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The Art of Hosting

…and harvesting conversations that matter

April 17–19, 2018, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

People's Energy Cooperative | 1775 Lake Shady Avenue South, Oronoco, MN

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Come learn and explore

University of Minnesota Extension is offering a three-day training that will teach you to use simple yet powerful facilitation practices that create authentic engagement, build community, stimulate shared intelligence, and motivate group members to lead for change.

Participants will:

Who should attend?

© Art of Hosting

Individuals and teams who want to increase their skills and learn ways to engage others who can inspire and create change.


Cost includes workbook, refreshments, and lunches for the three days of the training. Lodging, if needed, is the responsibility of participant.

Hosting team

Sook Jin Ong

Sook Jin Ong

Sook Jin Ong is a practitioner of participatory methods to bring people together for difficult conversations. She is the director of the Future Services Institute, a new initiative of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. In this role, she brings her interest and practice in blending human-centered design and Art of Hosting principles to be of service to those in human services.

Prior to this, she managed the partnership between the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Minnesota Department of Human Services on improving service delivery in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). Previously, she spent several years in the corporate sector as a consultant.

Sook Jin graduated with a master's degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Sook Jin comes from the multicultural cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She posits that you can take her out of Malaysia, but not the Malaysian out of her — that spirit lives in how she hosts spaces and graphically records the world around her.

Bob-e Simpson Epps

Barbara (Bob-e) Simpson Epps

Bob-e Simpson Epps has spent a lifetime working to enhance the operations and effectiveness of organizations in both the public and private sectors. Deeply committed to strong, healthy and resilient communities, she has used her expertise to build and sustain diverse environments. Believing in the richness each voice brings to any conversation, situation or need Bob-e seeks to engage all in conversations leading to the extraction of knowledge, wisdom and reflection of self and others.

Bob-e has worked in public health for more than 30 years she has taught at Minneapolis and St. Paul Community Colleges, presented on issues of health, early care and education, diversity/equity and inclusion, health policy, and numerous other topics on a local, national and global level. She has broad experience in human resource, organizational development, strategic planning, restructuring of teams and evaluation.

Beth Kallestad

Beth Kallestad

Beth Kallestad is an educator for the University of Minnesota Extension with the leadership and civic engagement team based in Southeast, Minnesota (Rochester).

Prior to coming to Extension, Beth served as executive director of the Cannon River Watershed Partnership in Northfield, Minnesota. While there she also organized a variety of events and learning opportunities to engage community members in water quality issues.

Beth enjoys opportunities for teaching tools and techniques, such as those in the Art of Hosting, to help communities create the futures they desire and address "wicked" problems.

Lisa Hinz

Lisa Hinz

Lisa Hinz is an educator with the University of Minnesota Extension specializing in leadership and civic engagement. Lisa works with public and community-minded individuals and organizations across the state, providing workshops on leadership, facilitation, and public participation.

Her expertise includes personal leadership styles, team building, using strengths and assets to strengthen community, and effective group and community involvement processes. Helping people build their skills and insights for working together more effectively is her focus.


Contact Beth Kallestad at Visit the Art of Hosting website to learn more.

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