So what is our most important role as host? It is not to flawlessly facilitate a successful conversation. Rather, it is to hold the space—and be part of the space—of community/safety/love. We are stewards; we are providing a comfortable environment for people to explore deeply enough to find out what they really think and feel about the topic. Part of this safety is that WE are also open—disclosing our own thoughts and feelings. We are part of the process. We honor the folks who come to these conversations; we honor the risk they may be taking in talking with strangers about the often confusing and complex questions of our times. .
Hosting is simple—like breathing is simple. It can be as minimal as showing up, introducing the process and keeping time. Yet the practice of hosting can be very profound. It is a dynamic, honest, humble process of staying present to your own reality while drinking in the reality of everyone else at the table. It contributes to the reweaving of the web of community and builds the critical thinking, social engagement and conviviality that is the best of what human society has always been and the essence of what we intend to be in the future.