Teal and Art of Hosting – Midwifing a Community of Practice in Australia

By Jane Geltch for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Living at the other end of Earth, where thousands of kilometres often separate us, students of Teal in Australia can feel isolated, far from the European epicentre of energy. How can our own energy join with others’?

We are three such students, Jane, Frank and Mel, who have left behind, or are in transition from, working in Orange organisations. We formed Purpose Partners, a practice partnership of us three participatory process hosts/practitioners – held by participatory process (Art of Hosting), exploring what it means to be Teal in our own partnership.

We saw energy for Teal in Australia, and no one yet stepping up to connect people and host a conversation,  So we thought we would just do it ourselves.

This year we have:

  • used Art of Hosting practice to explore Teal in our partnership;
  • incorporated an introduction to Teal in our Art of Hosting training;
  • with a group of friends, been asking the question ‘What would it take to colour “disability” Teal?’ – a deeply personal question for all of us.

We have learned that Teal inspires people. We have learned that the Art of Hosting can contribute to the ‘how’ of becoming Teal.

We knew that there were others like us (and not so like us) out there. We made a call to gather people together.

Answers came from all over; if people couldn’t make it to Brisbane, they asked emphatically to remain in the conversation. Something was sparked by the calling question: ‘What would it take to colour Australia Teal?’ and the spark jumped over into other networks: Integral, responsive.org, Nonviolent Communication, and more.

We considered our role: did we have the freedom, and courage, to host the conversation using our own practices? The answer emerged: this is how we can contribute to Teal now. We are offering what we have. We will only host the conversation for as long as it is wanted. We will be alive to the moment when we should step back.

Our purpose emerged: to create a container for the energy swirling around to coalesce and for something new to be born. We designed a process that listened in to individual purpose and context, hosted inquiry into Teal in this place at this time, and what is possible.

Nineteen people showed up at our first meeting, in Brisbane, on October 13, each passionately contributing their own questions and insights. The flow and key insights were harvested and fed back graphically and in a written harvest which holds the rich source data.


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Our processes were powerful favourites: Circle to check in and out, and World Cafe to surface collective knowledge, insight and wisdom.

Questions to ignite and focus our inquiry were:

  • What did this invitation spark in you?
  • What is coloured Teal in your life right now?
  • What’s possible?
  • What are our next wise steps?
  • What stood out for you tonight?

We will gather again in December; our partnership was invited by the group to host listening into purpose. In the meantime, a couple of us will take the emerging questions into conversations with sources in Europe, and report back.

On reflection, we see that our purpose for this first conversation of ‘creating a container” was fulfilled. We also see that hosting and practising participatory process offers a deeper role.

We are midwives, privileged to enable and witness the birth of what we call a community of practice. But we know this isn’t our newborn; if it grows, it will grow with the wise guidance of all its members and become an entity with its own evolutionary purpose.

We believe a shift in human consciousness is happening, and we see Teal as one profound expression of this. And we see that rhe Art of Hosting can, indeed already does, contribute much to how we go about becoming Teal, individually and collectively. We are grateful for both.

Jane Geltch cropped and smallerJane Geltch is a partner in Purpose Partners, a practice in Brisbane, Australia, with a purpose of ‘discovering wiser ways of living and working together’. Purpose Partners works with individuals, organisations and communities working on their development and transformation.

Some of our work right now is in social housing, disability, community development, drought relief, indigenous communities, communities of practice and in supporting entrepreneurship, particularly social entrepreneurship . We also host Art of Hosting trainings with other members of the Australian community of practice. We use a portion of our income to nourish those who have a need, and host where we can be of service [email protected]

Featured Image by Krzysztof Pluta from Pixabay