Julia Wieland, Strategic Organisational Development Specialist SMA
“The time at the Chateau de Bossey was a turning point in my professional life as a change facilitator: Entering the space created by the hosting team as well as all of us I felt that suddenly all my beliefs about human potential and change fell into place and found an expression in practices and conversations. I learned the difference a centered mind can bring into the group and how the nuances of our language can change the fabric of our stories if we meet people with curiosity and respect. I am very grateful for the rich and warm support I got and get on my way forward – exploring the room of possibilities for shaping the future.”
Diego Horcajada, B Leader Advisor, B Leaders Suisse
Being my self someone that has tendency to look for control (in many cases just an illusion) this made me reflect about my opportunities to accept better the lack of control and work with the flow. I designed a World Cafe to work with my B Leaders team on our Value Proposition. I built the questions of the Word Cafe following an inside-out path: from I, to the B Leader community and finally the companies we would like to guide. The team were very happy with how this led to deeper reflection and understanding personally and collectively.
Dušan Janković, co-founder Tok - Razlivaliste, and Community Catalyst Impact Hub Vienna
I signed up expecting to learn new facilitation methods and some good case practices on participatory leadership, but I got so much more. Art of Hosting seminar in Geneva allowed me to holistically experience how participatory leadership feels, provided me with a network of peer practitioners with whom I can stay in touch and continuously learn, and helped to grow as a leader and human. These practices have to be learned by doing, and I couldn’t have wished for a better hosting team to learn them with!
Dianne Schepers, Group Legal Director - Aktiv Kapital Portfolio AS; founder Pure-Felt, a social enterprise
“The results of the techniques and methods we have learned and played with had an immediate and lasting impact on the effectiveness of, as well as the way, I am running or participating in meetings, brainstorming sessions and group processes in my personal, corporate and social business worlds. I have become more aware of the impact of powerful questions, of how to actively give a voice to all and truly listen. This has already resulted in more effective and committed follow-ups of meeting harvests which greatly influences the sense of connection and my teams` and family`s (can) do-spirit. In short, my attendance has changed all my interactions with various groups of people dealing with complexity, dreams or challenges, or in other cases where a structured or coordinated approach is required. No project design or kick-off meeting is ever going to be the same again thanks to the Art of Participatory Leadership.”
Virginie Blanchard, United Nations
The participatory leadership workshop has been an amazing experience. I felt it has unlocked my potential to foster collective intelligence. I have become more conscious of the need for people to co-create together in today’s complex times , as well as learning how to do it. After the workshop, I have come back to my office with a lot of confidence and creative ideas on how to run creative workshops. And it's working! Some of my colleagues just told me that they loved the meetings I was facilitating.
Cat Magill, Edinburgh Living Lab, University of Edinburgh
I do a lot of collaborative work involving people from different perspectives and different organisations who see situations very differently and have different objectives, but need to develop a shared project. My experience was transformative. I learned a variety of techniques, but more importantly I had a fully participatory experience. I experienced that participation is not just about a set of techniques but about curating and holding space, setting and creating a tone / environment that supports people to be fully engaged and present and bring the best of themselves to whatever they are doing in the moment. I’m practicing helping people come to a situation with honesty and openness and a spirit of listening and seeking to understand each other – based on what I experienced during AoPL.
Thine Jensen, Interaktion - Strategic Communication Advisor and Facilitator of Co-creation
"Attending the Art of Participatory Leadership event has been a true turn-around for me. First of all being able, cabable and confident in using all the new methodologies from day one on returning home. The hosting team made you feel welcome and indeed practiced the principles of participatory leadership themselves. And thirdly, I got a huge new and international network in the community and keeping in touch. This was my first training, but definitely not the last."
Dr. Daniel Oderbolz, Team Leader, Paul Scherrer Institute
"This course was ground-breaking for me. I met a group of people from all walks of life which where high-spirited and positive. Paired with the powerful tools of Art of Hosting this allowed us to explore aspects of groups that I never before explored. After this course, no meeting will be the same again. Also the power of questions is forever engraved in my mind – I now really take time formulating the right questions and this pays off immediately. The aspect that all participants also were hosts is an interesting concept which makes learning much richer than in traditional courses."
Anne Moulin, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
"The training has been for me an eye-opener. I knew about participatory methodologies and had practiced some of them, but this intensive training allowed me to understand the spirit in them. Art of hosting allows to think differently and to bring new ways of doing within a conventional environment. It widens the possibilities and is also a way to connect with people."
Jennifer Hauseman and Mohini Ghai Kramer, Multinational Humanitarian Organisation
We entered these few days not entirely sure what to expect, but our experience exceeded what we could have imagined. In a humanitarian organization such as ours, the ability to 'host' conversations well is a pathway to greater engagement and inclusion of the varied voices that are essential to our work. The techniques and ideas shared by Caroline and the team have moved our organization forward, and we wish them all the best in educating many others as they did us.'
Florence Kehrer-Bory, FSP Certified Psychologist
“I am so happy to share my impressions of my first wonderful AoPL workshop: Four fantastic days of non-stop learning and sharing. I would start by saying that already the opportunity to spend time with people who listen to others with attention and talk with intention is a rare privilege. Being surrounded by such an amazing caring team is another one. I could describe many wonderful moments, but it could be a bit tiresome so I would recommend much more to come and try it for yourself! And Please ! write to me if you did not like it or did not learn from it : I cannot wait to hear how that is possible !
Michael Gambs, Director Leadership Development, Swarovski
"Initially, I wasn't too sure what to expect and was mostly curious about the workshop. The experience itself was very immersive, and had a positive, lasting impact on me. It challenged my way of thinking and looking at the world, and showed me that by tapping into the collective wisdom and experience, I could take a more successful approach at some of my key business challenges when back in the office the following week. I've since used the participatory leadership approach to facilitate a community of practice in my company, supporting the objective of becoming a learning organization."
Katrin Muff, Dean of Business School Lausanne
“This training helped us bond and work through issues more rapidly and at a deeper lever than I would have thought possible. We took five people from our team (some new, some old hands) to the AoPL with the hope that it would help us to be more effective in bringing about the deep change that we desire. In the event, we connected not only through our shared professional ambitions but also on a more personal level. This has enabled us to create a deeper bond and shared commitment to dare to drive the deep change we all desire for BSL. As an additional benefit, the various approaches or participatory learning were adopted by many of us in our teaching and ordinary work sessions – much appreciated by our students and colleagues.”
Julio Reyes, Executive Director, Loading Ediciones
“The Participatory Leadership Workshop gave me the awareness and confidence to develop high-impact organizational conversations. As a matter of fact, in the last few months, I called and facilitated strategic conversations between the most senior managers of the main natural gas distribution company of Chile (25 people) and between all union leaders (22 people) and the HR teams (6 people) of the main water supply company in my country. Without the talks I had with the facilitators of the Workshop at Chateau de Bossey, this would not have been possible.”
Anna Walker, Swisscontact, Indonesia
" The approaches and methods I learned helped us generate productive community dialogue in Indonesia: a representative of the local government said to me: ‘Thank you for such a calm and productive workshop. Usually people here are yelling and disagreeing with each other constantly...!’ Now we have collectively created the content of the guide book quickly and in harmony.”
Nadine McCormick, Network Coordinator Energy at International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN:
“This training event offered more than just training. Having concepts that I already knew deep down, articulated along with practical examples, was really useful and inspiring. I left with the energy and desire to practice straight away. For me, I apply this “facilitation with purpose” in the team that I work with, in projects that I’m running, and am even trying to apply it in my family life too!”
Martin Rengier, Senior Engineer – Product Development Systems, Philip Morris International:
“Before I participated in the workshop, my meetings and discussions started when the meeting itself started, and not really before. People involvement and useful outcomes varied quite a lot. Now I see the importance of carefully preparing a meeting, thinking about the right questions, finding the right people, place, time, and making sure participants feel involved even before “the meeting” starts. A meeting is no longer a meeting, but became a process which needs to be taken care of with particular attention. It is about creating the opportunity to harvest valuable input from everyone participating. Chateau de Bossy is the right environment to deeply experience AoPL, and is embedded in the beautiful landscape of La Cote in the lake Geneva region.”
Martin Buechele, former National Expert at the European Commission:
“After many years of working in European and international sustainability policy development and implementation, I came to realize that traditional negotiations need to be complemented by innovative, participatory meeting designs and facilitations that enable genuine dialogue and emergence of new and truly sustainable solutions. Trainings and practice in the Art of Participatory Leadership have helped me enormously in my attempt to integrate such approaches into my work at the European Commission.”
Violette Ruppanner, Partner Strategos SA:
“This was my first AoH training. It was a great experience to meet so many wonderful people from different places and with very different backgrounds, to experiment with AoH and acquire new skills by practicing them right on the spot. The training has helped me to be more purposeful as well as more patient, and to appreciate not only the goal, but also the path to it.”
Felix Stähli, co-Founder of ImpactHub Geneva:
“The Art of Hosting is about creating a team atmosphere, where every participant feels empowered to contribute his/her potential to the group. Ever since having experienced its impact for the first time during last year’s AoPL conference, I’m applying these methods to as many group efforts as possible because it simply leads to better results.”
Hélène de Villiers, Responsible Mining Initiative:
“Thank you for this rich and multilayered approach to presenting the participatory practices of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting… an opportunity to learn, relearn, co-create and practice in a space of expansive inclusion and shared consciousness. From a practical perspective I appreciated the sober and pragmatic way that the presenters illuminated the thinking behind the practice, the empowering debriefs, and the invitation to deepen intuitive skills and understanding as a continuum of learning.”
Edgar King, Partner at GM Development:
“This event helped me realize and reinforce the power of providing each participant in groups with the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas, be listened to with empathy, and consider all perspectives involved within teams prior to coming to conclusions. I now apply these principles in the discussions and group settings I am involved in, consciously leaving space and time for others to share their perspectives and ideas, which positively impacts outcomes.”
Ana de Montvert, Caux Initiatives for Change:
“It was an utterly uplifting learning experience with a group of fascinating and brilliant people that complemented my earlier training in facilitative leadership. It served to further convince me of the richness of collective wisdom and positive group dynamics that can be garnered with the right tools and intentions. Over and above methods, this was a gathering of people that willingly engaged in something deeper: constructing and nourishing the space within which sincere exchanges and interactions could take place. This created a real enthusiasm to learn from and to give to each other.”
Ursula Appolt and Jan Hut - Supporting the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Waddensea
“Through our involvement in protecting one of the regions in the northern part of the Netherlands we meet lots of different organizations, governments and people. We were looking for new kinds of thinking and talking to get better conversations between these people on the basis of equality.
The training has led us to organize meetings with groups, organizations and regions in conversation with each other about important topics they have to deal with.
Geneva has changed our lives, all of you thank you very much for this experience."
Usha Selvaraju, Communications Assistant at International Organisation of Employers IOE:
“Coming off the back of significant professional changes I had experienced, I was keen to find answers to questions I thought were important and to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ from old hands in the Leadership and mentoring game. (..) The practices we explored through experiental learning showed themselves to go beyond the workplace settings (…). Another surprise was the equal distribution between the amount of times I clearly had something to learn from fellow participants but also something to teach or give.”
Chhaya Saint Ramon, President, Indo-French Multiservices Platform Business-Implicits SAS:
“People from different walks of life with no prior knowledge of each other can come and create meaningful moments together in a short time if they feel valued and trusted. I now try to inculcate this trust around me by honestly valuing people’s participation.”