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Opening Space for Peace and High Performance 2021: A Virtual Gathering

 Registration is closed for this event

January 22-24, 2021

The need and yearning to open more and more space has never been greater on our planet. These urgent times need us everywhere, all of us, head and heart. Together, we must challenge ourselves to invite broadly, to engage and inspire each other to action.

The key question and challenge facing us now could be:

“How do we engage 8 billion people in meaningful conversation?”

The “Opening Space for Peace and High Performance” gathering held at International House in New York City, with its timeless theme, is a long-standing tradition. This year, it will find its virtual home on QiQoChat and Zoom.  We welcome individuals and groups who are seeking to learn and experience Open Space Technology for the very first time; or others who wish to deepen their facilitation practice with colleagues and friends.

It will unfold in the spirit of Open Space with its guiding 5 principles and law, ignited by a theme that has guided passion and responsibility over the years. We will seek the simple ways to engage, learn and share virtually together. Just as we have in the past, it will happen in January, honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King.

In 2020, Harrison Owen, the originator of Open Space Technology, presciently spoke of these times with all its system breakdowns and challenges as an extraordinary opportunity “to engage 8 billion people in useful conversation”. It is a call to conversation and action that resonates for these times.

We look forward to being with you!


The experiment of Opening Space Technology (OST) began more than 30 years ago and has subsequently been run hundreds of thousands of times. No less than 140 countries and millions of people have been involved with groups ranging from 5 to 4000 people. OST is an approach that invites purpose-driven leadership, including a way for hosting meetings, conflict minded peace building, 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.

Open Space has shown us that hugely complex and conflicted issues can be dealt with productively in an environment of respect, hope, trust - and even a degree of intimacy and affection amongst prior sworn enemies. Some people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue; however, the "magic" is not OST. Rather it is the force that underlies it: the power of self-organization.

By understanding, trusting and utilizing the primal force of self-organization we will be able to freely pursue the fulfillment of our individual and collective potential with energy and simplicity. We will collaboratively engage in the natural dance of order and chaos that leads to peace and high performance.


The Program will unfold virtually over 3 days, January 22-24, between 10 AM and 3 PM (EST) each day. We encourage you to participate in all three days though it is possible to join us for one or two full days.

Day 1 will emphasize the fundamentals of OST facilitation. It will be an opportunity to experience the Open Space process and learn/re-discover the basics such as core principles, invitation, the planning process, when to use Open Space, action approaches, and role and behavior of the facilitator. For experienced practitioners, it will be an opportunity to re-immerse yourself in the rituals and life-long practice of this work virtually.

Days 2 & 3: The design for each of the following two days is identical. In the morning, Harrison Owen, the originator of OST, will offer morning reflections that include “Creating the Conditions for Peace and High Performance” and on the final day “Opening Space in our Lives, our Organizations and our Planet”. Following this, all participants will have the opportunity to fully engage in dialogue and action-oriented initiatives around the theme. We will all be teachers. We will all be learners. We will all increase our mastery.

At the conclusion you will have a compendium of materials (online) including the proceedings of the sessions to remind you of your experience as well as some new connections to support you in your new ventures. Many will even have had the opportunity to practice virtually facilitating Open Space during our time together.

This link may help you add an event in your time zone.


Our desire is to include all who want to participate. The suggested donation is $25 for the three days to cover our costs. Any amount above will be welcome with the goal of continuous educational activities to foster learning in Open Space through OSI US. If financial circumstances are difficult, know that you will be welcome at no cost.

Registration is necessary to have access to the sessions.


Karen Davis at +1 (212) 595-9107 or


Harrison Owen: Harrison is President of H.H.Owen and Co. His academic background and training centered on the nature and function of myth, ritual and culture. In the middle '60s, he left academe to work with a variety of organizations including small West African villages, urban (American and African) community organizations, Peace Corps, Regional Medical Programs, National Institutes of Health, and Veterans Administration. Along the way he discovered that his study of myth, ritual and culture had direct application to these social systems. In 1979 he created H.H.Owen and Company in order to explore the culture of organizations in transformation as a theorist and practicing consultant. Harrison convened the First International Symposium on Organization Transformation and is the originator of Open Space Technology. He is the author of Spirit: Transformation and Development in Organizations, Leadership Is, Riding the Tiger, Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide, The Millennium Organization, Tales From Open Space, Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology, The Spirit of Leadership: Liberating the Leader in Each of Us, The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform, The Practice of Peace,and Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World.

Karen J. Davis: Karen, a consultant with organizations globally, is committed to enhancing the health, effectiveness, and joy of human systems. She is dedicated to co-creating global communities through working and learning with colleagues throughout the world. For a decade Karen was graduate faculty in Santiago de Chile. She serves on the boards of Open Space Institute of US, the International Organization Development Association and previously the Organization Development Network, as well as on boards of community and cultural organizations. Karen is a co-author in The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook. She has been involved with Open Space since before its naming. When not traveling or working around the world, she lives in New York City, returning regularly to her native Arizona. Summers, she is on her farm in rural Quebec, Canada. Karen describes herself as a gardener and a world citizen.

Suzanne Daigle: Suzanne’s background in manufacturing, where she spent most of her career, provided her with a deep understanding of how Open Space can positively impact organizations, dramatically shifting traditional management models to ways of working that are more inclusive, invigorating and engaged. In 2009, when she first experienced Open Space, she instantly realized its potential. Thus began her life journey, working and living in Open Space. As one of the founding partners of NuFocus Strategic Group US, Suzanne is committed to helping clients experience and experiment with organizational self-management as way to help people and business thrive in the Workplace of the Future. Open Space is an integral part of her consulting practice. She has consulted nationally and internationally in multiple sectors including science, business, arts and culture, technology, packaging and environment. She is a dual citizen (Canadian and American), and a world traveler invested in supporting colleagues across the globe in the practice and methodology of Open Space. Suzanne, now an Emeritus Member, served on the board of Open Institute US and co-hosted the World Open Space with university students in St. Petersburg Florida in 2013.

Open Space Institute US: OSI-US holds space for Open Space and serves by: providing access to resources on Open Space; connecting individuals and groups to inform, inspire, mentor, and sustain each other in opening and holding space; and being an inclusive learning community. We believe that inspired behavior can be an everyday experience and that humanity is only limited by its perceptions of the possible. OSI was created to grow that sense of possibility and make it a reality by focusing on: learning, research and practice.

You can see who has registered at this link.

January 22nd, 2021 10:00 AM through January 24th, 2021 3:00 PM
Online with QiqoChat and Zoom
United States
Event Fee(s)
Pay what you can
Recommended $ 25.00
Pay instead with donation field below. $ 0.00
Any donation is welcome

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