Reaping What You Sow

Harvesting Training May 2014

By Jacqui Mitchell

Harvesting Training May 2014

Harvesting Training May 2014

Unfortunately I was on holiday when the 3 day Art of Hosting (AoH) training was held in Scotland last November but I was able to attend this one day course which emphasised the fact that harvesting is a very important element in the Art of Hosting process as people will have given up time and effort to express their views. We therefore need to be clear on what we want to do with the resulting “collective intelligence”.

Monica Nissen, one of the early founders of AoH expertly delivered this course with the assistance of a number of others. Monica emphasised the fact that we need to start by asking “What is the purpose of the harvest?” This can be broken down into four main questions;

–          Who will need it?

–          When is it needed?

–          Which form will serve best?

–          Who should do it?

Harvesting Training May 2014

Harvesting Training May 2014

The point was made that often those who commission conversations aren’t always sure what they want to get out of it.  It is important to ensure that some of those involved in the process participate in the harvesting and a diverse team is required to do this, particularly someone who understands the content. Monica had some great examples of harvesting from previous participatory processes and made the point that its great to use pictures.

Throughout the day there was plenty of opportunity to participate whether in a world café or the mind mapping process. We also had an opportunity to learn how to do graphic facilitation and to discuss the harvesting process for one of our own situations.

Participants came from a range of different backgrounds and it was a fun and interesting learning experience which has served my appetite to explore AoH further.