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Professional Programme on Facilitation and Participatory Leadership – Art of Hosting

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The practice of participatory leadership recognises strategic dialogue and conversations as drivers for development and change. Learn those skills from the 16th – 19th of August during our Training in Alpbach!

Date: August 16th – 19th, 2017

Language: English

About: Our training will offer lasting skills on how to face challenges in a participatory manner in companies and organisations as well as the wider community.

Who can participate? People who want to develop collaboration and participation skills, such as professionals in public service, social innovators and entrepreneurs, representatives of NGOs, leaders in business, and selected Forum Alpbach scholarship holders.


  • For paying participants: Places are limited and allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you want to register, please fill out our registration form and send it to Lara Weisz ( via e-mail. Registration is open till 30th of June!
  • For scholarships: Participants are selected among interested scholarship holders of the European Forum Alpbach 2017. Please send your application documents as a PDF along with your scholarship confirmation (from the Non-Profit Foundation of the European Forum Alpbach or one of the regional Clubs and IGs) between May 25th and June 10th to


The Alpbach Professional Programme on Facilitation and Participatory Leadership is a 3-day training course designed to teach simple yet powerful processes required for building a community, activating collective intelligence and fostering individual and collaborative leadership practices.

At the core of the training lies questions on how we can meet the complex challenges of today’s society and what are the practices and ways of working that can help us unlock potentials inherent in organisations in this age of diversity.

Based on “Art of Hosting” methodology, this training aims to give a dynamic and effective introduction to methods of working in a participatory and collective manner in order to tackle complex systems and challenges on local, regional, national levels and beyond.

The practice of participatory leadership recognises strategic dialogue and conversations as drivers for development and change. It can be used to good effect in areas such as:

  • Strategy-making
  • Stakeholder engagement and alignment
  • Organisational and community development
  • Leadership and management alignment
  • Team and network development
  • Staff engagement
  • Developing and animating networks and communities of practice

International Trainer Team

The Professional Programme will be provided by a team of internationally-renown trainers and is led by Toke Moeller (Denmark), Monica Nissén (Denmark), Jan Hein Nielsen (Denmark), Martina Handler (Austria) and Phil Cass (USA).

  • Toke Paludan Moeller is a pioneer in “Art of Hosting” and is, with Monica Nissén, the founder and managing director of InterChange ( He practices, teaches and works in various fields and cultures, for instance in civil service (ministries, European Commission, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights), in public health service e.g. Wiltshire County (UK), Nova Scotia (Canada), Columbus (Ohio), and in education. He works with companies and with civil society all around the world.
  • Monica Nissén is the co-founder of “Art of Hosting” and InterChange. She studied architecture and pursued further training in human resource development, meeting design and process consulting. For 25 years, she has been working as a process consultant worldwide, accompanying larger groups through strategic projects. One of her core areas is “learning ecology”, where results of discussions are recorded in such a way that collective awareness and insights are shared and made useful.
  • Martina Handler is a political scientist, mediator and expert in public participation, conflict management, and democratic and social innovation. She has been working at the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (, a scientific non-profit organisation in Vienna, Austria, since 2004. The main focus in her work is research on participatory processes, training, consultancy, design and facilitation of participatory processes. She is especially inspired by enabling people to tackle processes of change.
  • Jan Hein Nielsen has been working in the field of systemic organisational change and development since 1995. In particular, he has focused on human resources and the capacity to grow innovation and implement change in organisations in alignment with a strategy of natural and sustainable growth. He has worked with all kinds of organisations – NGOs, corporates and public administration. Since the beginning, Jan Hein Nielsen was inspired by the potential in leadership to engage and empower resources to co-create collaborative and innovative solutions, and he has made implementing participatory governance and leadership in organisational development a core competence and a skill for leaders to train in and practice. He co-founded “Art of Hosting” and The Flow Game.
  • Phil Cass Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Medical Association, Columbus
  • Alexander Craig Programme Assistant; Masters in Strategic Leadership towards   Sustainability; Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona
  • Ian Andersen Participatory Leadership Adviser, European Commission, Brussels
  • Kajsa Balkfors Member, Art of Hosting Team, Alpbach
  • Bronagh Gallagher Facilitator, Connecting Scotland, Glasgow
  • Thine Holm Consultant, Coach, CEO, Value and People Academy
  • Issa Ibrahim Member, Art of Hosting Team, Alpbach
  • Jodhani Vishal Experience Design Director, Impact Hub Berlin
  • Hedwig Kaiser Vice President Education, and Head, International Office, University of Basel
  • Kojima de Paula Cibele Supporter for Project Acquisition, ASA-Program, Engagement Global gGmbH, Berlin
  • Karin Lammers Teacher and developer, Honours Programme Pre-U, University of Twente, Enschede
  • Andy Lippok Managing Director, Resolis Associates Ltd, Edinburgh; Director, Connecting Scotland, Edinburgh; Business Engagement Manager, Analyst, Scottish Government, Edinburgh
  • Mahmoud Nisar Member, Art of Hosting Team, Alpbach
  • Caroline Rennie Managing Partner, ren-new Sàrl, La Conversion
  • Sabine Soeder Owner CoCreativeFlow – Flow Architect
  • Laura Weisel Member, Art of Hosting Team, Alpbach
  • Antonia Wieser Junior Scientific Manager, Austrian Society for Environment and Technology, Vienna

What are the benefits?

The Professional Programme aims to provide participants with:

  • A deeper understanding of a wide range of participatory methods and approaches
  • Practical skills to apply in their own organisations
  • The chance to gain first-hand experience as co-facilitators during the European Forum Alpbach

The training will develop skills required to host and practice participatory processes and apply this knowledge to your own work.

Preliminary Programme

August 16th: Official Opening of EFA and the Training

August 17th – 19thh: Training Days

August 20th – 21st: Chance to gain additional Co-Hosting experience at Health Symposium & Seminar Week (optional)

Who is it for?

All those who want to develop skills in collaboration and participation and want to harness the richness of diverse backgrounds and experiences.


  • Professionals in public service
  • Change-makers, social innovators and entrepreneurs
  • Representatives of NGOs
  • Leaders in business
  • Selected Forum Alpbach scholarship holders

The Professional Programme is most suited to participants who will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned on return to their respective place of work.

Conditions for participation and fees

Participation in this training is limited. We will keep the ratio 1:5 (1 Trainer: 5 Participants). 3/4 will be paying participants, 1/4 will hold a scholarship. Application for paying participants is on a on a first-come-first-serve basis, still all applicants are asked to answer a short set of questions in a motivation letter (max. 1 page):

  • Why are you interested in learning more about participatory leadership? What are you particularly interested in seeking to learn more about in the art of participatory leadership? Where will you apply what you have learned afterwards in life and work?

Paying Participants:

As the number of places is limited, we would recommend to register as as soon as possible.


Full price: EUR 1.000,- (companies, public administration etc.)

Reduced price: EUR 700,- (registered charities and social businesses )

The fees include only participation and lunch during main training days; accommodation and travel expenses are not included! We DO NOT offer room booking services. Please find further information here.

The participation fees have to be paid by June 15., 2017, latest.  If not paid by this date, your available position will be allocated to the person sitting highest on our waiting list.


The European Forum Alpbach will provide a number of scholarships for the “Art of Hosting” training for university students or recent high school graduates with a special interest in participatory leadership. Please note that you must first apply for a regular scholarship either from the Non-Profit Foundation of the European Forum Alpbach or one of the regional Clubs and IGs.  Please find more information in the information sheet.

For easy printing – all information as PDF.

For all questions concerning the Professional Programme and your application please contact:

Lara Weisz, Project Manager | T +43 (1) 718 17 11 – 26