sharing your insights, questions, projects
  • Deepen, develop and design your ideas, projects, goals, initiative, questions in a collective learning space
  • Join an international network and community of practice and connect with a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds

The Training

The 3-day experiential training is the 10th one held in Athens. It is an entry-level training into the Art of Participative Leadership (AoPL) designed by experienced trainers who are working with participation locally and worldwide. You will experience models, methods, and process design techniques that will support you to explore working with collaboration strategically so that diverse or even conflicting perspectives can create a new future. On a personal level, you will experience a sense of belonging to a community where you can share your hopes, fears, stories and ideas. You will be introduced to a global network of practitioners actively involved in creating new systems of living and working.

The training will support your learning by teaching the underpinning theory of participatory leadership, give real-time experience through using the dialogue methods, and receive coaching as you step into your leadership practice during the training. Participants will be in the practice of hosting at the same time learning about it.

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


*All prices are prior 24% VAT tax, obligatory according to Greek legislation
**To secure your place, please deposit 30% of the fee within 3 days after your registration
  • 285 € for Students

  • 400 € for Self-employed, Non Profit Organisations & Social Enterprises (Early bird by 10th April: 340 €) 

  • 565 € for Private & Public sector employees (Early bird by 10th April: 505 €)

Included in the price:

Refreshments and lunch. Workbook of models and methods.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

If cancellation is 45 days before the training you will receive a full return of your fee - 30 days, a 50% return of fee and 15 days, a 25%. No return under two weeks. Extraordinary circumstances will be taken into account


Shared Tuition Programme

The Art of Hosting Athens 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: 10:00 am | Friday June 12, 2020
Ends:  17:00 pm | Sunday June 14, 2020


Impact Hub, Athens
Karaiskaki 28, 10554, Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 32 10 146

Your Hosts

AoHAthina is a community of practice that enables emerging and mature leaders to step into what calls them, individually and collectively, by creating a learning laboratory of practitioners locally and around the world. We offer trainings and immersive learning on participatory leadership, living systems, and design practices for living and working in complexity, particularly in contexts of chaos, crisis and collapse. We are stewards of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations / Participatory Leadership which is a self-organizing global community of practice.

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.
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

Dimitris Stratakos

Dimitris, is a young Greek who carries a dream for change. This dream comes from what his heart and mind has not been able to bear, having lived the recent economic and migration crisis in his country. Soon, he came to the realisation that trying to offer to others, when you, yourself are struggling for survival, can only be done by working collectively and not individually. Since discovering the Art of Hosting practice in 2015, Dimitris has found his calling and has become an active practitioner, embracing this as his way of living and making a living. He has since worked on several small and large scale projects in Greece and within Europe, co-designing and co-hosting different participatory processes which bring diverse stakeholders together.

Dimitris has a Bachelor Degree in International and European Studies and a Masters in Peace and Development Work. He initially cultivated his facilitation skills through training in Community Mediation and Public Dialogues Facilitation. Dimitris has been volunteering and working since 2008, holding positions in the organisation and coordination of workshops, trainings and conferences on behalf of the Greek and International Civil Society.

Dimitra Gavriil

Dimitra Gavriil is a conflict resolution practitioner. She is collaborative lawyer with the Athens Bar and a certified mediator, specializing in restorative practices and ADR. Since 2015 she has been working with prisons in Greece and California, where she facilitates peacemaking and mediation trainings with inmates and / or prison personnel. She is a JAMS Weinstein International Senior Fellow and the Director of European Programs for Prison of Peace. She is based in Athens, Greece, and her working languages are Greek, English and French.

Dimitra views the Art of Hosting as a life philosophy enabling us to see the world as a whole, while comprised of unique individuals.

Valerie Menelec

Valerie Menelec is an experienced Art of Hosting practitioner specialising in harvesting and reporting. She works alongside groups and teams to make meaning and sense of the many outcomes of the conversations they are in. With a background in research & analysis, and project management, Valerie brings rigor and structure to the outcomes and has strong design skills. She has co-hosted trainings on participatory leadership in England, Scotland and Kenya.

Past Projects

The World Café Training - Athens 2019

The World Café Training - Athens 2019

AoPL Training 2019

AoPL Training 2019

Summer Programme 2019

Summer Programme 2019

Visual Practice Workshop - Athens 2019

Visual Practice Workshop - Athens 2019

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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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