Art of Participatory Leadership:

Catalyzing Action to Address Complex Issues of our Time








It’s time, right? In our personal lives, in our organizations and in our communities, it is time to join hands, hearts and minds to create new paths forward. Climate disasters, COVID-19 pandemic, and calls to embrace equity and end racism — they all combine into unparalleled opportunities to reimagine and recreate the lives and communities we want, now.

Do you see challenges and opportunities in your community? Bring them here for learning, practice, and action. We will create a regenerative future, together. 

2020 has shown us how our systems are falling short in meeting the challenges of our times. Now is our chance to walk on to a more just and equitable future. This is work we must do individually and we must do together.

Join us. We will build a movement and a community to learn and build participatory leadership skills from the Art of Hosting tradition as well as developing other regenerative practices. Together, we will take time to reflect and find next wise actions, using emergence and self-organizing to guide us forward.

This is an invitation to be creative, play, experiment, and support one another as we pause, sense, and dance towards this emerging future and create this culture of transition. It is not an invitation to just learn more stuff, to gather yet one more tool that will likely be forgotten in six months. We invite you to learn and to take action where needed. Now.  

Are you working for a nonprofit? Join us. Are you a concerned citizen? Join us. In government? You get the idea; this experience is for those of working to make things better. Our shared learning adventure will illuminate that we’ve got what we need and can start anywhere to co-create just and regenerative futures.

We look forward to having you journey with us.

You will learn, explore, and practice: 

  • Theories, methods, tools and practices for leading and hosting groups to work generatively with complex challenges. 
  • Ways to surface the collective intelligence present in all systems.
  • Resolving conflicts, addressing polarities, and using differences to co-create collaborative solutions.
  • Powerful options for using your own leadership to help groups find wiser actions. 
  • Strategies to support participatory leadership initiatives and to host meaningful conversations in challenging contexts, 
  • Tools for using online technology to support this work.
  • Building a community of practice and action around complex issues important to you and to other members of the cohort.

Six of us have come together to offer this training. We have each worked in communities across Canada and around the world for many years. We know how to host generative conversations which unlock the knowledge, skills and insights in any community — and we know how to do that in person as well as virtually. We know what it takes to calm our own anxieties so we and others can offer true leadership. We know how to innovate, prototype, evaluate and make visible stories of change which can inspire and inform. We will help you learn many of these things. We will draw on all of our experiences in this training and the specifics will depend on what we and the participants see as most important.


Facilitation Team: 

David Stevenson: David has spent the last 25 years supporting personal, social, cultural and organizational healing, wellness and reconciliation. He is a practitioner of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations/Art of Participatory Leadership and current chair of the Royal Roads University School of Leadership Studies. As CEO of the Moose Hide Campaign-an Indigenous innovation for the benefit of all Canadians- he supports a national team with a mission to end domestic and gender-based violence in Canada. David has held leadership roles in the private, non-profit and government sectors, including Strategic Lead for Aboriginal Services with the Ministry for Children and Family Development, Executive Director of Indigenous Leadership and Transformation Services; and 7 years as CEO of the Government Crown Corporation …the Vancouver Island Aboriginal Transition Authority for Children and Families. David lives on Mount PKOLS [pq̕áls], in SENĆOŦEN and Lekwungen peoples territory, also known as Victoria BC with his partner and two daughters.

Bob Stilger: Bob Stilger, PhD, is an activist-scholar who explores social change, leadership and community building in these times of collapse and regeneration. Bob’s first work with collapse was in Zimbabwe in the early part of this century. He has worked extensively with communities in Japan where people are creating a “new normal” after the devastating Triple Disasters – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear explosions – of March 11, 2011. Bob’s book, AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin was published in Japanese in 2015 and then in English in 2017. Bob has worked with First People’s from across the world who have been forcibly displaced by climate crises. He’s carried this work into Northern California, after the fires and now his nonprofit, NewStories, has launched a regional initiative in the Northwest called Regenerating Communities.  Visit for more of Bob’s story. Check-out www.AfterNow.Today

Ingrid Liepa: Ingrid is a consulting professional from Kimberley, BC, with a strong background in environment, climate change, health and sustainability. She’s been engaged in climate change since the late 1990s in work that has spanned classrooms, communities, corporate boardrooms, government policy agendas, and simple, everyday life. And since her teens, she has been a student and practitioner of facilitation, experiential learning, knowledge mobilization and participatory engagement techniques, with the good fortune to lead, support or be part of dozens of projects bringing the transformative potential of well-designed processes to support people, organizations and communities to further their missions. Ingrid first discovered Art of Hosting in 2010 and quickly made it an essential part of her toolkit. She completed the advanced training in 2015, and is excited for this training to be offered in the Kootenays.

Jayme Jones: Jayme has a passion for sustainability and engaging others to build resilient communities. She is a natural facilitator, project manager, and communicator. She loves being in roles bringing people together to address complex issues. Her key interests are water governance and climate change. Jayme has a Master of Art’s Degree in Environment and Management where her master’s thesis examined community action on climate change. Jayme has experience in government, industry, academia, and non-profit sectors. She is presently working at Selkirk College in the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute as a Researcher where she is doing applied research and supporting capacity building for local governments on a variety of projects, including a project on climate adaptation. When Jayme is not busy with work or volunteering, you will find her skiing, crafting, singing, or exploring with her husband and two young kids.

Jenn Meilleur: Jenn is a systems change facilitator, sense-maker and strategist. Her passion is for cultivating bold, creative, and participatory leadership to build capacity and create the conditions for happier, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable and resilient communities and workplaces. She has two decades of experience supporting and leading initiatives at the intersections of sustainability, community development, organizational development, and systems change. She has extensive experience supporting and leading work with local governments, non-profits, cooperatives, philanthropy and collaborative networks. Jenn finds her inspiration in nature on the traditional lands and waters of the K’omoks Nation on Vancouver Island with her husband, two children, and many four-legged friends.


Sessions: Each session is 3 hours, including breaks. We will meet on the 4th Friday every month for 5 months from January to May, 2021 between 9:30am and 12:30pm PT. 

Peer Pods: You will have the chance to digest and practice in your Peer Pods (small group of 3) once a month between our sessions. This is a chance to take your questions, practices and learning further.

Apprentice Sessions: Between group sessions, we will have a limited number of optional 1.5 hour calls for those who will step forward to host parts of the upcoming session with our guidance and support. These are a chance to deepen your own understanding through practice.

Self-Care: If possible, schedule in at least 10 minutes before and after our 3 hr sessions to sit and breathe!


Early-bird registration (by January 8, 2021)

$800 – business – full rate

$550 – non-profit/students – reduced rate

Registration after January 6, 2021

$875 – business – full rate

$600 – non-profit/students – reduced rate

Register early, limited spots available. 

A limited number of bursaries (up to $400) available for members of the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN). Find out more and apply. To join CBEEN you must be a resident of the Canadian Columbia Basin. Find out more and join:

If you would like to pay in installments, please contact us to create a payment plan that works for you.


Info Session: 

Thursday, January 7, 12 pm  – Register here

Read more about the Art of Hosting here:

Information from previous online sessions: March & April, 2020

Session #1: 

Session #2: 

Session #3:

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