This training is part of the "Re-create Plovdiv" project, part of the programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019.


 Photo credit:  Aline Alonso

Photo credit: Aline Alonso


  • Are you looking to do meaningful work that is fulfilling, sustainable and impactful?

  • Are you looking for a safe space where to develop your initiative with the support of people with diverse backgrounds?

  • Are you wishing to collaborate and be more interconnected? To scale up your endeavours?


Then this training is for you!

If we want build more humane, equitable, and sustainable projects, workplaces and communities, we need to create more bottom-up entrepreneurial activities. This can offer new ways of doing work that benefit us, our communities and the whole.

In this training we will explore new ways of living and working more collaboratively. We will practice  and co-create models, methods, and worldviews that challenge the current operating system of society and offer more long-term alternatives.

Our team has designed the training as a safe space for experimentation, development, and prototyping of new and mature initiatives that would transform our teams, our organisations, our country and the planet.



The training takes place in the wake of  2019 - the year Plovdiv will become the European Capital of Culture. We wish to provoke new ways of thinking about entrepreneurship and its relationship with the four platforms of the initiative - Fuse (integrate minority groups and bring more diversity); Transform (bring new life to old places); Revive (offer a fresh look at the rich heritage we have) and Relax (enjoy life and think sustainably). We believe there is а big potential for new initiatives solving these key challenges of the city (or any city)by providing a platform for people to meet, co-create and work together.

 Plovdiv, photo credit:  Deniz Fuchidzhiev

Plovdiv, photo credit: Deniz Fuchidzhiev

 Photo credit:  Aline Alonso

Photo credit: Aline Alonso

What to expect?

  • Theory, methods and practical tools that can help you to create work which is meaningful for you, your stakeholders and the whole ecosystem.

  • Laboratory for practicing collaboration where you can bring your ideas, projects and challenges to work on, co-create with others and to find ways to apply the learning in your own contexts after the training.

  • A space for meeting people with similar values and ideas and learning from their stories and experiences.



What is Participatory Leadership?

Participatory Leadership (also known as The Art of Hosting) is a practice based on methods and mental models that together create the right conditions for all the ideas, perspectives, and skills of a group of people to emerge in a creative way, especially when new solutions are needed. It is the outcome of a 15-year process aiming at the development of its theoretical base as well as its practical application worldwide – and it is offered by an international network of practitioners and consultants. Participatory Leadership is based on self-organization principles, participation, and non-linear solutions with an emphasis on individual and collective progress.

*Art of Hosting Bulgaria is part of the international Art of Hosting network www.artofhosting.org and offers  Art of Hosting/Participatory Leadership trainings in Bulgaria (in collaboration with international colleagues/practitioners).

See information from previous trainings: www.openspace-collective.com/artofhosting


The team

Your hosting team is a group of experienced trainers and entrepreneurs working in participation theory and practice worldwide who are themselves inquiring and experimenting with creating meaningful work through collaboration.

Some examples of our recent work include:

  • Working with corporations, non-profit organisations and governmental institutions to help them create shared visions for strategic development;
  • Designing and leading long-term participatory processes with various stakeholders;
  • Creating our own organisations that represent our values of meaningful work and impact.

Some of the organisations we have recently worked with are: CEZ, European Commission, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Societe Generale, WWF, Municipality of Athens, Bulgarian Association for People Management, Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019, Bosch Foundation, Salvis Pharma Ltd., Impact Hub Network, Greenpeace, Ideas Factory, YMCA - Gabrovo.

Practical Information

Dates: 28-30 September (10 AM on 28th Sept to 5 PM on 30th Sept)

Place: Plovdiv, exact location TBA

Language: English. The team will support those participants with difficulties understanding or expressing themselves. Many sessions in groups will be in Bulgarian. 

Participation fee

  • Standard fee: 250 EUR
  • Reduced fee (NGO, unemployed, government, municipalities, etc.): 150 EUR
  • Local scholarship (young people and entrepreneurs from Plovdiv): 50 EUR
  • Scholarship: 75 EUR

The fees include: participation in 3-day training, learning materials, coffee breaks and light lunches for the three days. For this training we use the Shared Economy model. This is a cooperative, responsibility-based approach to funding the training where the community as a whole holds the financial responsibility, and not just the organising team. Taking into consideration the costs of the event and one’s own financial resources, each participant is invited to identify what they can pay, then add a little more.

Contact us if you have any questions: Anna (anna@openspace-collective.com) & Anton (anton@openspace-collective.com)