In my facilitation work I’ve been shaped by a number of approaches, most notably Art of Hosting and The Work That Reconnects. Below you’ll find a bit more about these approaches, as well as some testimonials of clients I’ve worked with. If you’re looking for a great resource on facilitation, download Re-Imaginary’s wonderful free toolkit on ‘Art-based methods for transformative engagement.’
The ‘Art of Hosting’ conversations that matter
Over the past twenty years, I’ve participated in many group meetings, often oriented around the question of how to engender (systemic) change in the direction of sustainability. To my frustration, many of these group processes were not half as productive as they could be. Often I came home feeling that the meeting somehow hadn’t been able to draw out the group’s potential and bring it to fruition.
Then I took my first Art of Hosting training. I was SOLD. People were blissed out! I don’t know how the hosts did it, but *magic* happened in that training. People opened up rapidly, connected deeply, expanded their sense of self, and experienced deep and transformational learning with each other. I was impressed.
So what is it? Art of Hosting is an effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. Using a blend of powerful methods ~ including World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, and storytelling ~ it’s masterful at creating the right conditions for collective creativity and intelligence.
Organizations using Art of Hosting report better decision-making, capacity building, and ability to respond to challenge and opportunity. However, it’s more than just a series of powerful methods. Art of Hosting is truly an art, a never-ending practice of helping ourselves and others express our humanity, creativity, and wisdom.
Selection of clients
Just a few weeks before the International Earth Trusteeship Gathering in The Hague took place, we asked Annick to help facilitate the meeting. I had followed her for years through her columns and publications, and was happy with the opportunity to work together. From the moment she accepted the invitation she brought a sense of structure and guidance that had been lacking before. She showed insight into the many dimensions of sustainability as well as into group processes. She also knew how to involve people, so that real contact could be made, both with each other and with the theme of the Gathering. Her open and friendly approach combined with focused and clear working methods were of crucial importance, and contributed to all 80 participants of the event feeling seen and heard. The Gathering was experienced as both inclusive and transformative, and without Annick as co-facilitator this would not have succeeded. I am grateful to you, Annick!
Thank you for the great collaboration in the preparation and implementation of the social labs! I think your approach to social labs contributed to making our conference a great success. All participants I spoke to experienced it as helpful for creating the safety needed to dare to think openly and to enter into deeper conversation with each other. Especially the fact that people felt that their contribution was valuable, was experienced as special.
Annick moderated one of our recent roundtable discussions around the topic of sustainability in the Dutch education system. Despite the complicated subject and the additional challenge of a highly varied, spirited, and intellectual company, Annick conducted this titanic job with verve. She did not lose sight of the essence of the dialogue for a second. In addition to her great skill, she is very pleasant to work with. We hope to work with Annick as a moderator for our future roundtable discussions and we can recommend her expertise to everyone!
Scientifically substantiated and accessibly presented, Annick encouraged self-reflection by inviting us to explore our worldviews. This generated understanding for the different ways in which people and organizations tackle challenges – including the creation of a sustainable, circular economy, which was the subject of the afternoon. More clarity about our values also brought depth to the panel discussion that followed. Annick’s contribution offered a valuable, refreshing, hopeful, and unitive perspective on the common challenges of our time. It really made us all think in a different way.
Your session was a highlight of the week for me, and truly impressive. Your synthesis of different worldviews was insightful and useful. Your connection to mindfulness demonstrated an ability to creatively meld apparently disparate elements. The exercise you led us through was bold and deeply impacted the group. Using an innovative approach, you urged us each to be thoughtful, you enhanced the relationships within the group, and you turned our subsequent discussions in a direction that was more gentle, more receptive to diverse positions, and more likely to find common ground. I highly recommend you and your approach to groups who are seeking reconciliation and additive collective insight.
With her knowledge of worldviews, Annick made an important contribution to our learning community of directors in primary education. She deepened the conversation by helping the directors become more aware of what is implicitly guiding their behavior. By doing so, what is often below the surface became visible. This makes it possible to communicate about it and learn from one another. Her empathic ability, her calm and her sharp analysis create a safe setting, so that the conversation about worldviews and human views – which are foundational to changes in our educational practices – can take place in a constructive way.
In her presentation, Annick explained the power and difficulties of sustainable transformation. She told her story in a very open, personal, and positive way. She took us on a journey to explore with each other how we can bring our daily life closer to our dreamt-of life. It was fascinating to experience how you can come to a deep conversation in such a short time together! Thanks to the professional, sincere guidance of Annick.
I deeply appreciated your session, not only because you created the conditions for participants to speak up to each other, but also – more important – to listen to each other. We currently experience a boom in new communication technologies but in my opinion actual communication is still as difficult as it has always been in our history as a species. I would encourage you to go on with such sessions!
Annick’s session offered a really nice way of stimulating us to broaden our horizons and imagination. Since we were talking about a rather abstract topic, the exercises prompted me to really imagine what our future world will look like. Sharing that with someone else – who, due to the exercises, ‘switched off’ judging and really listened – is helpful to articulate and paint what I saw and why. It was also interesting to hear how the other imagined it.