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These are the proceedings from meetings of the Open Space Institute.
  • Meeting Date: 16 Mar 2011

    Board Notes — OSI-US, Thursday, 17 March 2011, 8:00–9:30 PST

    Present: Harold Peggy Lisa Doug Ed Phelim Suzanne

    Facilitator: Lisa

    Notes taker: Doug

    There was a moment of silence followed by individual check-ins.

    1. Teleconference:

    No further work was done on this; leave in bin.

    2. Downloadable Audio:

    Looking into options; leave in bin

    3. Learning Map:

    Work is progressing but seems to be slowing a bit.

    4. Online Web presence:

    There is a schedule for transferring the OSlist to our Website, and that is working out well; this will allow us to transition into a more active presence in the community.

    5. OpenGov:

    About 30 events will happen. GovLoop has been helping and might be a container. Most of what remains is about technology and data.


    Drop from bin.

    6. Mikk Sarv:

    We have not heard back from him for help with the book.

    7. Gift letter:

    Time for us to make our contributions

    8. Loan support:

    Keep in bin

    9.  home for osi-us papers hard and soft copies
    We have a bunch of this stuff;
    Soft: perhaps Harold could create a space for it
    Basecamp has a place for files
    Perhaps have it a couple of places
    Could bring to face to face

    10. Finance

    ask Harold to bring update to face to face

    11. Online bookstore:

    Leave in bin

    12. Potential for strategic collaboration:

    Keep in bin

    13. Purpose of Board:

    Good thing for the face to face meeting.

    14. Privacy issues:

    Keep in bin

    15. Next meeting time:

    May call: 19 May, usual time

    16: Face to Face Board meeting:

    A fair amount of our time was spent on logistics for this meeting.

    The meeting adjourned following check outs.

  • Meeting Date: 17 Feb 2011

    Board Notes — OSI-US, Thursday, 17 February 2011, 8:00–9:30 PST

    Present: Peggy Holman, Douglas Germann, Harold Shinsato, Phelim McDermott, Karen Davis, Ed LaBoy(late)

    Absent: Lisa Heft, Suzanne Daigle, Christine Whitney-Sanchez

    Facilitators: Peggy Holman

    Notetaker: Harold Shinsato There was a moment of silence followed by individual check-ins. 1. Mikk Sarv Karen will touch base with Lisa to find out how things are with Mikk Sarv and if we can help him with his book. The general consensus was that giving to him only because of his personal tragedy wasn't in alignment with our purpose, but that giving to him to help him produce his book would be. The board authorized to give $250 to Mikk to help him with his computer to produce his book if he still needs assistance there. 2. Face to Face board Meeting Apr 2-3-4

    Phelim won't be able to make it out to Florida - he might have time to call in. Karen, Doug, Ed, and Christine have their reservations. Karen is arriving the afternoon of Friday, leaving mid-afternoon Monday. Suzanne has info of our comings and goings and our lodging needs. 3. Gift Letter Status

    We have received $1445 so far. Phelim said having paypal made it easy to donate. Harold will send out a letter to our database. We will send out another letter to OSList in a week or so. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website. Phelim used a site like that in the UK with a target of 5000 pounds. Money doesn't go through unless you hit the target within the time slot and it worked to raise the needed funds. Phelim was impressed with how it worked. Another example is 4. Teleconference for OSI-US Membership Feb/Mar 2010

    This is not happening in February. Hopefully in March. Karen reported that there is already a group speaking about getting the Open Space Institutes talking to each other. Karen is willing to get me into the conversation. Harold may move the teleconference out past March. 5. WOSonOS 2012

    Phelim asked for support on how they've been organizing the WOSonOS in England in 2012 which is well under way. There is a tension between letting other groups provide leadership and hosting, and ensuring the quality of the facilitation. 6. Open Space Web Presence and Identity

    The board authorized Harold to buy for the oslist.

    Next meeting: April 1-3 in Sarasota Florida Next monthly call: April 21 8am PDT, 9am MDT, 11am EDT, 4pm GMT (3pm if summer time changed). Call in number is 218-339-4300, code 934546#

    The "Bin" - Mikk Sarv Benefit - Karen Davis - Face-to-Face Board meeting April 2-3-4, Florida - Gift letter status - Teleconference for OSI-US Membership in Feb/Mar 2011 - Harold Shinsato - Downloadable audio for Understanding OS - Harold Shinsato - Update on U.S. OpenGov Innovation Summits - Lisa Heft - Privacy Issues - Virtual Open Space Possibilities - Gabriela Ender's OST Software - Harold Shinsato - Learning Map - Harold Shinsato - Finances - Purpose of Boards - Loan support - Karen Davis - Home for OSI-US "papers" - hard and soft copies - Peggy Holman - Online Bookstore - Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community - Online Web Presence and Identity 

  • Meeting Date: 20 Jan 2011

    Board Notes — OSI-US, Thursday, 20 January 2011, 8:00–9:30 PST

    Present: Christine Whitney Sanchez, Harold Shinsato, Phelim McDermott, Ed LaBoy, Peggy Holman, Lisa Heft, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Suzanne Daigle

    Absent: None

    Facilitators: Lisa Heft and Christine Whitney Sanchez

    Notetaker: Karen Davis

    There was an opening minute of quiet time and then individual check-ins.


    1. Gift letter (Suzanne)

    A draft of gift letter was emailed in AM for review. Suzanne asked for clarification on items of spending: some examples of where $ go included to Haiti and Berlin (Brian scholarship), Access Queen, Ning site, distinct OSI-US website, audio download in process, annual meeting expenses/fee. It was noted that what is important is the energy and resources rather than the $.

    Donations to OSI-US can be made online (paypal) or by check sent to Peggy.

    Link for our donate page

    After 1/24 another draft gift letter will be sent to Board for review before being sent out.


    2. Face-to-face Board meeting in Florida (Suzanne)

    Suzanne had sent Board a mini slide show of venue, including things she needs to know, i.e. transportation & lodging. As soon as travel reservations are known, let her know itinerary. (Note that Tampa airport is 50 minutes away; Sarasota is 10 minutes although higher flight costs; and St Petersburg is possible if necessary.) Phelim will not know until much later whether he can attend.


    3. Board Elections required first meeting of new year

    A motion was made to retain current slate of officers with an amendment to add a second Vice President. After a second and discussion, the following were unanimously elected as OSI-US officers for 2011:

    President – Lisa Heft

    Vice President – Peggy Holman

    Vice President – Christine Whitney-Sanchez

    Treasurer – Harold Shinsatu

    Secretary – Suzanne Daigle


    4. Downloadable audio for Understanding OS (Peggy)
    Since advice/information on the internet is confusing about downloadable audios, Peggy & Harold will confer (after putting info on list for everyone) and try to figure out what needs to happen. Phelim will also check with his sources.

    Christine noted that the DVD of the 2005 Girl Scout convention is available free – and that link can be made to OSI-US.


    5. Update on Open Government initiative (Lisa & Christine)

    The link that describes Open Government Innovation Summit is

    This initiative is open to all those that are interested in bringing more transparency, public participation, and collaboration to their local/regional/national government wherever they live.”

    OpenGov was initiated by Lucas Cioffi. He originally named it as Open Space and posted it on OSList, however, it is not necessarily OS.


    The summits will be in May across US and internationally with a focus to dialogue and partnership. These meetings are not designed for action rather for increasing relationships and collaboration between citizens and the people working in local, regional, national governmental agencies - whether working on projects together, skills-building or strengthening relationships.


    Open/Gov is mostly volunteers although there are efforts to find sponsorship for the individual teams and the central planning team.

    Lisa Heft has taken on a role on central planning committee as a resource for the facilitators on these summit teams. She is also documenting what is working and not working for facilitators in this experiment.

    Lucas does have a dialogue software although that is not something he is recommending for the Summits.


    6. It was agreed that regular Board calls/meetings will be on 3rd Thursday of each month for 1 to 1.5 hours at 8am PST, 9am MST, 11am EST, 4pm GMT. At each meeting the Board will reconfirm the next meeting based on availability of most members.


    Next meeting: Thursday, 17 February (St. Pat Day), 8am PST, 9am MST, 11am EST, 4pm GMT. Call in number is 218-339-4300, code 934546#


    BIN for February 2011:

    Face-to-Face Board meeting April 1-4, Florida – Suzanne D. & all
    Gift Letter – Suzanne D.

    Teleconference for OSI-US Membership in Feb/Mar 2010 - Harold S.
    Downloadable audio for Understanding OS - Peggy H., Harold S.

    Update on U.S. OpenGov Innovation Summits - Lisa H.
    Privacy Issues
    Virtual Open Space Possibilities
    Gabriela Ender's OST Software - Harold S.
    Learning Map - Harold S.
    Purpose of Boards

    Online Web Presence and Identity – Harold S
    Loan support Reopened - Karen D.
    Home for OSI-US "papers" - hard and soft copies - Peggy H.
    Online Bookstore
    Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community – Christine WS

  • Meeting Date: 30 Dec 2010
    December 2010 Board Proceedings
    December 30, 2010 9-10am PDT
    Present: Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato, Karen Davis, Christine Whitney-Sanchez, Douglas Germann, Peggy Holman
    Absent: Phelim McDermott, Ed LaBoy, Lisa Heft
    Christine opened the meeting with the ringing of a beautiful bell and a moment of silence after which we reviewed the Bin to arrive at the agenda.

    Annual Meeting Debrief
    Harold needs to put up the meeting notes. Doug would have liked to have had more folks there. Christine was glad that Larry Peterson from the Canada Open Space Institute was on the call. We need to connect all the OSI boards - more possibilities for momentum. Things are wanting to happen - other techniques are useful to get to open space, what is the evolution of open space?

    Ask Letter
    The vast majority of our funding comes through our ask letter. We have less product. The upshot - last year has been our most successful letter. Our letters in the past spoke to our accomplishments for the year and our upcoming plans. Given where we are - it is not possible to get anything on the list give people to give an end of year contribution. Suzanne will take a look at the letter that Christine wrote - use it as a thinking piece. Suzanne is willing to craft something in the next 2-3 weeks. Make it a "gift" letter.

    We will hold our face to face meeting April 2 & 3 (Sat & Sun) with April 1 and April 4 as travel days: Suzanne is definitely available - will send letters to get commitment from people.  Suzanne will be available on Tuesday as well and host on Friday at her home. Karen will be a buddy about event planning - with Harold as backup. For flying purposes Tampa Airport is probably best. Allegiant flies into St. Petersburg. Sarasota is more expensive. Ed will be staying in Port Charlotte - only about 35 miles north. He will have a car - can be available to pick up people. Suzanne has 2 cars.

    Maestro Teleconferecing
    The teleconferencing from Maestro is expensive and it did not work that well for Open Space. Since the current system forces the host to manage all breakout assignments, it does not lend itself well to self-organizing. It also does not make it very safe to just drop out of one session and join another if you have to ask permission. It seems a better choice to use multiple free teleconferencing numbers. Christine related that this worked well for the Girl Scout Open Space events online she has helped with. Have a wiki with different call in numbers. People felt free to switch between sessions. Peggy mentioned that the new JTM site is using the Social Network tool called BuddyPress which has helped with posting session notes online for their face to face events. The tool Dinbin was also mentioned.

    Learning Map
    Harold has sent an email about that to the owners of the Learning Map.

    Privacy Issues
    On tyhe website people may not be aware how public some of the content is. Our new drupal based website allows for much more control over permissions.

    Next Meeting
    January 20 - 8am-9am

    We then each checked out to close the meeting.

  • Meeting Date: 11 Dec 2010
    Annual Membership Meeting - Open Space Institute/US
    December 11, 2010
    10am-noon PST
    Present: Harold Shinsato, Christine Whitney-Sanchez, Karen Davis, Doug Germann, Ed LaBoy, Donna Read, Larry Peterson, Lisa Heft, Maureen McCarthy
    Harold facilitated opening the space but after the opening we only had one session which Christine hosted.
    Blending Open Space
    Larry - seems to me that in today's reality - it's really quite rare - in all the opportunities - rare to have to have 3 days - rare to have 1 day - the case internationally - how is it in Canada?

    Limited opportunities - let's do it for a day or 2 or 3 - management folks have gotten more cautious certainly in Canada certainly since the downturn in the economy. Opening space is a risk. There are a few who are still wanting to do that - had some open space events with some of those few - Taiwan - who are using OS all over the place - aboriginal issues - places in Haiti - earthquakes. Then the more conservative who are wanting to control the outcome - may need something to help them to get to Open Space.

    Many would not get to Open Space - not able to get there - partly because Leadership to management position - measurement outcome in traditional sense.

    Help prepare them to open the space- even trying to open space in 1.5 hours.

    Opening space - around a theme - take responsibility as a team or as pairs of 12-15 people
    include some more traditional facilitation - opening some space around some particular theme - what they are facing at this point in history.

    Christine - some particular conversation around community conversation - how I have done the blending - how I'm always conscious - groups - the whole system - 2-3 day conferences I've been a part of - something that helps the individual - appreciative interviews (based on the work of Appreciative Inquiry) really warms the space.

    In a group that hasn't done anything - helping - focus on the individual - World Cafe' is a nice next step.

    Starting to be more curious - where are we going to take this? People feel very honored - their words are being visible - starting to move the things forward. In a community setting - tackle a big issue - their are experts - that provides a tremendous context.

    Doug - do this the night before an Open Space event - small groups - it depends - different design for each client - and each group - blended - northrup grumman - coherent culture- design team - each interviewed one client - range of folks - the design team collected those folks ahead of time - then do another round of appreciative interviews - small group themes- invited everyone - craft the questions for the world cafe'.

    After the World Cafe' - what was the most burning question - it all flows together.

    Harold mentioned Kanban which is a simple tool used in the Lean Manufacturing context which has been extended to any kind of process management. It's simply putting the topics on cards that a group might want to discuss, similar to an Open Space, but ordering and then stepping through as many of the topics as the group can get through based on voting.

    Following Thomas Hermann's ideas- making up a talking piece- virtual talking piece and then passing it around the circle - so that everyone has the opportunity to jump in.

    Larry - Combining Open Space with other things - most of us can create the conditions for much of what we see in that we guide in a self-organizing way - it requires us as facilitators to be comfortable with that - more comfortable - where we are headed - self-organizing process - don't know it yet.

    Maureen - we've used Open Space in combintation with Dynamic Governance - almost always do - not necessarily going through a progression - get people's feet wet - get people talking and comfortable with that - multiple day meetings - mix everything from speaker at one point in the circle - go into Open Space- go into World Cafe' - go back into Open Space - how you can use Open Space as a way to funnel - get people's ideas flowing - vote and choose - more deeply - may have a set of questions - topic may be variable- talk more fully about the topic - get everyone involved for sure.

    Collaboration - dance of leader and follower - taking passion for the things that they care about - really trying to participate - people brining their wisdom to the "not the table"...

    Maureen - keep stuff alive - at the end of an open space - what are the five things we need to do first - what do we need to stop doing right now?

    A "State of Grace document" with Open Space holds the relationship. The open space invites people to come forward to be champions. 10 flip chart stands around the room - whoever wants to be champion of it - people sign their names up - some one or none - whatever that action topic is - create a state of grace document - most useful for these particular people - for situation we are trying to move forward - begin to understand if they don't get the relationship moving along with the project.

    Like a performance review. What are we doing? Who are all these people involved? a check-in on a regular basis - in a community basis - groups of people - give them some information - a state of grace document together - if it's about more community gardening - start to understand one another.

    Doug - interest is the community side of this - trying to combine different things - curious to hear more - in detail from Ed, and from Maurene - about what those folks are doing - what things look like - real community things - immigration, etc.

    Donna - studied it with John Adams - starting a consulting - raising in the market place - international development - make the agency more aware of the vast number of products and services- national center - court administration through out the world. Individual energies - staff overseas. Interviewing  - what their thinking is - move into an Open Space - just come up - because they are so very conservative- is going to freak them out.This is a good modality for this exercise- how Christine is using appreciative interview - before moving into Open Space. Background in psychotherapy. National center for state courts.

    Karen Davis - part of what life is about- the synthesis - discovering ways of making all kinds of things relevant - bringing the science in - Appreciative Inquiry - Open Space - Future Search - etc. don't have anything - just got out of a legal meeting - hook in later. Ways that Christine got to know Karen was the OSonOS in Halifax - leading a Cherokee dance - dance of alignment - was wonderful.

    Christine - promoting civil dialog - they weren't interested in Open Space - were interested in World Cafe' - heartening in Phoenix - most restrictive and racially charged laws on the books - allows the police to stop someone who suspect of being an illegal immigrant. The shouting matches from the two different sides - we decided to step up and do this - so successful - people from the Tea Party - people who were part of PAC's - was a really civil quite generative conversation - what we got to in the end - what Maurene was talking about - rather than flip charts with the different charts - most actual ideas - people that wanted to be in it - post it system. Some outputs from that:

    1- A good majority - their biggest disappointment - not enough people from the other side - to understand the thinking.
    2- Out of the World Cafe' met 2 months later - decided to each invite - 9 of them - each of them 1 opposite view to a dinner - World Cafe' recorded conversation - gave back to the community - first time there has been any action coming out of the bigger event - very hard because there is no infrastructure - on the one hand - don't want to be the infrastructure - there's a way you stop if you take on too much responsibility.

    Larry - forming a coalition - when they did an event - urban health issues - in downtown toronto - five groups came out of it - sustained themselves for months - but because they came up with stuff they had passion for - because they had access to something - to kind of foster and pay for their event - life as well their community life - when that infrastructure is there - framing of the event - community support system - I find that it can sustain - one group that didn't sustain - came up with great ideas went to UBC - was taking role from institutional base - having that based on the community makes a difference.

    The event was being framed by various social planning organizations - network or coalition of organizations that were the sponsor - they invited through their various networks to become participants - the city people were involved- the public health people - local health integration network- numbers of health related organizations - who ended up deciding to sponsor. When I do an open space like that - find strong sponsoring group - then it can go forward - can't force it to happen if that's not there. Enough of a base - enough time and space in their own agendas - to pursue the stuff that emerges. Unless what emerges aligns - it tends not to happen.

  • Meeting Date: 23 Nov 2010

    November 2010 OSI Board Proceedings

    Board Notes OSI-US Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Present: Lisa Heft, Douglas Germann, Harold Shinsato, Karen Davis, Peggy Holman, Ed LaBoy
    Absent: Phelim McDermott, Christine Whitney Sanchez, Suzanne Daigle

    Notestaker: Harold Shinsato

    Lisa opened the meeting with a moment of silence 12:05pm pst.

    There will be an Open Space Learning Workshop in San Francisco next week.

    1. Annual Member Meeting

    We have decided to shift the Annual Member Meeting to be Saturday December 11 from 10-noon pst. This is one week later, and one hour later, than we had agreed in the October meeting. But the meeting has not been announced outside the board and it gives us more time to prepare, and it also allows Peggy to attend part of the meeting.

    Peggy will send some documents that were shared at last year's membership meeting. The "Intentions for 2010" might be good as a thing to review.

    Harold will send the announcement to our members, our extended list, to OSList, facebook, twitter, and

    2. Revisit Meeting Time

    The middle of the day meeting times do not work for Peggy. We will try for early morning Pacfic instead. Harold will post a poll which will include Tuesday 8am Pacific on December 21. Whatever weekday of the month wins we will set up as the regular recurring meeting.

    3. Ask Letter Follow Up

    Peggy updated the member database in August. For 2010 dues we pulled in $3445. In 2009 we received $4730, in 2008 $5723. We received $165 for the Brian Bainbridge memorial and $255 for the Ning site.

    4. Downloadable Audio

    We are hoping to publish Harrison Owen's audio CD's about Open Space Technology to iTunes. We need our publisher information. Peggy will look up our publisher info and send that information to Harold. We received ISBN numbers through an organization called Bowker ( Harold will step through the iTunes publisher registration and request any additional information we might need.

    5. Home for OSI-US Hard Copies

    Peggy has paper records and asked that we think about what to do with them, and what we need to save. Doug said that it is important to keep permanently our IRS letters of 501(c)(3) status, the minutes, and the incorporation papers with the state of Washington. For other documents, people say 7 years - but he says we might want to keep our financial records forever. Peggy may bring a box to the face to face meeting next year.

    6. Loan Support

    We are considering providing loans to help sponsor Open Space events. Micheal Pannewitz had said something about loans and money, a kind of microlending, that we can do.

    7. Face to Face Board Meeting

    As decided last month, the face to face board meeting will be in Florida. But given Suzanne's situation, will it still work to hold it at Suzanne's house? We will wait until the next board meeting in December to see if we need to adjust.

    As for the start and end times, we agreed that people should arrive by April 1, Friday evening, in time for dinner at 6:30pm. We will have an early start on Saturday and Sunday so we have a full two days. On Sunday April 4 we will have a breakfast together and be complete by 10am.

    8. Online Presence

    We added the Kaliya Hamlin donated domains to this agenda/bin item. Harold paid for the extension of these domains from the OSI-US PayPal account for $51.06. Kaliya turned over the domain hosting account from GANDI.Net and Harold is in the process of making these live websites. Lisa Heft will use the domain for the yearly San Francisco OSonOS, with the possibility that it may also serve all OSonOS space events in the future.

    The hosting of has been updated to include all membership and contact database information using CiviCRM - and Harold will use that live database to send out the invitation to the Annual Membership Meeting. The site is now working sufficiently to maintain the Board Proceedings.

    The Bin

    • Downloadable audio for Understanding OS Peggy Holman
    • Home for OSI-US "papers"
    • Loan support Karen Davis
    • Face-to-Face Board meeting April 1-4, Florida
    • Online Web Presence and Identity
    • Purpose of Boards
    • Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community
    • Online Bookstore
    • Finances
    • 2011 Ask Letter Planning
  • Meeting Date: 19 Oct 2010

    October 2010 OSI Board Proceedings


    Board Notes — OSI-US Tuesday, October 19, 2010 1:30 – 2:30 PDT


    Present: Douglas Germann, Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato, Christine Whitney Sanchez


    Absent: Peggy Holman; Phelim McDermott, Ed LaBoy, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Christine Whitney Sanchez, Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato, Lisa Heft


    Notestaker:  Suzanne Daigle


    Moment of silence followed by check-in. A very brief meeting was held due to the limited number of people available this month.


    1.      Face to Face Board Meeting
    A decision and recommendation was made to hold the Board Retreat in Florida on April 2-3-4, 2011 based on favorable costs in terms of lodging and travel.


    In the spirit of recent postings on the OS list about boards, their purpose and role in the context of self-organization, we had an informal conversation about something we want to explore more deeply in April at the face-to-face board meeting. For example we’d want to be asking ourselves: “What is the real purpose of the OSI- US Board?” “What motivated us to join?” This invited other questions about how to attract more participation from the larger community, whether we as a Board are as open as we would want to be, if we have passion for the topics and the work that we do, and if we are too consensual in our approach instead of raising more controversial subjects. We agree that this conversation promised some spirited discussion for our face-to-face board meeting.



    1)      Annual Member Meeting

    2)      Face to Face Board Meeting – April 2-4, 2010

    3)      Online Web Presence and Identity

    4)      Downloadable audio for Understanding OS

    5)      Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community

    6)      Ask letter follow-up

    7)      Online Bookstore

    8)      Home for OSI-US “papers” – hard and soft copies

    9)      Loan Support

  • Meeting Date: 23 Sep 2010

    September 2010 OSI Board Proceedings Board Notes — OSI-US

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:30 – 3:00 PDT

    Present: Ed LaBoy, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Christine Whitney Sanchez, Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato, Lisa Heft
    Absent: Peggy Holman; Phelim McDermott
    Notestaker: Suzanne Daigle

    Moment of silence followed by check-in

    1. Face to Face Board Meeting Plans are to hold a Board Retreat on April 2-3-4, 2011 in either New York or Florida. Harold and Karen will explore reasonably priced venue options for meeting and lodging and Suzanne will do the same for Florida. Each will report back in October at which time we will make a location decision.

    2. On-line Web presence and Identity Harold provided a brief update of the items he has been working on related to this topic receiving high praise from us all for so much work done in such a short time. i. We have a free domain from - Our application as a 501(c)(3) was accepted ii. We can add on other domains if we want for very low cost. iii. We have a working "Mailman" distribution list for the board now. "Mailman" is the free and open source software similar to what OSList is running on now. It shows that it can be administered easily and cheaply. iv. We will eventually move our membership database to, using Drupal and CiviCRM. This will make membership communications easy, and make it easy for members to renew.

    3. Annual Member Meeting before December 31, 2010 The group discussed alternative formats for this year’s annual member meeting reflecting on past meetings which were either held virtually by conference call or at a WOSonOS event. In addition to presenting basic data on activities, financials and future plans via a report made available to all members beforehand and at the meeting, we felt that in the spirit of Open Space, this meeting should offer an opportunity to convene in various discussion groups around a common theme. Christine and Harold will be investigating the possibility of using Maestro Conference. They will report back at the October meeting. Further to that we will give priority to developing an agenda that reflects both reporting of Board activities and open participation by members on key issues of interest and concern to them. We will also choose a date for this meeting which will be held in this calendar year as per the OS US Institute by-laws.

    4. Downloadable audio for Understanding OS In email communications to the Board, Peggy suggested it would be a good idea to look for ways to convert the 5-CD audio files into MP3 of Understanding Open Space which captures a 5.5. hours OS Workshop that Harrison Owen did in 1999 in Seattle. Harold, working with Christine, will be exploring the possibility of this becoming an offering on Itunes, made available at a reasonable cost for OS practitioners and others. Christine and Harold will also be looking into options using VIMEO so members of the OS community could get a free download of the 15-minute video of the 2005 Girl Scouts Open Space Event.

    5. Christine commented on the amazing expressions of support (personal notes, food basket, etc) to Tova Averbuch on the recent passing of her husband Mickey. As Christine pointed out, the rallying together of people is a great testimony to the people in this community.

    1) Annual Member Meeting
    2) Face to Face Board Meeting – April 2-4, 2010
    3) Online Web Presence and Identity
    4) Downloadable audio for Understanding OS
    5) Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community
    6) Ask letter follow-up
    7) Online Bookstore
    8) Home for OSI-US “papers” – hard and soft copies
    9) Loan Support
    10) Other ______

    Next meeting: October 19th, 2010

  • Meeting Date: 17 Aug 2010

    Meeting on August 17, 2010 (1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. PDT)

    Present: Christine Whitney Sanchez, Karen Davis, Harold Shinsato, Doug Germann, Phelim McDermott

    Absent: Peggy Holman, Ed LaBoy, Suzanne Daigle, Lisa Heft

    Notestaker: Harold Shinsato

    Moment of Silence marked the beginning of our meeting

    1) Online Web Presence and Identity

    Harold has secured but there may be confusion with Lisa Heft’s site ( It is possible to get free web hosting from for U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations. There was concern that the OSI US organization needs to respect the Open Space Institutes in other countries and not try to dominate the web presence. Harold will propose to the rest of the board members not present and we can leave it in the bin.

    While we were covering online web presence, we also discussed the Basecamp site Phelim has set up for us. There was general agreement that despite initial sign up problems it has been helpful for organizing our thoughts.

    2) Face to Face Meeting

    Phelim doesn’t know his schedule and has asked not to be included in the planning for the face to face meeting. Looking at the calendars of those present, we proposed meeting December 11-13, 2010 in New York City.

    3) Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community

    Christine raised this issue of strategic collaboration and how Open Space might assist in this higher level of collaboration. Given that the discussion might work better in face to face meetings, Christine said she was willing to table this until we do a face to face meeting. Harold raised the subject of the Scrum Beyond Software gathering in Open Space in Phoenix in September which would likely be a great place to discuss this topic, as Scrum is a project management tool that has come out of the Software community which bears a lot of resemblance to Open Space in its emphasis on Self-Organizing. Suzanne Daigle will also be facilitating it.


    Items in the ‘BIN’:

    1) Online Web Presence and Identity
    2) Face to Face Meeting
    3) Potential for Strategic Collaboration in Open Space Community
    4) Annual Meeting
    5) Ask letter follow-up (Peggy)
    6) Loan support (Peggy)
    7) Online Bookstore

  • Meeting Date: 20 Jul 2010

    Meeting on July 20, 2010 (4:30 p.m.–6:10 p.m. ET)

    Present: Doug Germann, Phelim McDermott, Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato, Ed Laboy, Lisa Heft, Karen Davis
    Absent: Peggy Holman, Christine Whitney Sanchez
    Notestaker: Suzanne Daigle

    Moment of Silence marked the beginning of our meeting

    Regular informal check-in with each participant in the group updating each other on activities and events that we are each involved in.

    1) Election and Confirmation of 2010-11 Officers

    President: Lisa Heft
    Vice President: Christine Whitney Sanchez
    Treasurer: Harold Shinsato
    Secretary: Suzanne Daigle

    Deep appreciation to Peggy Holman for her commitment and dedicated work in the treasurer role and to Karen Davis as secretary. Both will be lending support to Harold and Suzanne as they assume their new roles.

    2) On line Web presence and identity

    Our initial discussions on web presence and identity surfaced a broader issue which is to revisit and explore the role of OSI US.   Getting greater clarity on our mission going forward will better inform the direction and actions we need to pursue not only on the above topic but also on the products or services we may decide to provide or the actions or projects we may wish to support.

    Lisa, with support from Karen, recommended that it would be worth considering the feasibility of holding a face-to-face retreat format to explore these issues of identity and purpose. Our last face-to-face Board retreat was in November 2009.

    Harold added however that we should not delay exploring the on-line web presence and identity and that we should start raising the questions that can guide the direction we could take – both in our web presence and also informing our exploration of the Board’s identity and role. Relative to web presence and identity, we will want to ultimately involve a broader community and also be looking at what a real Open Space social media platform could look like.

    Phelim then added that we should also leverage what’s already out there commenting that it is positive that we have two major sites that people can go to including the traditional OS World site and the new Ning OS website which has already garnered a large membership following.

    To get the conversations started between members of the Board, Phelim will create a mini workspace on his Basecamp account providing us an opportunity to post questions that we want to explore on this web topic and the place of the OS Institute US relative to it – done in the spirit and practice of Open Space.


    Items in the ‘BIN’:

    1) On Line Web presence and identity; confirm the availability of the OSI URL (Harold, Suzanne)
    2) Potential for strategic collaboration in open space community (Christine)
    3) Annual meeting (all)
    4) Ask letter follow-up (Peggy)
    5) Loan support (Peggy)


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