AOPL Training (online) Winter 2020/2021

Art of Participatory Leadership

November 2020 | 21,22 (Sat & Sun) 

November 2020 | 27,29 (Fri & Sun)

January 2021 | 15,16,17 (Fri,Sat,Sun)

How can we practice meaningful conversations to create regenerative possibilities in times of uncertainty and global crises?

Our current world is under severe strain. COVID-19, the climate crisis, increasing polarization, institutional breakdowns, and world-wide protests to end systemic racism have surfaced the injustices of our current way of life. Many of us are facing unprecedented challenges, even life-threatening ones, both locally and globally. Our current systems are breaking down yet we see new collaborations, innovations and self-organizing towards fundamentally new ways of living and working. It is clearer than ever that we are in rapid and unprecedented change and all of us are, inevitably, part of this process. 

What if this is the opportunity that we have been longing for, the opportunity to restore and come into balance with all life? 

What if this is a time we collectively need to learn to sit with the unknown and unpredictable, to practice emergence and co-create futures we believe in?

Our assumption is that our world needs radical change and that we are the leaders we have been waiting for. We are inviting you to bring your questions, hopes, challenges, projects, initiatives, and even your team to our second online Art of Participatory Leadership training. Together, we will build community, connection, skills, and resilience to navigate these unknown times with an open heart and mind to discover new possibilities for our collective future. 

Why the Art of Participatory Leadership for these times? It is a practice that prioritises diversity and collaboration where we discover and cultivate new collective intelligence together. It is experiential and hands on. We exchange knowledge, experience participatory methods, explore mental models and theories of complexity, change and systems thinking. We dive into new forms of leadership, based on Living Systems – where interconnection, collaboration and self-organising around purpose lead to results for collective well-being. We remember how to listen to ourselves, each other and the world within and around us. 

It is a practice that has been supporting individuals, organisations, communities and groups to “be the change" for the past 25 years. And because we are a global community of practitioners, this expands the potential and impact of learning, increasing our ability to respond in times of crisis.

Who is this for?

This is for you if you are a systems leader, public service professional, entrepreneur, social innovator, a leader in business or non-profit sectors, an educator, facilitator, parent, teacher, member of city council, team manager ~ anyone who sees themselves stepping into new ways of leading.

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. 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.

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.

Be prepared to:

  • 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 Online Training

An entry-level training hosted online (Zoom), designed by experienced trainers who are working with participation worldwide. 

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

Time Commitment & Digital Presence

  • Weekend Intensives: Our training will run in an intensive format across 3 weekends. On each weekend you’ll need to invest 6 - 8 hours total for your participation. 

  • Presence: Our experience has shown that it is valuable to not plan anything 15-30 minutes before and after each session. This gives you time to arrive in your own space, get comfortable and become present as fully as possible; and it gives you time to think, breath, digest after the sessions.

  • Coaching: We will offer coaching sessions between our intensives. These 1.5-hr sessions are optional for those participants who wish to learn the methodologies and practice hosting with us “live”!

  • Pods: We will be self-organizing into small learning Pods of 3-4 people to practice, digest, connect between our intensives.


November 2020 

Saturday 21st: 16:00-18:30 CET

Sunday 22nd: 16:00-19:30 CET

Tuesday 24th: 18:30-20:00 CET (Coaching Session-Optional)


Friday 27th: 16:00-18:30 CET

Sunday 29th: 16:00-19:30 CET


December 2020

Wednesday 16th: 16:00-18:00 CET (Harvesting Session-Optional)


January 2021 

Monday 11th: 18:30-20:00 CET (Process Design Session-Optional)

Tuesday 12th: 18:30-20:00 CET (Coaching Session-Optional)

Friday 15th: 18:00-20:30 CET

Saturday 16th: 16:00-19:30 CET

Sunday 17th: 16:00-18:00 CET



  • 650 € Regular fee

  • 580 € Early bird by 15th October

*To secure your place, please deposit the full amount within 5 days after your registration*
If you have further questions on payment, please do not hesitate to contact us

*If you wish to participate as a group, please contact us in advance*

Included in the price:

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

Registrations - Closed

We are happy to announce that we are fully booked!
If you are interested in joining one of our next AoPL online trainings, please express your interest by filling out the "Register Interest" form below and we will get in touch with you soon. 

Shared Tuition Programme

We are 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.

Your Hosts

Maria Scordialos with Dimitris Stratakos, Vanessa ReidMaya RimerMira Bangel and Julia Hoffmann (Visual Recording) decided to collaborate and cocreate this online learning journey, as a response to the current global health and economic crisis.

As stewards and/or seasoned practitioners of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations global community of practice, they 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. 

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 how 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.

Maya Rimer

Maya Rimer is an Art of Hosting Practitioner, Group Facilitator, Gardener & Activist. She has been working as a group facilitator since the 2011 #Occupy movement. Her facilitation work born out of the need to find new tools for our change-maker communities to grow and evolve to a new way of being together and Co-Creating. Keeping true to her calling of Social Transformation Maya works in a Transparent, Open-Source and fun way to create sustainable change in groups, communities and businesses. 

Maya’s goal is to affect the organizational culture in institutions, companies and not-for-profit bodies, by enhancing communication, compassion and creativity within those groups. She has been a part of dozens of projects, groups, initiatives and communities - constantly practicing, learning and developing different Social Technologies. In 2014 Maya called the first Art of Hosting Training in Tel-Aviv, and since 2016 she has been facilitating different group processes within Grass-Root organisations in the Greek Refugee Crisis, while growing the participatory field in Israel.


For more about my story and who I am, click here 

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.

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.

Mira Bangel

Mira Bangel is passionate about fostering participation, authenticity and collaboration for a meaningful purpose. Mira faces intellectual, systemic and human complexity with enthusiasm. She particularly enjoys supporting organizations and groups that feel ‘stuck’ and face uncertainty and challenges. 

 With 16 years of experience in the development of active communities, business and entrepreneurship across Europe, Mira is a seasoned host and facilitator of international participatory processes that support meaningful transformation of communities and organisations. Next to being an Art of Hosting (participatory leadership) host, Mira is also a trainer of Sociocracy 3.0, Design Thinking and non-violent communication. 

Mira is German with Iranian roots and has lived and worked in 14 countries around the globe. She is co-founder of SenseTribe, co-developer of Strong Teams Talk About Elephants and member of LearnS3. Mira holds a Bachelor degree in Communication Management, a Master of Science in Environmental Decision Making and a passion for future studies. She is certified SCRUM Master and currently in the certification process with CNVC. Mira is also fluent in 6 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch.


Julia Hoffmann

A visual thinker and creative at heart, Julia supports teams, organisations and individuals in their work on systems’ change and navigating complexity through visual sensemaking and process work.

Passionate about the possibilities of social change co-created by citizens, Julia spent more than 15 years working with different NGOs in Europe on themes of European integration and social transformation as programme lead, project manager and facilitator. Between 2014-19 she headed the idea challenge and civic incubator Advocate Europe which collected more than 1,600 ideas from 45 European countries and invested in 32 winning initiatives for a European future. Julia holds an M.A. in media and journalism, political science and public law from the Universities of Mainz and Paris XVII.  

  • +

    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 -

  • +

    Immersive learning and rich, deep connections.

    - Tolulope, Participant, 2017 AOPL Training Athens -

  • +

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

    - Senior Manager European Commission -

News & Updates


Contact us

  • +30 6979112426

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All Rights Reserved. AoH Athina - Privacy Policy

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