Art of Hosting Strategic Conversations

with Jim Drescher, Tim Merry, Toke Paludan Moeller, Susan Szpakowski, and Bob Wing

RegisterPDF Invitation

What is the Art of Hosting?

An approach to collaborative leadership and change that is being applied in community, private sector, academic, healthcare, and educational settings as well as social change efforts around the world.

What will I learn?

  • new ways of engaging peers and stakeholders in complex challenges
  • methods of inquiry that lead to collaborative engagement and solutions
  • a simple template for designing change when many of the variables are shifting or unknown
  • ways of bringing myself and others fully into our work together
  • hosting as a leadership style

Why should I attend?

Many of our current challenges can’t be solved with the methods or mindsets of the past. The Art of Hosting gives us the leadership training and tools we need to try new approaches, engage the creative intelligence of all stakeholders, and build the trust and connections that will move us forward.

This training will convene many of the practitioners who are already applying the Art of Hosting in their work. We welcome others to join, so that we can learn together how to accelerate systemic change, whether in Nova Scotia or beyond.

What can I expect?

Come prepared for three full days of conversation, learning, and reflection. Be ready to be engaged! The atmosphere will be relaxed, so please dress comfortably.


September 26, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm.
September 27, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm.
September 28, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.

Chocolate Lake Hotel
20 St. Margaret’s Bay Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Please contact Chocolate Lake Hotel for accommodation inquiries.

$550 includes lunches.
A 10% discount is offered for teams of four or more people.
Please contact Ryan at for larger teams and for any questions about registration.

Register here

Further Training

For those who want to deepen their leadership practice, you are also invited to join Toke Moeller and Bob Wing for a Warrior of the Heart training at Windhorse Farm, September 29-October 2.

The facilitators

Jim Drescher is co-director of Windhorse Farm, a residential centre for education in various aspects of sustainability in forestry, agriculture, energy, and community health. He is the Executive Director of Windhorse Education Foundation and the Chair of Four Filters Ecological Foundation. Within the context of meditative and contemplative disciplines, residents at Windhorse Farm pursue a path of earth stewardship.  The logic of Windhorse Farm is that when we recognize the truth of “nothing missing”, we naturally express greater kindness in our activities and interactions. It is our deep aspiration to realize this in ourselves, in our community and in society as a whole. Jim’s principle interests today are in the enrichment of the lives of individuals and communities, particularly through seeing nature as a mirror of mind and ecosystems as a natural metaphor for healthy human communities.

Tim Merry is a social entrepreneur, slam poet and experienced facilitator based in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. He works with bold leaders to design and deliver participatory gatherings and strategic innovation for the common good. Tim has diverse experience ranging from major international businesses and government agencies to local communities all over the world. All his work is rooted in creating participative processes where stakeholder voice is key to creating the systems, structures and services that meet their needs. Tim is a regular contributor to ALIA programs, as module leader and program design and hosting.

Toke Paludan Møller, based in Silkeborg, Denmark, has been pioneering the fields of sustainable entrepreneurship, participatory leadership, educational renewal, and social responsibility since the early 1970s. He has worked for the Danish educational system, international NGOs, public and governmental institutions, both small and larger companies in the private sector, international networks in many countries, and villages in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Toke is the co-founder of The Art of Hosting, The Flow Game, and the Warrior of the Heart dojo; former Chair of the Board of the Danish Entrepreneurs Association and long-time international professional conference organiser and process host. For the past six years he has worked with colleagues in support of large-scale systems transformation in England, the U.S., and Canada, as well as in the European Commission. Toke has also been on the faculty of the ALIA Summer Institute since 2002.

Susan Szpakowski is a founding member of the ALIA Institute and is currently its executive director. She is author of ALIA’s Little Book of Practice, which chronicles key principles, stories, and practices from ALIA’s first ten years. Susan has a lifelong interest in learning and education that engages all aspects of the human journey. She has been a one-room school teacher, editor for the Naropa Institute (now University), and curriculum developer for the Nova Scotia Departments of Health and Education. She has also been actively engaged in developing ALIA’s model of leadership education.

Bob Wing, M.A., is the director of Mountain Warrior Institute in Boulder, Colorado, which is dedicated to cultivating compassionate and dynamic actions in the world. He is also a founder of Warrior of the Heart seminars and retreats, designed to train individuals and groups to live and work wisely and courageously in skillful leadership. Bob has studied and taught Aikido since 1977. He has worked throughout the world for many different organizations and is an active facilitator of Art of Hosting trainings. Bob is also a sculptor and painter, with a special interest in spontaneous and “in the moment” works. He is a regular faculty member at the ALIA Summer Institute.