You are here

These are the proceedings from meetings of the Open Space Institute.
  • Meeting Date: 15 Sep 2020

    Open Space Institute - U.S. Board Minutes 2020 September 15

    Present Harold Shinsato, Mark Sheffield, Karen J. Davis, Barry Owen
    Absent: Myrianne Ouellette, Jake Yeager

    Started with 1 minute silence and checkins.

    Harold Note taker, Mark Sheffield bin-gardener.

    Zoom Link Change: The Zoom Link to our monthly meetings will change because of Zoom policies. The old link will not work next month so we need to make sure the link is updated to include a password. Be sure to look for an updated link from Harold.

    OST Online Event for the Whole Community: Harold reported that Jake is doing a great job leading the event, getting input from within and beyond the team, while also taking initiative and setting deadlines to help things move forward.

    Mark says that printout of the invitation uses a lot of toner. Might want to consider not to have a tinted background. Mark asked if our invitees will know what OST is. The invite includes a link to explain what OST is, but doesn't really describe the experience. Other notes about the invite from the board was that the invitation is quite long, and wondering about the world having a gender (she).

    2021 Peace & High Performace: International House is holding a contractual space for us, even though it is not available for January 2021 because of the lockdowns. In 2022 it would cost more. At some point we need to work out the virtual aspect.

    2020 Peace & High Performance: Just a couple dollars discrepancy that we can clear that up.

    OSList might be marginalized: The GNU mailman list for the OSList is getting categorized as spam by GMail. Hopefully solutions might be found to improve this.

    Next Meeting: October 20, 6-7:30pm edt

    Checkout - before 7pm edt.

  • Meeting Date: 18 Aug 2020

    OSI-US Board Meeting, 18 August 2020, 6pm EDT

    Present: Myriane Ouellette, Mark Sheffield, Jake Yeager, Karen J. Davis, Barry Owen

    1 minute of silence

    Peace & High Performance 2021

    International House decided there will be no events there before April 2021. Therefore if we want to do something it will be virtual. It would be similar to the process to what is going right now with the online open space Jake is initiating. That's the update there. Harold will put a "Hold the Date" notice that we will have an online event. We could be physically together, those who were able to show up. Whereever it happens. We can easily plan for a virtual event. If we want, it is possible to do virtual. It will cost less. Harold will announce it. If we do the virtual OST, it is also possible to do a training.

    Online OST

    We had a 2 hour meeting yesterday. First session went well. We accomplished what we wanted to in that session and ended where we planned to end. We have tomorrow a session just for the East. To accommodate Susan Basterfeld. Saturday, large group. Finalize the theme. How best to do that. Virtual circle, 10 in the circle. Thomas Herrmann recommended we speak more slowly and encourage people to ask if they don't understand, and mentioned the Four Fold Way from Angeles Arien, which helped with supporting a multicultural group.

    Pre-work was two questions. What challenges does this community face, and what does this community want more of? Six communities, Agile, Art of Hosting, Genuine Contact, Liberating Structures, OSList, Teal.

    #1 Desire and need to connect between communities

    Mind Map - What would you like to have happen as a result of the event? Friendships, connections, spurring a revolution, a new wave, New awakening, Creating sustainable communities out of this process, spark for more events & ongoing collaborations, Learn from and with other facilitators.

    Experimenting with bridging communities to navite the paradigm shift, new era, How can we practice inclusivity and diversity in a world split by the Digital Divide?

    Find a theme potentially rewarding to the community.

    Mark asked, what is the specific paradigm shift? We are peeking in the pot and it looks we are rushing it, and we could talk for hours. And we all have that wanting to talk and discuss. But the process was very good, in just getting those things out, and on the table. Even if we are far from the final product.

    Jake - considered the Medicine Wheel tool - look at the purpose and the business goal. Look at leadership, what is my role, what is my leadership role in this, then the vision - the outcomes, what is the community of stakeholders, and management- what are the dates, all that stuff. Give structure to that part of it.

    How can we leverage each other - 6 disciplines and about 9 folks. What would my role be, sharing leadership right in the get go... and talk about this leadership factor - what kind of role. We can't impose a leadership role. They have to speak up.

    Consider the roles for the rest of the conversation and be ready for the action planning.

    Next Meeting

    September 18, 2020. 6-7:30pm edt.

  • Meeting Date: 16 Jun 2020

    Present: Jake Yeager, Harold Shinsato, Karen J. Davis, Mark Sheffield, Barry Owens, Myriane Ouellette

    Minute of silence

    Jake Yeager Induction

    Harold moved, Mark seconded, that we accept Jake Yeager onto the board after he has been present for 3 consecutive board meetings. All approved. Harold will send the onboarding document to Jake (and Myriane).

    Peace & High Performance 2021

    When do we make the final decision? Karen will talk to International House to understand when we need to make the decision, or even if the facilties will be available.

    OSI-US OST Online Event - Connecting & Collaborating

    Looking at the documents tracking who we've spoken with. Good representation from Agile, from 'Matriarchs', and many others. Frances Barello - in order to heal a system - get it to talk to itself more. If we are going - address the issue we raise - if we are going to move forward with a theme and an invitation - it has to speak to all of the different communities we have identified. Based on the feedback we have received - What is In It for Them? For them to participate?

    Reaching out to Lucas Cioffi - join with his efforts,

    Diane Gibaut says the theme needs to reach everyone else - including non-open spacer's, people who practice it on a once in a while basis. She suggested a theme around thinking together, to be able to leverage the potential of our collaborative methods.

    The theme and the invitation will be borne of the planning group. What can we do together that we can't do alone? How can we explore that?

    We are inviting diversity - invite each one of these different people or methods together. Around a method? Or working with complex issues? We missed Appreciative Inquiry.

    Karen said for the International OD Association, they have a third summit every 5 years apart. Bring people with similar values and practices. From that experience from what we talked about so far, no input about what has worked and not worked. It goes to personal contact.

    Mark noticed a theme in several of the comments that resonated with him: the question of what would you like to have happen here. The abstract ideas are there. He asked what would you like to have happen if this event were to be wildly successful?

    Myriane said she and Jake spoke about that in their initial conversations. We could essentially bring a group together from different spheres to discover that together for a 100% co-creative process. Really to see can we start exploring. And what she recommends, join a committee together go through Medicine Wheel together.

    Jake concurred and offered a question for group around the purpose of the OSI. "Our purpose is to hold space for open space." We start with Open Space - those people have connections to make it even bigger.

    A lot of Art of Hosting, everyone thinks they've been in an OST - then they come to OST and it isn't the same as what they came to. We are really using the principles. We are giving it the time. We are setting the stage properly. It educates without - come to one of our events. This is an event we want to share with the community with REAL open space.

    This is a good opportunity to experience 'pure' open space. We don't have to be explicit with that. It can just be part of the process. Don't be dogmatic. Jake responded to Mark's point, he doesn't think we have take the feedback to heart - they want to know concretely. Let's just do it to do it - because we know it'll be.

    Most people think linearly. We can't sell beyond the linear, even though that is what we are trying to sell. It's being dogmatic, instead find an Issue that all these people resonate with.

    Someone said the theme is staring us in the face, we as facilitators are going to be called upon, and we are going to be truly busy post covid 19, figuring out what this is doing to our systems and how we are going to navigate it.

    Barry's input: I like and I know what is going to be is pure OST - and everyone gets that. Not understanding, but it's what we deliver. Initial excitement, all the folks different ways of opening space, whatever you call it - don't want to call it methods as that is labeling. One of the real values is all these people do it differently get to get together and learn how they are doing it. and everyone comes away with a different perspective. Just the word Diversity. This isn't any different from different cultures how we are going to emerge from a pandemic. Everyone will have their own perspective based on their beliefs.

    Myriane moved that we get a team together. Is everyone on board with this idea? Myriane already has one person at least from AofH to participate. Facilitate a Medicine Wheel tool process.

    Moved and passed unanimously to assemble a team from multiple communities to create an Online OST with a committee from multiple facilitation communities.

    Karen will explore in the Dispute Resolution Community.

    This video shows a valuable conversation about hosting online Open Space events from the Devoted and Disgruntled community:

    Next Meeting

    July 21, 2020. 6-7:30pm.

    Checked out 7:28pm

  • Meeting Date: 19 May 2020

    OSI US Board Meeting for May - 5/19/20

    Present: Harold Shinsato, Mark Sheffield, Karen J Davis
    Guest: Jake Yeager

    Began with Silence and then Check-ins


    Theory and Practice Discussion. Very interesting contrast of Open Space Technology, and open space (Sometimes called Little "o" open space.) Not getting too wrapped up in the form, and being more connected to the spirit.

    Virtual OST Event for Enhancing Connections & Collaboration - Jake Yeager

    Showed a proposal to sponsor an online virtual OST event that invite various groups that employ OST for greater collaboration, starting with a 10 person planning committee with representation from these different communities. Have an explicit action planning effort. Some target communities beyond the OST community: Genuine Contact, Applied Improvisation Network, National Coalition for Dialog & Deliberation

    Likely impact all the employees of that organization. Seeking. In this case, we don't that kind of cohesion or impact. Love the transparency. If the invitation is clear, more of a statement to the list. And it says something like... in the spirit of diversity. Looking for some small number of people to help with the planning.

    Next Meeting

    June 16, 2020. 6-7:30pm edt.

  • Meeting Date: 21 Apr 2020

    Open Space Institute - U.S. Board Meeting

    April 21, 2020, 6pm edt
    Present: Harold Shinsato, Barry Owen, Mark Sheffield, Kevin O'Brien, Karen Davis
    Guest: Jake Yaeger

    A couple minutes of silence, then check-ins.

    Walked through open projects. Some technical and accounting things that keep a number of items open still, and many are just areas of interest without a concrete closing.

    Next meeting - May 19, 6pm EDT.

  • Meeting Date: 17 Mar 2020

    OSI-US Board Minutes - March 17, 2020 - 6PM EDT

    Present: Barry Owen, Mark Sheffield, Harold Shinsato, Myrianne Ouellette, Karen J. Davis

    Harold was note taker

    2 minutes silence. During check-ins all mentioned the coronavirus.

    This meeting was mostly a personal connection time for board members given the global crisis. Someone shared Chris Corrigan's blog post about the pandemic -

    Next Meeting - April 19, 2020. 6-7:30pm edt.


  • Meeting Date: 17 Dec 2019

    Open Space Institute Board Meeting 12/17/19

    Present: Mark Sheffield, Karen J. Davis, Myriane Ouellette, Harold Shinsato, Suzanne Daigle, Tricia Chirumbole, Kevin O'Brien.

    Began a 6pm est with a moment of silence, followed by check-ins. Harold volunteered to be note taker.

    Annual Meeting

    WOSonOS included in effect our annual meeting.

    Canadian Institute

    In discussion with Canadian Institute - falling apart in many senses. They don't want to put as much energy as they have been. They're not incorporated or anything. They don't have a whole lot of members. They have someone taking care of their accounting as a part time gig. They're asking Myriane to be a part of the committee. Since Myriane is hoping that WOSonOS 2021 will be in Canada, hoping to use as an opportunity to bring them back together. What would it look like for there to be a North American Institute. They're only worry is the whole bilingualism. They Canadian Institute is traditionally run by the Francophones. Always the french against the English.

    Who is expressing interest in a Canadian Institute besides Myriane? Andrey Lalonde. Orla Ortiz. Consultants that work with Diane Gibault. Some of the biggest players in this. All are over 65 and looking to retire. There are others interested in getting involved. Don't know them. David Roy. Myriane will not take a leadership role. Karen is a member of the OSI Canada. She did get a dues announcement. We could invite OSI Canada to attend our calls to invite them in how we can collaborate.

    WOSonOS 2019

    Really good experience. Just the right people there. The Happiness Event and the Open Space Mastermind projects were moved forward there. Also great to honor Harrison Owen. Sang Happy Birthday in many languages. Very joyous occasion. Not planned. Cherry Hill Park was very welcoming to us. They gave us the run of the house. Lived up to what they promised us and more. The training before the event was wonderful. The post-training, an OpenSpace Agility and Inviting Leadership workshop in One Day also went well. One of the attendees did an online facilitation just the other day and did a fine job.

    Peace and High Performance 2020

    Peace and High Performance registration is already up to 15. We should have surplus afterwards. Everything is going well with that. Keep the invitations going. There is construction at International House and all the rooms are taken, so we need other options like airbnb.

    WOSonOS 2020

    The OSI-US will be an inviting sponsor for the 2020 WOSonOS in Berlin, happening in October 2020.

    Sales Tax Exemption

    This exemption is not necessary for our hosting the Peace and High Performance events. International House only requires the tax exempt letter.

    Next Meeting

    We agreed we'd meet at some point in person during Opening Space for Peace and High Performance 2020.

  • Meeting Date: 01 Oct 2019

    chimed with minute of silence 6:10 pm edt

    Present: Tricia, Mark, Karen, Harold, Kevin, Barry

    Absent: Myriane


    Logistics and Supplies - it's a little early - we'll be ok even if we have nothing. Harold would like to have flip charts.

    Myriane's 5 Pages

    We went over roles and responsibilites, looked over the schedule. We made a few decisions, and will stay flexible. A general daily start and end time will be added to the website.



  • Meeting Date: 16 Jul 2019

    OSI-US July Board Meeting Minutes

    Present: Barry Owen, Harold Shinsato, Kevin O'Brien, Karen J. Davis
    Absent: Tricia Chirumbole, Myriane Ouellette

    We began near 6pm EDT with a moment of silence and check-ins. There was a signficant sense of being very busy and overcommitted in all the check-ins. Harold volunteered to be note taker and Barry, Bin Wrangler.

    Agile Open SoCal

    We are sponsoring the event. Colleen, one of the coordinators for the Agile Open SoCal, showed up at the Global Oasis for Emerging Leaders this past week that was convened by the two trainers we have invited to lead a training before WOSonOS, Anna Carolina Turk and Thomas Herrmann. It seems fortuitous that we are sponsoring the event.

    IT Support Load

    Harold welcomse volunteers to support him separate from the meeting, and that there are tasks on the website that non technical people could accomplish. Barry Owen said he would contact him.

    WOSonOS 2019

    Registrations are coming in. We have viral invitations spreading through the Genuine Contact and Agile communities. June 24 was the original deadline that Cherry Hill Park was reserving the premium cabins for WOSonOS attendees, but that was extended to July 23. There will be a Halloween event during WOSonOS, but only for overnight guests.

    WOSonOS History Lesson

    Harold Shinsato had attended the 8 day Genuine Contact Summer Academy, and learned things about early WOSonOS events from stories from Birgitt Williams as well as having had conversations with Peggy Holman. After the last Washington D.C. OSonOS, Birgitt and a group of women that included Ann Stadler and Peggy had invited first Harrison Owen into the center to hold space for Open Space, then asked him to step back and the Open Space Institutes to step to the center and then step back, and finally for the entire circle to then hold the space. Peggy said this was more significant to Birgitt perhaps than to others, but it is an explicit ingredient in the way Open Space and facilitation in general is taught in the Genuine Contact program. That is, an explicit hand off from the leader or leadership to the community to include them in the process. It was after this that the Open Space on Open Space events started becoming an annual WORLD Open Space on Open Space, and the next year it was in Canada.

    Thomas Herrmann was involved in Open Space ongoing groups conversations that proceeded out of the early WOSonOS events. He facilitated several "Global Open Space". Larry Peterson was also involved, as was Karen Davis. We'd like to have a safe space for younger adults. Culturally, the communication style is different.

    Barry has personal history working with Genuine Contact. He worked with them for a couple of years. What he sees happening right now, right before WOSonOS, everyoe I mentioned has been posting on LinkedIn. It is gaining attention. Doris Gottlieb is there. Anna Carolina, Thomas, and Doris were all at the 8 day Genuine Contact Summer Academy with Harold.

    Next Meetings

    The next board meeting will be a WOSonOS focused meeting on Tuesday August 6, 6-7:30pm EDT. And then the next regular board meeting will be at the regular date, August 20, 6-7:30pm EDT.

    The meeting adjourned a bit before 7:30pm edt with checkouts that were universal in saying we all felt refreshed.


  • Meeting Date: 02 Jul 2019

    This was a special meeting only focused on WOSonOS 2019 that the OSI-US is hosting and sponsoring.

    Meeting began 6:00 pm EDT

    Moment of silence


    Board Members Present: Karen Davis, Kevin O'Brien, Barry Owen, Harold Shinsato, Mark Sheffield


    Lodging information has been posted to the website.

    Kevin and Harold will work together to enable room reservations via PayPal on the website.

    Transportation: lists some options.

    Other options include bus service from Baltimore airport (BWI).

    List of registrants and a way for them to communicate with each other:

                  Barry created a private Facebook group for registrants. He will receive email notification for each new registrant and will invite them to join the group.

                  Harold will make a list of registrant names visible on the website.


                  Some funds have been donated to provide support for some people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend WOSonOS. Consider the details of managing requests for assistance at the next meeting. Also include a sentence on the website about accepting additional donations for providing support.

    Topics for next meeting include:

                  1:1 inviting

                  Parameters around providing support for people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend

    Next two meetings:

    July 16, July 30


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer