Art of hosting – meaningful conversations & participatory leadership

art of

meaningful conversations & participatory leadership

The training course will take place in Restaurant Maksimir in beautifull Park-Wood Maksimir in Zagreb, capital of Croatia.

During afternoons and evenings we will “swarm” out across the whole city of Zagreb to the most attractive and suitable pockets and places to work and learn.

November 12-16, 2018
Restaurant Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia

Facilitators: Martina Stažnik and Jasenka Gojšić

Info: Jasenka Gojšić, +385 98 452 134,
(A Pinch of Salt – Isoropia, Zagreb, Croatia)

and aims

Many of the problems and issues we face in our organizations and communities can only find creative and wise solutions in collaborations with others. No matter what sector we work in, what community we live in, or what family we were born into, we are all faced with situations that demand people working together across their differences.

Why attend the Art of Hosting –meaningful conversation & participatory leadership:

  • Build Stronger Teams and Partnerships. 
  • Broaden the skill set within your group, work more effectively and enjoyably together, engage teams, organizations, and community stakeholders in meaningful conversations that promote resilience, belonging, innovation, and collective impact.
  • Enhance our skills and abilities to work with complexity, uncertainty & change. 
  • Develop leadership confidence for facing challenges that do not have solutions, learn practices to engage skillfully with fear, conflict and rigid patterns, use wise process planning architectures for small and large scale initiatives, and host strategic conversation.
  • Apply what you learn directly to the current projects that are important to you, your community or organization.
  • Elevate your ability to facilitate groups small and large in participative ways and really discover the power of collective intelligence.


Are you looking for innovative ways to engage in meaningful, impactful conversations in your workplace, community or family? Are you interested in new forms of leadership that generate fresh thinking and create a shared commitment to solving critical challenges in sustainable and inclusive ways?

Today’s world offers huge potential for communication, mobility, better health and knowledge acquisition. Digital media allow us to connect with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Everything seems possible, and everything is in flux. Humanity seems to be searching for new coherence that embraces both complexity and well-being, both individual and collective.

Leadership is becoming both a capacity and a skill. It is no longer (only) connected to a hierarchical position. It is the capacity and skill of working in and with networks, in and with complexity. This is a new kind of leadership that consciously transcends silos and sectors to achieve true co-creation.

Our traditional organisational forms and culture are no longer enough – not in businesses, not in civil society, not in government, and certainly not where any kind of innovation is needed! This raises some burning questions:

• How do I breathe life into a start-up or new network?
• How do I overcome the inertia of old, ingrained structures and habits?
• How can I reinvent myself – how can we reinvent ourselves – as we go along, on the job?

While there are no easy answers to these questions, principles and daily practices for participatory leadership do exist, that really allow us to have a different kind of conversation and take action in a different way. These are principles and practices that we can learn and that can support us in our evolution.

The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter – the focus of days of learningtogether – is an approach which spreads leadership out from the individual to the whole system. You will discover innovative personal practices, dialogue formats, ways of hosting/facilitating teams, groups and networks, and co-creation of innovation for tackling the complex challenges facing us.

The ‘art’ in the Art of Hosting consists in eliciting and harnessing the collective intelligence of any group of people – a community, a network, an organisation or business – with a view to finding better, more sustainable solutions to complex challenges.


You will have the opportunity to discover, learn, and practice:

  • Engage all stakeholders in meaningful conversations
  • Enhance your ability to see and address difficult questions
  • Learn to design and implement the Art of Hosting methodologies
  • Understand how to scale up or scale down strategic conversations for small and large initiatives
  • Connect with other leaders and explore how you can work more powerfully together


The Art of Hosting is a participatory approach used worldwide for leading, convening and engaging in a depth of conversation and leadership that transforms our relationships and does the necessary work. Drawing on centuries of human wisdom as well as some new ways of thinking about how we work well together, the Art of Hosting is accessible and engaging in a wide range of contexts. An Art of Hosting learning event includes some of the following methodologies: World Cafe, Open Space Technology, Peer Spirit Circle, Pro-Action Cafe, and Collective Story Harvest.

In addition, participants bring their real questions and challenges and we select from a variety of additional tools and methodologies so you can develop your own hosting practice. We may explore any of the following: Participatory Decision Making, Appreciative Inquiry, Theory U, Chaordic Design, Living systems theory.

who is it for?

The workshop is created for adults whose capacity to live life fully and authentically significantly influence other people’s wellbeing: teachers, facilitators, innovators and change makers. We invite also those people that learn by living, people that want to live more authentic and proactive, balanced lives. The participants will gain a better reference point, an internationally developed course and the possibility of being involved in a long-term program that would support their transformations.

Participants will gain international experience, may strengthen their international professional relations, play an active role in professional communities and gain organizational knowledge in organizations with the best reputation in adult education for new, sustainable economy and authentic living and collaborating.

Who should attend: Experienced and young emerging leaders, managers, facilitators, teachers, community builders, public officials, social innovators, educators and anyone attracted to the call!

All experience levels welcome, this is your invitation to join us.


Participation fee: 500,00 EUR per person
Fee includes VAT, course materials, breakfasts, refreshments and lunches. Accommodation is not included.

This course can be supported by Erasmus + Mobility Program
KA1 – Learning Mobility of Individuals – Mobility of staff in adult education.

If you choose Isoropia for your partner in Erasmus + KA1 application, here you can find our Partner information sheet!

This course is on EPALE – Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. You can find it here!

what to bring?

This very interactive training will throw you directly into the deep end of participatory leadership. We bring theory into practice from the outset, so bring your questions, ideas and projects.

who will be with you?

Martina Stažnik has extensive experience in designing, hosting and facilitating learning and self-organizing processes, deep dialogues, large group participatory processes and numerous strategic conversations in all types of communities and organizations as well as various conferences using Art of Hosting practices for non-profits and corporate actors in the Western Balkans and a broader international region for facilitating group conversations of all sizes.

Jasenka Gojšić is a facilitator of transformational learning. She has 23 years of experience in leadership and management, always focused on the growth of people involved in an endeavour. As a mentor, teacher and trainer, she supports transformation by experiential learning. Jasenka has a Master’s degree in telecommunication and informatics earned at Faculty of electrical Engineering and Computing of University of Zagreb, Croatia, and Master of Science in Management achieved at IEDC School of Management, Bled, Slovenia.

draft programme

Day 1

How to host meaningful conversations and harvest new insights and innovative action from collective wisdom? Improve how you approach complex questions.

Day 2

How to design collaborative processes that result in co-creation and collective wisdom? How to grow in co-creation and collaboration with others? How to find ways to make co-creation and collaboration more efficient and effective

Day 3

Which methods and techniques to use for your projects and the specific challenges of each? What does participatory leadership look like in practice?

Day 4

How to approach leadership in this complex and unpredictable world?

How to apply participatory leadership to the best advantage in your own context?

Day 5

Better understanding of complexity in group processes and how to navigate it.

How to clarify your own intentions so that you can be more effective in working with others, both inside and outside organisations?

Day 6

How to lead your organisation towards greater self-direction and self-organisation? What skills and capacities could help you in the transition from hierarchy to self-management and self-organisation?