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Ursula Hillbrand

I am an experienced process designer, skillful host, subtle coach, active community builder and keen pioneer of collaborative practices. For over two decades, I have been supporting teams and individuals at the highest levels of business, politics, non-profit organisations and civil society.


My clients come to me when they need to go deeper and further in their work than they are able to go alone. They are often leaders seeking a shift or transformation – at an individual, team or organisational level –  with tangible, reliable results they can build on.

My clients come to me when they need to go deeper and further in their work than they are able to go alone. They are often leaders seeking a shift or transformation – at an individual, team or organisational level –  with tangible, reliable results they can build on.

How I became what I am:

Finding out how things work has always fascinated me. I have always been keen to understand the subtle – or not so subtle – cultures, rules and structures that govern groups and individuals. This early curiosity led to a variety of first-hand experience with hierarchy and collaboration. Due to this experience – combined with my natural way of being – I bring a diplomatic, gracious and feminine tone to all my work.

After graduating at a faculty of law, I worked in the Austrian legal system and with the Austrian government. Later I joined the European Commission and served as a policy expert and collaboration pioneer for over 25 years. I gained extensive experience working with diverse groups, applying organic leadership practices. I helped to introduce the Art of Hosting (link in the European Institutions. Alongside this, I established several Art of Hosting communities of practice internationally.

What I have done so far:

In 2010 I founded the Bregenzer Salon to promote dialogue culture and innovative, collaborative working with the Art of Hosting. The practice was soon taken up by the Zukunftsbüro in Vorarlberg (link) and also spread to other Austrian cities.

In 2017 I moved to our family house in Bregenz, Austria, a space of recreation and connection. Here we pursue our love of hosting running a brasserie, following a family tradition of my great grandmother over a hundred years ago.

I contributed significantly to the adoption of Art of Hosting practices in organisations all over Austria, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere. I am particularly proud of having pioneered the first online three-day immersive Art of Hosting training worldwide.

Today my professional practice is an elegant synthesis of both traditional and innovative approaches to collaborative group work. I regularly facilitate and host events, conferences and seminars on- and off-line. I also train teams in collaborative, emergent practices. I support women and men in leadership, and coach facilitators and leaders to become hosts. I continue to exercise my passion supporting the establishment of Communities of Practice.

I have a natural inclination towards pioneering work, pushing existing boundaries to bring innovative, collaborative practices into new spaces where they are being called for.




  • George Pòr

    George Pòr

    President at Campus Co-Evolve

    As our client in the European Commission, her dedication to create a warm and safe space of authentic human relations in a highly hierarchical workplace, and generate a continually increasing value to both the organization and community members, was the biggest factor in accomplishing our mission.

  • Franco Accordino

    Franco Accordino

    Head of Unit “Investement in High-Capacity Networks” at European Commission

    Dedicated mentor and coach, helped me discovering new ways to engage with stakeholders and make sense of their collective intelligence. She masters numerous techniques to harness knowledge, from art of brainstorming to mind mapping, and combines them into the right mix of tools to make conversations meaningful and enjoyable. If you want to design a complex process to achieve a policy or business purpose, shared or personal, Ursula is the right person to ask for!

  • Arch. DI Daniel Fügenschuh

    Arch. DI Daniel Fügenschuh

    Vice president Federal Chamber of Civil Engineers and architects

    Our goal was to enable a dialogue and exchange among experts across borders. We succeeded brilliantly, despite or perhaps because of the online format, under the highly competent leadership of Ursula Hillbrand and her team, we succeeded brilliantly. Our participants actively contributed throughout the day and stayed in the digital aperitif rooms for a cultivated exchange, like at a face-to-face conference. We are exited.

  • Juliane Bogner-Strauss

    Juliane Bogner-Strauss

    Former Federal Minister for Women, Families and Youth

    The combination of your open personality and determined aim to enable successful conversations and exchange among the participants made all the difference.
    We also appreciated your diligence in designing strategic questions and documenting outcomes. In addition, you were available for any detailed questions by the organising team, which made my services very confident throughout the preparation process and the event itself.

  • Carina Rumpold

    Carina Rumpold

    Former Head of general administration at Altmünster

    The difference between a workshop with Ursula Hillbrand and other offers in this sector is that she manages to get everyone to keep their heads on the topic and participate. I have already experienced this with her in several processes and will work with her again in the future.

  • Marjut Falkstedt

    Marjut Falkstedt

    Secretary General of the European Investment Bank

    We asked Ursula Hillbrand to help us work with the different leadership concepts in our management teams including executives. Her diplomatic way of working accepts different styles and cultures elegantly, and still she smartly invites everyone in the room to create a shared purpose, which she was able to hold for us from the background in a sustainable way through a longer process. We also have a great experience of an away day she designed and facilitated for my staff. She has a great talent to work with the non-manifested potential of a group and make it visible.

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