What is Open Space ?

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Open Space usually refers to a method of meeting and getting things done called Open Space Technology.

Open Space can also refer to any approach that “opens space” for something possible to happen, for some potential to be realised. It suggests that a situation may be restricted by too much control and structure, limiting the potential to “open up” that situation to its latent potential.

An Open Space Conference is a meeting that uses Open Space Technology.

Here are a few definitions…


Open Space Technology (OST) is an approach for hosting meetings, conferences, corporate-style retreats, symposiums, and community summit events, focused on a specific and important purpose or task—but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme. (Wikipedia)


Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. Over the last 20+ years, it has also become clear that opening space, as an intentional leadership practice, can create inspired organizations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results with regularity.

In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create? (Open Space World)


The goal of an Open Space Technology meeting is to create time and space for people to engage deeply and creatively around issues of concern to them. The agenda is set by people with the power and desire to see it through, and typically, Open Space meetings result in transformative experiences for the individuals and groups involved. (Chris Corrigan)


It is a philosophy, practice and process that enables groups of any size to come together around complex, important issues and accomplish something meaningful. (Peggy Holman)


Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organisation, to create inspired meetings and events. In Open Space meetings, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance. The common result is a powerful, effective, connecting and strengthening of what’s already happening in the organisation. (C & T)


Imagine a conference that didn’t start with a loaded agenda, but instead an empty one.

Imagine all the people there were the right people because they has chosen to be there and wanted to really explore something, or solve something together.

Imagine a conference where we were relaxed but conscious about time, and where nobody ever stayed where they didn’t feel they wanted to, where it was okay to get up in e middle of a session and follow your two feet to a place you’d rather be.

And imagine a conference where nothing dragged on longer than it needed to.

Imagine that conference was this one, and that empty agenda over there with time slots and meeting spaces was your agenda waiting to be filled by you, right here, right now.

And all you had to do was step up and announce your session, and whatever happens is what happens, whoever comes are there because it is right for them to be there, and however long it lasts, is the right length of time for it to be.

Imagine we were starting right now…

(Paul Levy)

 


Visit my Open Space Realm

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