My one minute Open Space introduction.


“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 had 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 the 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…”

(Welcome the Silence. Listen. And wait…)



This is how you can open the opening circle. Minimal fuss, then step back and ensure the circle is encountering the space of possibility, not the facilitator.

It’s always led to a glorious embarrassing silence. Then like little cleansing raindrops, tentative at first, then a pitter patter, and then the music of profusion. And there’s a sense of a community co-creating, not a group attempting to confirm to a process.

It isn’t the only way to do an introduction. But hey, try it? Or something like it? Or something.


P.S. If your open space event is “on site”, at your workplace, you might also add in “…and imagine a meeting that was so compelling that you succeeding in resisting the temptation to go back to your desk during the day.”

Visit my Open Space Realm

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks Paul
    I am involved in a conference next week and I quite like this opening. Partly because it will need to brief and concise. I shally play with it. By the way I met you at the AoM conference.

  2. Hi Cathryn – I hope it goes well. I hope the cities of thought are still growing.

  3. Paul, I like this a lot, and have saved it for future reference. Warm thanks for this, and for the other inspirational posts on your site. Very best wishes from Bristol,

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