This companion website to an eBook collaboratively authored at the University of Minnesota in 2013 explores the emerging applications of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter within a higher education institution. The stories showcase innovation and leadership within and across colleges, schools, departments, and classrooms. They offer insight into how unexpected and significant change can unfold, even in large public bureaucracies. They inspire us all to think about how slowing down at the right time to have focused conversations has the potential to change everything.

Cultivating Change in the Academy: Practicing the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter within the University of Minnesota can be read directly on this site. You can get started with the Introduction and Epilogue. Individual chapters are navigable from the Table of Contents and by Chapter Abstracts (organized by author).  Please consider leaving a comment or sharing an interesting chapter with the world using the links just below each post.

The eBook can also be downloaded from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy as a PDF or in native formats for iPad, Nook, Kindle, and other e-Readers.

This project was originally inspired by the rapid, collaborative creation of an ebook in 2012 featuring academic technology innovation across the University of Minnesota. Upon attending an Art of Hosting Training sponsored by the Center for Integrative Leadership in Summer 2012, Ann Hill Duin – a member of the 2012 ebook editorial team – suggested the Art of Hosting community at the University consider using the 2012 process as a model to create a companion ebook about how participatory leadership was “cultivating change in the academy.”

By January 2013, over 170 people across the University had either been trained in Art of Hosting or had expressed interest and been added to the active email distribution list. An interdisciplinary community of practice was engaging in deepening their understanding and supporting each other in putting the methods into practice. The time seemed right to capture and more broadly share stories of how hosting practices were transforming both individuals and the institution. A design team came together and this project was launched. For more information on the creation process, see the Epilogue.

Connect with the Art of Hosting Community of Practice at the University of Minnesota at http://z.umn.edu/artofhosting

AoH_forWPIn addition to the volunteer contributions of many across the UMN Art of Hosting community, this project was funded in part by the Bush Foundation, which is committed to supporting community-powered problem-solving and the weaving of leadership networks.