Training in Participatory Group Process Design Facilitation & Leadership

​How can we respond to emerging needs of communities in equitable, transparent & consistent ways, helping to develop long term relationships and collaborative strategies?​

Why Participatory Leadership

1. Involving communities and the people closest to the issues that society need to address, informs better decision making and greater impact generated by investment and action.

2. Participation is increasingly part of our conversations and desire yet skills, approaches and confidence to implement participation in a meaningful way is not often wide spread.​​

This programme will introduce practices tools and methods to help develop the skills, confidence and support networks needed to begin and/or enhance participatory leadership practice.

What will you learn?

You will learn by doing, exploring participatory practices that will help you to respond to emerging needs of communities in equitable, transparent & consistent ways, helping to develop long term relationships and collaborative strategies.


We will also explore how to...

Our Approach

Our methodological is rooted in The Art of Hosting & Harvesting Conversations That Matter, also known as The Art of Participatory Leadership.

The Art of Hosting is a highly effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. Based on the assumption that people give their energy and lend their resources to what matters most to them – in work as in life – the Art of Hosting blends a suite of powerful conversational processes to invite people to step in and take charge of the challenges facing them.

Groups and organizations using the Art of Hosting as a working practice report better decision-making, more efficient and effective capacity building and greater ability to quickly respond to opportunity, challenge and change. People who experience the Art of Hosting typically say that they walk away feeling more empowered and able to help guide the meetings and conversations they are part of move towards more effective and desirable outcomes. Find out more here.

Our Approach Continued


Jan Garrill, CEO
Two Ridings Community Foundation

​In 2020 – 2022 we developed a pioneering participatory fund at Two Ridings Community Foundation that sought to provide systems change initiatives for people with multiple complex needs.  We knew that bringing in diverse perspectives was absolutely critical to getting this right.  We also knew that we did not have the skills currently in house to host people really well.

We worked with practitioners with Art of Hosting experience, using the various tools and methodologies that they brought.  Together we delivered a great programme that has resulted in strong relationships with our community that are sustained well beyond the funding.  We funded new and pioneering activity as well as developing our internal processes across programmes to improve the ways we work with people. 

This was all done in creative, supportive and learning environment which has given the whole staff team more confidence and skills to be able to be participatory leaders.  We continue to work with the Art of Hosting practitioners to embed and develop our learning further, I would recommend all foundations to connect with this work.F-8

Train your people

Option 1

A highly participatory 8 hr Online Introduction to Participatory Group Process Design and Facilitation, suitable for people working in all roles and levels of funding, public and community  sector organisations. (Hosted in 4x 2 hrs live sessions).

Cost – £450 per person. Up to 30 people in a group (minimum 15)

Option 2

A 3 day residential training in Participatory Group Process Design, Facilitation & Leadership, with a focus on participatory grant making. Suitable for people working in all roles and levels of funding organisations.

Up to 8 hours work with the lead partner to tailor the programme to your needs.

​35- 50 participants. Cost is defined after a scoping conversation with the client around details.

The Team

Jose Barco

A Colombian Community Organiser, and Art of Hosting Practitioner. Jose Augusto Barco, is a social entrepreneur based in Bristol, UK and Founder of Community CoLab.

He is passionate about people power, social change and social justice, creating spaces for meaningful participation and collaboration at an organisational and grassroots level.

He understands the complexity of working with diverse groups and communities and his experience includes working with local and national & international organisations as a trainer, group process designer, campaigner and consultant.

Jose is also a founding director of Community Organisers Ltd, a national body supporting the training and development of community organisers in England. ​

His work is influenced by his creative practices, musical roots and permaculture principles.

Catalina Ramirez

Cata es anfitriona, practicante y aprendiz de art of hosting -el arte del liderazgo participativo – y de otros caminos como la terapia comunitaria, las danzas de paz universal, la biodanza y el arte. Caminos que cree que llevan a relaciones más conscientes, fuertes y sanas entre los seres humanos. 

Es docente universitaria, responsable de innovación del equipo docente Laboratorio de Prácticas Innovadoras en Polimedicación y Salud y cofundadora de la consultora en salud

Ella cree en el poder de las conversaciones significativas, de las imágenes y de la poesía para cambiar nuestra desafiante realidad. Por eso desde hace dos años además de ser facilitadora de procesos colaborativos es también facilitadora gráfica. 

Cata ha estado trabajando con ONGs durante los últimos 12 años como consultora en temas de género, salud mental y antropología de la salud. 

Es psicoterapeuta experta en procesos grupales. Desde que fue invitada a participar hace 10 años en el Art of Hosting en Ecuador, inició un camino de belleza y forma consciente de ver la vida, la comunidad y el trabajo. Vive entre España y Colombia.

Alison Spaul

Alison Spaul Ali is passionate about finding joy in the little things and bringing people together across boundaries to collaborate and build connections.  



With a background in youth work, education and community network development, Ali is currently leading work to shift the power in funding though participatory grant making and through facilitating participatory spaces that influence and transform strategic decision making.

Ali is building on her work as a whole, returning to her love of drawing through sketch-noting and visual harvesting to capture interactions, connections, opportunities and more in a beautiful and accessible way for all.

She is also returning to art for my own personal joy and believes that the future we aspire to; exists in the present, in empowered, creative and caring people and communities.

Jon Dorsett

Jon is a graphic facilitator/ practitioner and trainer in The Art of Hosting based in Leeds. He is an associate of Together for Peace where he is facilitating the Poverty Truth Commission, and being a learning partner with local Gypsy and Traveller organisation Leeds GATE. ​

Jon works across the country helping groups and organisations to harvest their learning, and making films for organisations to communicate complex information simply and engage audiences creatively.

Jon’s background is in campaigning for various NGOs, and in running programmes that create space for activists to reflect, learn and do inner work. He is continually interested in the dynamic between inner well-being and outer change, and sees a powerful potential in the combination of Art of Hosting and Community Organising practices.

About Community Colab

Community CoLab is an international social innovation company based in Bristol UK, active in Latin America, Europe and Asia across all sectors.

We bring together the expertise of our global network to support our clients (The independent Review of Children Social Care, The Department for Education UK, FAO UN, UNDP, NHS South Lakes, Bristol City Council, The Colombian Ministry of Agriculture, Groundswell International, Community Organisers UK, The Global Impact Hub Network and The Global Ecovillage Network amongst others) to achieve

Their goals through (in person and/or online) dialogue and collaboration.

Together we design and co-create solutions using innovative methodologies and technologies that invite diversity, harness collective wisdom, creativity, and imagination to tackle daily or strategic problems.

We are committed to centering people and joy in our work so that the impacts are long lasting.

We are looking forward to this collaboration!.

If  you would like to get this training for your organisation or find out  please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!