Conversify – Meet the Conversifiers

Paul Levy Paul has been conversifying meetings, events and conferences for over 20 years. He facilitates and helps to design conversations all over the world, in the private, public and  voluntary sectors. He’s worked with organisations as small as one and as large as hundreds of thousands. Paul is an experienced facilitator of Open Space…

Open Space Audio

Audiocasts Audiocast 1 – Why Whatever Happened Might Have Happened Differently – A controversial look at the Open Space principle: Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened, and why it isn’t true. Listen to Why Whatever Happened Might Have Happened Differently Audiocast 2 – One Less thing to do. Harrison Owen suggests…

Stories of Open Space 8 – Open Space in a Circus Tent

This was a wonderful opportunity to make use of the over-hundred year old Bosco Tent which often travels to festivals around the world with the even more famous Spiegeltent. This was a gathering of the World Fringe Netwrk who invited Fringe Festivals from around the United Kingdom to explore how they might connect and collaborate…

What is conversation really about?

So much of our conversation is about what we advocate to each other. We speak, they speak. Our turn to say something, their turn to say something. It is usually transactional. Like a game of tennis, we take turns. Often someone wins the point. Sometimes the rallies are long and we tire ourselves out! Our…

A Team Charter

Groups can work more of less effectively together. When groups are formed to achieve something together over time, how well they work together will determine a more or less successful outcome. A work project An academic project Creating a product in a team Solving  a problem together It can be useful to develop and and sign…

Five Examples of Conversifying in Action

Conversifying a Conference At the 2014 Management of Innovative Technologies Conference in Piran, Slovenia, we loosened a traditionally fixed agenda and created spaces for emergent conversation and unplanned workshops and sessions. Potential research projects and partnerships emerged that would never have come about had the opportunity for conversation not been created. We also used one…

What is Conversifying?

Conversifying breathes conversation into a meeting, conference, gathering or event. When we conversify an event, we increase the level and quality of interaction, adding energy to the dialogue. We ensure that any communication serves the purpose of all who are taking part. We look to simplify the over-complicated and be create with clunky, over-fixed meeting…

The Conversify Gallery

From this… To this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… Oh, and this… Visit the main Conversity page

Open Space Technology Explained in Detail

… that’s it. Open Space is a method founded in a circle of people, who come together to self-organise a conversation about something they want to get to work together to explore and take action.  

Stories of Open Space 7 – Flash Mob Open Space

This is an account of a recent 3-hour gathering of Conscious Business UK in London, UK. I was the facilitator of the event though aspects of the design of the session were not entirely in my hands. A speaker over-ran by nearly thirty minutes and participants looked tired. It was very interesting content and a…

Stories of Open Space

                    These are the real stories that light up open space. The stories here are of how open space isn’t a fixed process. These stories demonstrate that even open space technology itself can and should be adapted to the emerging needs of the moment. Stories of…

Stories of Open Space 6

This is a story of very informal, almost “pop-up” Open Space. A community who are interested in the topic of “innovation” are invited to an Innovation Conversation (View the invites here and here and here). They aren’t told they are coming to an event that includes Open Space. It’s just a conversation in a cafe. The format…

What is Open Space ?

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…

Exploring the Principles: When it’s over, it’s over

This is my personal favorite principle of open space technology. Why should a session run to the end of its allotted time on a timetable if the conversation has reached a natural end? Why should a vital conversation be brought to a premature end if it needs to flow on? When we self-organise a conversation,…

Exploring the Principles: Whoever comes are the right people

Like many of the open space principles, they are true at an archetypal level. The people who are in the room to get to work together on something are the people we have. Where attendance in that room is voluntary, we have a community formed out of freedom, and that commitment means the right people…

Exploring the Principles: Whenever it starts is the right time

We can become trapped by all kinds of dogma in our lives. One of them is start times. Businesses clock people in and out and there are sanctions for poor timekeeping. We grow up with school timetables and many of us probably remember being told off or even punished for being late to class. In…

Open Space – Pure and Simple

An invitation goes out to a group or community of people who are in a position to voluntarily attend an open space event. This open space event is based on this invitation: an invitation to a conversation on a topic that will make that community restless enough to attend the event and to “get to…

A Deeper Dive into the Beauty of Open Space

Skye Hirst posed the powerful question – what does beauty mean and how is it experienced,especially in relation to Open Space? Why did I call Open Space Technology Beautiful? Open Space is a benevolent process. I sense the benevolence is in… – the of gesture of faith in people and their ability to self organise…

Open Space – the Real Guide

” …the 5 principles and the Law are descriptive and not prescriptive. Or at least that is the way they popped into my head: simple observations of what was transpiring, as opposed to directions concerning what should be taking place. I have always said “Principles” and “Law” with a smile, because if you really think about…

The Bell of The Silence

I watched him. He’d been playing with his gong for over ten minutes, building up to the moment of power when he’d give it a little whack. A little whack of almost-forever. The bell would sound and keep sounding, resound and sound on, and reach all four corners of his virtuous circle. A call back…

Open Some Space

Would you like to open some space in your organisation or community? I can help you. I’ve been opening space for over twenty years, using Open Space Technology and other approaches. If you’d like to organise an Open Space Conference then contact me. You can reach me easily… By email at paul@cats3000.net Or by telephone…

Insights from an Open Space on Open Space in London 2013

This Open Space on Open Space (OSonOs), took place at Lauderdale House in London, on May 20th 2013. Notes to follow… Listen to our audio digest 1: Listen to our audio digest 2: Jon Harvey opens the space is a very minimal way – about three minutes, the market place opens and, within ten minutes…

Orphaning the Top Table and the Power of the Circle

I remember a conference where the audience took over – at least for a while. It was a revolution that left the top table (the ones who had the bottles of mineral water and the little flowers in vases) paralysed with perplexity. A formal presentation using a lot of bullet-pointed Power Point had just stopped…

How Long Should an Open Space Be ?

Do short Open Space events short-change their participants? Michael Pannwitz, an Open Spacer of long experience, makes the important point that open space events need to be whatever length is appropriate for the specific situation they have been suggested for: “Open Space Technology for social systems can not be too short or too long, it…

The Heart of Open Space

Open Space is a label we have given to something that isn’t really a something. For some, it is something esoteric, something spiritual. And that runs along a line from a holy grail of happiness, healing and renewal, to a process for getting stuff done, quickly and remarkably. For others, it’s a metaphor for a…

Follow-up or Flow in Open Space

What you are about to read might turn your view of facilitating action on its head. “Time runs backwards in the spiritual world.” No, don’t stop reading. Not yet. There’s a lot of debate in the field of emergence focused on “when things open up, how do you close them down?”. In the realm of Open…

Pop-up Open Space

I wonder if anyone reading this has experiences to share of what I am about to describe. Most published stories of open space tend to go by the book. The book is often referred to as the user guide“, and it tends towards a process that is largely based on an instruction manual. Dogmatic application…

Stories of Open Space 5 – The Call to Action

In 2010 I was invited to facilitated an Open Space for an internationally respected research group. The group wanted to focus on,its future, clarify and develop its strategy and also look at certain short term issues connected to funding cuts and a wish to “regenerate” itself as a player in its field. There was a…

Stories of Open Space 4 – Dotted Open Space

Traditionalist open spacers (yes, there are many) will probably recoil from this tale. Each year in Brighton The Critical Incident is a one day “retreat” in the heart of the city of Brighton and Hove in the UK. Over 30 sessions are spread across the day and all are experimental for the sessions leaders –…