Hosting in Complexity

Complex facilitation for addressing complex issues requires a special approach to working with groups. Join us now to learn more.



"Complex facilitation” refers to an approach of working with groups that is grounded in good complexity theory. It is an important approach to take when the work you are doing is complex.

There is almost always a temptation, when confronted with the uncertainty of a complex system, to default to control in order to drive the process towards a comfortable outcome. This can often result in a process becoming so constrained that there is no possibility for the magic of emergence or self-organization to happen.


What is included  in the Course?
  • Course Compendium
  • 15 Pre recorded videos
  • 3 Bonus videos
  • Live Community Calls 
  • You become part of a thriving learning community of peers.




The content of the course has been designed by Chris Corrigan and hosted by Rowan and Amy at Beehive. It is based on the recordings of the realtime course held in 2020.

Chris is a teacher and facilitator of strategic conversations and a practitioner of the Art of Hosting whose work invites collective intelligence and collective leadership to be activated in the service of complex challenges. Chris has worked locally and internationally in a huge variety of contexts including social services, indigenous community development, immigration and refugee issues, business, government, food systems and education. He has written and contributed to influential books on the role of participatory processes in activating new forms of leadership and community development. His well known weblog, Parking Lot, has charted his own learning in the field since 2002. He specializes in Open Space Technology, and design for large scale initiatives to work in high levels of complexity.

As we continue to offer this course we invite other voices from practitioners who are pioneering the field of practice and thinking about how leading, hosting and facilitating meaningful spaces dealing with the challenges of our time.

Course Structure

The available material in this course focusses on three main topics that supports us when facilitating in complexity,

Complex facilitation for addressing complex issues requires a special approach to working with groups. In the language of the Art of Hosting Conversation that Matter, we call this approach “hosting” to signify that it has its primary focus on the spaces and processes that we use to host dialogue rather than a more traditional facilitation approach that manages the content, meaning-making, and dynamics.

The desired outcomes of good complex facilitation process are these two states: the emergence of meaning and understanding, and self-organization of a group

Emergence means that a group of people leaves a room with insights that no one person brought into a room with them. When we are confronted with complex problems stemming from emergent phenomenon (culture, conflict, identity, shifting markets, new realities dictated by contexts we don’t control, interpersonal dynamics, “next level” anything…) we need to to create a process that invites emergence. Emergent problems are addressed with emergent solutions.

Self-organization means that a group of people organizes their time, attention and resources in ways that meet the urgent necessity of the moment. It is possible to create processes that allow for self-organization to occur by providing clear attractors and boundaries in a system. Self-organization represents an emergence of structure, which is what is needed to work with emergent ideas. It’s no good going away on an off-site retreat, creating a set of powerful new ideas, and then going back to the office and trying to fit them into pre-existing structures.



What makes a problem complex and how can we understand how that complexity is created? We will share an introduction to complexity theory and pattern spotting.


Self organization

Looking at a model of constraints that helps us understand self-organization and creates targets for interventions in a system

Adaptive action

What? So what? Now what?
Going beyond the PALE (Planning, Action, Learning, Evaluation)

Creating the conditions for emergence

Three practices for generating emergent meaning and designing interventions



    We are offering a more flexible way for you to engage with our courses. We have taken the treasure chest of recordings form our realtime courses and curated the teachings, exercises and support material into a valuable learning experience that you can engage with on your own time.  At the same time you will learn with a community of peer learners and be able to connect in our live community sessions. The format has these main components:

    • Self paced learning: Through carefully curated bite size videos and audio presenting the core ideas. This allows you to access the teachings when it is convenient for you.
    • A community of peer learners and peer feedback. This allows us to get to know peers from all over the world and reflect on our own practice in the light of what others are doing.
    • Simple exercises to help you integrate your learning in your context.
    • A practice guide for reference and inspiration, that you can print out and take with you.
    • Live Community Calls to inspire and connect throughout the year, where you will be able to share with peers and hear from others working with different topics connected to participatory processes.


You get:
  • Course Compendium
  • 15 + Pre recorded videos
  • 3 Bonus videos
  • Free Access to all Beehive Live Community Calls throughout the year.
  • You become part of a thriving learning community of peers.
  • You get to learn with some the most experienced practitioners and pioneers in this field.



Prices and accessibility

We don’t want finances to get in the way of your participation.  Contact us for group discounts, or if you need help making the course work for you financially.

"This discussion was really timely - for my work in community.  Learning how to create the container - with minimal structure - to harvest something meaningful - to guide our next steps.  How to ‘notice’ what is emerging and make sense collectively of what is possible and where we might begin. Thank you!"

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