Open Space Realm


Welcome to the CATS3000 Open Space Realm.

Here you’ll find information, resources and inspiration about our approach to open space and emergent change and transformation.

I’m Paul Levy and I have been opening space for conversation and action for over twenty years. I have used Open Space Technology in the UK, Ireland, Slovenia, Belgium, Sweden, and the United States, workin with public and private organisations, charities and communities small and large.


Contact us if you’d like help creating an open space event in your organisation or community.

What is Open Space? – Some definitions

My Open Space story – A little bit of background on how I found open space and where I’ve taken it

Links into the Open Space world – My back-room links to other Open Space realms

The Art and Craft of Open Space

A visual flavour of Open Space – An evocative, linked gallery.

The Beauty of Open Space – Why Self-organisation is beautiful, and why that beauty is essential

Emergent Convergence and Open Space – where does the urge to action sit with Open Space?

The Emergent Moment Before You Speak – The importance of being ready to change your Open Space introduction, even at the last moment

Exploring the Principles: Whenever it starts is the right time – a fresh look at this open space technology principle about time

Exploring the Principles: Whoever comes are the right people – a fresh look at this principle on attendance

Exploring the principles: Whatever happens is the only thing that could have – a fresh look at this principle of open space technology

Exploring the Principles: When it’s over, it’s over – a fresh look at my favorite open space principle

A Hundred Evocative Open Space Diagrams and Cartoons – they capture the flavour from many different angles!

A Hundred Evocative Open Space Videos – Open Space on film

A Hundred Opening Circles – plenty of visuals here to capture the essence of the opening circle

A Hundred Open Space Timetables – My (growing daily) linked gallery from around the world of Open Space timetables

How Important is the Circle? – A fresh look at the Opening Circle

My one minute opening circle – How I sometimes open an Open Space circle

The Opening Circle that Never Closes – A look at why few new sessions tend to be added to an agenda after it has been set

Open Space Explained in Detail – an infographic

Open Space 2013 and beyond – a look at the evolving essence of Open Space

Open Space Technology and Open Space – exploring the difference

Pop-Up Open Space – Open Space as a Spontaneous Intervention

Trapped by Complexity – The Role of the Physical Space

The Vital Link Between “Re” and “Open Space” – How Open Space takes us back to the future.

Who is the jerk on the right ? – Take a look at this picture…

Growing your work in Open Space – some Zeitgeist, “spirit of the times” themes

When Does the Space Open ? – Space can Open any time, not just during the Marketplace

Stories of Open Space

Critical Perspectives on Open Space

Facilitation Metaphors and Open Space – A penetrating look at the core of Open Space facilitation.

Follow-Up or Flow in Open Space – Why action planning shouldn’t happen at the end of an Open Space

How Compassion Opens Space – the case of health

My WOSonOS2012 blog

Open Space – The Real Guide – a plea for simplicity

The Fundamental Principle of Open Space – Why Open Space should never become dogmatic and why there is never one way to do it

The Heart of Open Space – a radical look

Opening Space for the Open Space Principles – a fresh look at the principles of Open Space

Orphaning the Top Table and the Power of the Circle – All about the circle in meetings and the urge to self-organise

Over-control and Open Space – the reasons why facilitators can’t get out of the way

The Bell of the Silence – a look at disempowering Open Space facilitation.

The Tragic Re-Imprisonment of Open Space – a call to remember that Open Space once escaped

What Open Space Really Is – My uncomfortable take on the essence of OS

“Sort of” Open Space -Is there only one version of Open Space Technology?

The Institutionalisation of Spontaneity – An article about emergence, open space and improvisation

What happens when you bring a conference mindset to an unconference? – A detailed look at unconferences and traditional conference mindsets


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 we should always look for one less thing to do. In Open Space, this guards against over-elaboration of the process. Here, Paul Levy suggests something radical that might shock you!

Listen to One Less Thing to Do

Audiocast 3 – Against Convergence. More and more Open Space facilitators are adding on a convergence process to the end of an Open Space event. This usually involves an attempt to harvest actions from the day, to prioritise and to “close down” to action. Here, Paul Levy pleas for faith in self-organisation and offers an alternative to facilitated convergence.

Listen to Against Convergence








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