Open Space Technology was discovered by Harrison Owen as a better way to unleash the power of self-organization in teams, organizations, and communities. The Open Space Institute of the United States (OSI-US) believes that inspired behavior can be an everyday experience and that humanity is limited by its perceptions of the possible. The OSI-US was created to grow that sense of possibility and make it a reality by focusing on: learning, research and practice.
Wait. What's So Great About Open Space Technology?
Open Space Technology is an interesting "whole group" process.
And it seems so simple, on the surface:
"..sit in a Circle,"
"...build a Bulletin Board,"
"....open a Marketplace,"
"....and go to work."
This is NOT complicated. So: what EXACTLY is the big deal?
What's so great about Open Space Technology?
YOU are invited to answer this question!
Announcing: The Open Space Institute U.S. "What's so Great" Video Program
We want your video!
The Open Space Institute U.S. cordially invites you to participate in our "What's So Great" Video Program.
All you have to do to participate is answer that burning question, in 2 minutes or less, via VIDEO.
What's so great about Open Space Technology? The goal is to create an absolutely astonishing set of videos that make people laugh (and perhaps cry,) as they browse these short video testimonials.
Your uploaded video will be immediately inspected by OSI-US. And if all goes well, we will immediately post it to the newly created Open Space Technology channel on YOUTUBE. We will also link to it from the OSI-US web site, and utterly promote it (and YOU) across all of social media, across all time and all space, open or otherwise, forever.
So that's the idea: video yourself, in any format, with or without others, while answering answer the burning question:
"What's so great about Open Space Technology?"
Here are the Ground Rules:
1. All submissions are by video only;
2. All videos submitted not to exceed 2 minutes;
3. All videos submitted must be absolutely free of any shameless marketing hype. You may however tastefully (and optionally) display your website URL for up to 10 seconds. You can edit it in, or simply hold up a handwritten note if you wish. Please keep it short, tasteful and non-sales-oriented. Ten seconds max.
4. All videos submitted must be in one of the Youtube-supported video file formats, listed here: https://support.google.com/youtube/troubleshooter/2888402
5. All videos are uploaded for inspection and approval by OSI-US, via the following Google Drive URL (set up just for you): http://bit.do/open-space-testify
6. NOTE: By uploading your video, you are explicitly granting OSI-US a perpetual, non-exclusive license to publish your video, worldwide, across any and all media, without exception, forever, until the end of time, or the end of the world as we know it, whichever occurs first.
7. Send an email to email@example.com after you have uploaded your video, to notify us here at OSI-US that you have uploaded your astonishing video. From there, we will process your submission. (Please put "What's So Great About OST" in the subject line also include your name and phone number in the email.)
You are invited to play the game!
“When peace is threatened, the appropriate response is simply to open space. In doing so, the chaotic, conflicted human systems are invited to do what only they can do: self-organize to new and higher levels of complexity more in harmony with each other, their environment and their inner needs.”
From the book Wave Rider, Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World by Harrison Owen, 2008
International House, New York City
January 15-17, 2016
You are invited to experience and learn to apply the age-old force of self-organization as we engage, explore and deepen our understanding around our theme:
“Creating High Performance and Peace in our Lives,
our Organizations, our Communities and our Planet.”
If you want to do a deep dive, the annual membership meeting notes and even the full audio are available. We did not use Open Space Technology, but instead kept to an agenda with wide ranging check-ins followed by two questions: How did OST impact the evolution of your own consciousness? What's happening with world wide open space institutes? And then we closed with check-outs.
What stands out? One board member was not present due to the illness in her family, and two who were present had immanent births upcoming. Several were excited about what was showing up in the Occupy movement, and how it is opening conversations very relevant for Open Space Technology.
For the personal question around consciousness it touched on personal evolution of letting go of control and fixed answers, of opening up to the infinite divine world where prayer, mystics and shamans are comfortable, of synthesizing and going deeper into what we and who we already know, and being a servant leader and a mid-wife. Open Space Technology is life changing, and changes our relationships with ourselves and others. We can see Open Space is, like birth, an event, and yet it is also a philosophy - about taking responsibility for what we love as an act of service. And how Open Space Technology is often a part of a journey that includes and touches on other philosphies and practices, such as Theory U, Appreciative Inquiry, and Transpersonal Psychology, and Gestalt.
Around the question of Open Space Institutes around the world, we had representation for the U.S., U.K., and France. The WOSonOS coming up in 2012 has already been touching on the question of having an Institute in the U.K., but there is no decision to have one as it is unclear what is the purpose and process around these institutes. As a community of practice internationallly, what needs to happen. Should they be called institutes that compare car insurance quotes? The Institute in France dissolved due to power struggles an in part the lack of clarity of the purpose and mission. Yet the OSI-US has managed to succeed by not imposing hiearchy and instead has been a mutually supportive space. And although there is some question about how to do it, it does seem important that we find a way to continue coming together to keep the conversation alive globally and to hold space for open space, despite the legacy we have of divide and conquer that makes it so hard for us to collaborate on coming to solutions that can address what we need.