In-person course

Hosting and Facilitation Boot Camp

A program of workshops and practice

  • Learn to host conversations that move the status quo.
  • Become able to hold group sessions where power is shared, vision is co-created, and creativity is cultivated.

Host your first group session

The ideas, short assignments, and coaching culminate in your first experience in hosting a session of group understanding, dialogue, and co-creation.


The small group is the unit of transformation.

Peter Block


We are gathering our first cohort in Pittsburgh!

Use the form below to get your name on the list for a first-in-line discount, and an invitation to help us arrange the schedule to accommodate your constraints (no promises, but we will listen and do our best!). 

Structure

The course will consist of eight five-hour Saturday sessions, spread two weeks apart. Between sessions you can expect a modest amount of reading or video watching, as well as field assignments: a gradual step-by-step build to hosting a group conversation.

Expected cost and discounts

We plan to ask $2800 for all eight sessions, an online library of resources, participation in the course’s online group, and coaching as you work on the field assignments. The first-in-line discount will be significant, and we will make provision for scholarships and reduced rates for students and independent community leaders. We will also offer discounts when more than two people sign up from the same organization.

We strongly recommend a buddy system

This course works best when two or more people from the same organization or community take it together, and collaborate on the project work. It makes for better learning, and it makes for more lasting results and continued learning after the course is over. Who could be your partner in bringing new gathering and collaboration practices into your world? Come learn and practice together.

This is about gatherings that matter

  • How do we use our time together in a high-engagement way?
  • How do we get every voice in the room?
  • How do we get people together across social distance?
  • How do we get people in the room who aren’t like-minded?

This course has developed over eight years of teaching graduate students in social innovation programs (SVA DSI and CMU Design), as well as practice with organizations, communities and systems far and wide.

We’ve drawn stance, spirit, methods and practices from many communities who work with hosting, dialogue, and facilitating participatory co-creation, such as:


“All change includes work in small groups. The future is created one room at a time, one gathering at a time. Each gathering needs to become an example of the future we want to create. This means the small group is where transformation takes place.

“We change the world one room at a time. This room, today, becomes an example of the future we want to create. There is no need to wait for the future. Creating the experience of belonging in the room by the way we structure the gathering is as critical as the issue or future we come together to address.

The small group is the structure that allows every voice to be heard. “

– Peter Block



Student Quotes

The facilitation work taught me about engaging with people. I never thought I could interact with strangers that deeply: interviewing people from different religions, inviting them to our activity and facilitating their conversation. I always thought of myself as unsocial, but I discovered that I could learn!

The most beautiful moment was seeing two of the seniors walk hand-in-hand across the street after our event. They became friends in those two hours. Words cannot explain just how heart-warming that moment was, as we stood there, tears in all our eyes. This is why we do what we do, and this experience made me realize that this is what design should be. This was my first facilitation experience, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to do it all over again.

I had a great experience facilitating. I was nervous about the public speaking aspect, a big growth area for me, but it ended up going really well. I was comfortable with my co-facilitators. I was well rehearsed and very comfortable with what I needed to say. I even looked up while I was speaking and felt very encouraged by people’s engagement.

Our Skype call with Marc and Hannah propelled us to a comfortable state of assurance. We again followed their instructions as a group and finalized our duties with ease. Their critical feedback on our facilitation plan was our leverage point into being prepared for the session.


What you get

1. Frameworks, guidance and structure for… 

  • listening to a community or group of people to learn what conversations would be valuable, but which aren’t being held
  • creating compelling invitations
  • designing a hosting / facilitation plan

2. Access to a library of methods

A library of group methods that extends far beyond our usual ways of having “meetings” and “brainstorms.” You will experience a lot of these methods in class sessions, which will give you the literacy and confidence you need to learn more on your own from other sources.

3. The confidence that comes through practice and experience

4. Samples and templates

for facilitation guides, session plans, and workshop materials

5. Support and community

The support of a group of people who are learning this stuff together, and an online home for that group which will remain long after the course ends.

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Hosting and Facilitation Boot Camp
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Help us pick dates

This course involves eight sessions, held every other Saturday for four to five hours each session. (Don't worry, it's mostly NOT lecture. It's doing stuff!) Think about that, and think about two to four hours of work in the period between each session. When can you make the time to dig in?

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Starting August 2019
Starting September 2019
Starting October 2019
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Thank you. We'll get back to you soon with more details!

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