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These are the proceedings from meetings of the Open Space Institute.
  • Meeting Date: 18 Jun 2019

    Monthly Board Meeting for June of the Open Space Institute - U.S.

    Present: Mark Sheffield, Harold Shinsato, Karen J Davis, Tricia Chirumbole

    We opened the meeting at 6pm EDT with a moment of silence and checkins.

    Agile Open Socal

    We have paid. Was easier paying by PayPal. Paying by check was hard last year.

    Open Space CD's

    Make it a benefit of membership. We agreed on tha a while ago. But will take technical work. First priority is improving the website. There are finances. Paying for research.

    WOSonOS 2019 Trainings

    Harold will get back to Thomas Hermann & Anna Carolina Turk about reference price points (not advice), and to speak with Cherry Hill Park tonight.

    WOSonOS 2019 Catering

    Nothing to do right now, board members not present are defering activities.

    WOSonOS 2019 Budget

    Tricia had made a quick spreadsheet a month ago, no progress since.

    Next meeting

    Tue July 2, 6pm-7:30pm EDT

  • Meeting Date: 04 Jun 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: Barry Owen, Myriane Ouellette, Karen J Davis, Mark Sheffield, Suzanne Daigle, Harold Shinsato

    Worked on abbreviating the main page for the invitation with space for more elsewhere.

    Agreed to continue with the lodging plans to adjust as we go forward.

    Budget - reviewed something from Tricia.

    Training - we have not heard back from Anna Carolina Turk and Thomas Hermann, but we had planned on Tue-Thu Oct 22-24.

    Next meeting, June 18, 6pm edt.

  • Meeting Date: 22 May 2019

    Open Space Technology Institute US Board of Directors

    May 23rd, 7 PM via Zoom


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

    1. Sponsorship for Agile Open – Agile Alliance – Harold will sponsor 

    2. WOSonOS organization notes

    1.    Theme : Honoring the innefible spirit of OST?

    1.1. Discussion around the word ineffable – there has been many discussions about it. Agreed that this is a good word to use to describe what OS is. Need to describe what that word means to be inclusive. 

    2.    Invitation :

    2.1. Who’s working on the invitation: Barry will draft something; Myriane will help with the designing of it. Barry will infuse the definition of ineffable. 

    2.2. Timeline: Draft by the 23rd, 5PM, feedback from committee by the 24th.

    3.    Online Registration: Pricing is important to figure out. We can add discount codes easily, but need to have 

    3.1. Should we add sponsors to help cover the cost ?

    3.2. Cost :

    o  $350 for early bird (first 25 people, depending on sponsorship funds and add deadline, eg. End of July)

    o  $425 till (date TBD)

    o  $500 last minute registrations 

    o  Cancellation policy – no cancellations only exchange.

    4.    Budget : Myriane will send the OST budget that Suzanne provided to Barry

    4.1. Deposit for International House will be at least double (around $5000), they may also want the final payment a month before. 

    4.2. Contract for Cherry Hill will be sent by Harold. The cheque for the deposit has been sent.

    5.    Lodging : Kevin sent out a document that Suzanne shared describing  the lodging options. Cherry Hill will hold 2 cabins and some log cabins for booking. We have to manage the reservations for the cabins. Kevin is managing these, possibly Tricia. Maybe the board rents out one of the cottages for the board members to stay. If the board rented 2 cottages, it would be $600 plus $30/person. We can make the rate to around $120/room (this would be paid directly to the Institute. 

    Karen will look at the contract to see what needs to be done to book the space.

    6.    Food : around $2500 a day for 60 people. Get some numbers for 150 ppl and revise (Myriane). Ask the café down there to see if they would provide coffee or tea in the morning. At the International House, it’s about 20-25 people a day. 

    See if we can scale the lunch down to sandwiches / soup ?  We may look at the option of bringing in some of our own food. Barry will help Myriane.

    7.    Gail West offered to sponsor someone to participate 

    8.    Contact person on website for responding

    o  Notices

    o  Administrative access to the registration page

    o  Barry will be added, along with Karen

    o  Harold will create an email – WOSonOS2019 – Myriane will manage the email. 

    9.    Next meeting – June 4th– Harold will send an invitation. 


  • Meeting Date: 16 Apr 2019
  • Meeting Date: 19 Mar 2019

    Present: Tricia Chirumbole, Karen Davis, Kevin O'Brien,  Barry Owen, Mark Sheffield, Harold Shinsato

    Moment of Silence and Check-ins

    Note-taker: Mark, Facilitator: Tricia

    Formally accepting Myriane Ouellete to the Board

    This being Myriane's third consecutive meeting and her willingness to join the Board, Harold moved to accept her and Tricia seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Harold will add her to the distribution list and grant her board-level access to the website.

    WOSonOS October 25-27, with an evening of gathering and storytelling for those who arrive early on Thursday

    Venue: Cherry Hill Park Campground

    The Board unanimously approved Suzanne Daigle's offer to act as a Board contact person

    Board contacts for the contract: Karen & Harold

    Some housing is available in the campground; additional housing is available at nearby hotels & motels

    The contract specifies a capacity of 125 people; there is some pricing leeway if the actual number goes over or under that amount. A deposit will be due 4 months in advance.

    The Board expressed a desire to keep registration as low as possible without going into red.

    Suzanne has drafted a save the Date postcard; Myriane will help finish that work. Harold will post the announcement from the Board to the OSList, Barry will create a Facebook event, also from the Board.

    There is a possibility that OST training will be offered for 1-2 days before WOSonOS.

    Harold expressed his desire that each of the Board members discover their own passion about WOSonOS.

    Online OS events will be scheduled for formulating the theme and soliciting input from the OS community. April 8 from 7-9pm ET and April 13 from 7-9am ET. Harold will coordinate the events and run them using Qiqochat. Harold offered to host the April 8 session; Barry offered to host on April 13.

    Check out

    The next meeting will be April 16, 6-7:30pm Eastern.

  • Meeting Date: 20 Nov 2018

    Present: Karen Davis, Harold Shinsato, Barry Owen, Tricia Chirumbole, Kevin O'Brien

    Moment of Silence and Check-ins

    Note-taker: Harold, Facilitator: Tricia

    WOSonOS 2019 in U.S. of A.

    In keeping with one-less-thing-to-do, Harrison had shared with Karen some thoughts about possibly combining WOSonOS 2019 with the annual "opening space for peace and high performance” at International House in NYC. Also more recently he has been more limited in his mobility and energy for being present for anything more than an hour at a time, even if it is held in the DC area. Discussion included the increased room rental fees at International House (around $3000/day) and whether I-House could accommodate 200-250 people even in 2 concentric circles in Davis auditorium. However, there are numerous housing possibilities in the area. It was decided to continue exploring venues in the D.C. area. This includes Bolger Center (US Postal service and conference hotel near where Harrison lives), a location in D.C. where Agile Coach Camp was held that Tricia Chirumbole facilitated which was a nice space and had some wonderful history associated with it, as well as the Dulles airport hotels where the original OSonOS was held.

    There was also discussion about the need to determine the venue soon in order to then decide pricing.  The WOSonOS 2018 in Iceland registration fee was about $400. The WOSonOS 2013 in Florida had three tiers, $500 the highest and $250 the lowest. Possible dates are in late October.  Also considered was the possibility of a OST training day just before the WOSonOS.

    Peace and High Performance 2019

    Main thing is getting the link and the website up. Harold will get something up on the website this evening. At least one person has already purchased her airline tickets from Canada, there is someone from Korea awaiting final approval to register, and possibly someone from France. Harold will put a checkbox to offer people membership in the OSI-US.

    Sponsoring Agile Open Northwest 2019 in February

    We're spending about $500 a year on sponsoring open spaces in the Agile world. How do we want to use our money?

    Report on WOSonOS 2018 in Reykjavik

    Genuine Contact work is very interesting, and using Whole Person Facilitation to help. There was a lot of interest in Agile and Open Space.

    State of Open Space Survey

    Kevin forwarded a communication since our last meeting about a contact from his connection with Organizational Network Analysis. That contact put him in touch with a professor at the University of Exeter, Andrew Parker, who thinks he can help us connect with a PhD student who would help us put together a survey. We will hold a conversation probably December 3 in the 10:30am-1:30pm eastern time frame. Kevin conveyed we are willing to invest $2000 for the health of a student. Kevin listened to Andrew Parker in a webinar. Kevin sent the contact in an email. The OSI-US has a research focus and we would like to invest in doing a survey. We will include Tom Brown who has volunteered his time to be part of a committee for this. There were also contacts from the WONonOS in Reykjavik who may also be interested.

    The next meeting will be December 20, 6-7:30pm Eastern.



  • Meeting Date: 16 Oct 2018

    Present: Barry Owen, Mark Sheffield, Karen J. Davis, Kevin O'Brien, Tricia Chirumbole

    A minute of silence, everyone checked in, Harold volunteered to be note taker, and Kevin as facilitator.

    Bin Gardening - we added a few items

    WOSonOS 2018

    Harold is the only board member attending WOSonOS. Harold will approach Kari and offer $500 and encourage him to use those funds to help reduce attendance costs especially for local Iceland people.

    Harold will ask for Kari to list OSIUS as a sponsor on the website.

    WOSonOS 2019 in U.S. of A.

    Harold is planning to welcome WOSonOS 2019 to come to the United States in the D.C. area. We may be competing with China for WOSonOS 2019. Harrison may be able to attend in D.C. as he is no longer traveling anymore. Suzanne had encouraged the China folks if they would attend. Harold will speak with the China attendees before making the invitation. If we hold it, it's likely to be September or October.

    International House 2019

    Suzanne Daigle and Karen Davis are working on an invitation, and we'lre working from there. There was some trouble with the Bank of America check so the initial 1000 deposit check was rejected. It's not clear why.

    Move Bank Account out of Bank of America

    Harold will move to Missoula Federal Credit Union. They have mobile phone deposits. There maybe other options for credit unions that support non-profits, but it might be easier to move afterwards. The Board is supporting the change to MFCU. Kevin will be the backup signer.

    GDPR Examples, Guidance

    Harold did some investigation and the website does use a cookie, so we should add the GDPR notice about cookies. It is possible to only show the notice for E.U. countries, but despite how annoying it is, it's good to signal compliance for this requirement, whether or not we agree with how its being done. We'll operate the cookie acknowledgement for all visitors, not just those from the European Union.

    State of Open Space Survey

    We've spoken about this in the past. The first step we've discussed is simply reaching out to the community about the opportunity and seeing if anyone had thoughts or references to helping design such a survey. The OSI-US could possibly invest some funds for survey development as this would be a research topic. We could possibly engage a PhD student to help design the survey. Harold will send out a note to the OSList before the WOSonOS in Iceland. Barry noted there are a lot of people wandering into the Facebook group. It would be fun to market the survey to the Facebook Group. There are 2,572 members of the Facebook Open Space Technology group. There is a lot of potential through Social Media, which is growing compared to the email based OSList, which is starting to look like a "dinosaur" in comparison. Kevin mentioned Organizational Network Analysis. One way they do the work is to survey groups. They also do the work with information from Social Media. There are tools that analysts use to understand organizational networks. Debra France is from Kevin's former company, Gore associates. Kevin knows the one who runs ConnectedCommons who is connected to academia. Kevin will reach out to Debra.


    The next meeting - Tuesday November 20, 6pm eastern.

    We closed with checkouts at 7:30pm edt.

  • Meeting Date: 17 Sep 2018

    Minutes from the September board meeting:

    Present: Tricia, Kevin, Harold, Mark
    Not present: Karen, Barry

    Moment of Silence & Check-ins


    Harold attended Agile Open Southern California and promoted the OSI-US in the circle and in an Agile Coffee podcast last weekend. He also mentioned that an open space event is likely to happen at his current corporate client.

    WOSonOS 2018:

    Barry might attend; Harold might; Karen might; Tricia, Kevin, Mark not attending

    No updates; no decisions or actions needed

    WOSonOS 2019:

    Are we interested in proposing? If we're not in Iceland, who & how to propose? Location identified. Date depends on Karen's schedule

    International House 2019:

    $1,000 sent to the venue; we are committed to that venue for Peace & High Performance 2019. Large rate increase may happen after 2019

    Membership & Contact List Communication | GDPR examples, guidance | "State of Open Space"

    In Harold's hands.

    Kevin's game that "Opens Space"

    Kevin works for a company that is creating a Virtual Reality game for training leaders; the game might have applications for Open Space

    Clean Language

    A helpful modality for generating the Theme and other prework, and for promoting Open Space. Helps facilitator become more fully present and invisible. We should test using Clean Language for prework and promoting Open Space before publicizing it as a technique.

    Peace & High Performance 2018

    A few financial items & final report remain to be done. Harold is working on those items

    Online Open Space for Multistakeholder facilitator sustainability

    Moved to "parked indefinitely"

    Front Porch Chat Virtual invitation

    Harold has some, wants more videos. Make this item into an ongoing program, with a formal website page - Harold will make the page.

    Professor Emma Bell- Unconference research

    Harold will follow up with her.

    "Understanding Open Space" CDs

    Harrison Owen approved giving it away for free. Proposal: make it a benefit of OSI-US membership, available on the OSI-US website - Kevin will research technical details (Sound Cloud, etc).

    Respectfully submitted,
    Mark Sheffield

  • Meeting Date: 21 Aug 2018

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

    Sponsoring WOSonOS 2018

    Harold and Barry are thinking of attending, but have not yet bought tickets. We are hoping to do the invitation for WOSonOS 2019. We might not attend and the invitation might not happen if Karen can't do it in October, as November is probably too late.

    Peace and High Performance 2019

    Karen Davis and Suzanne Daigle are working on the invitation. Harrison Owen probably won't be there, but we still hope to invite him to speak via teleconferencing like he did this January. We are wondering about inviting Paul Levy or Peggy Holman.


    No work has been done on the website. It might take a while. There probably are no cookies being used until people log in.

    State of Open Space Survey

    Harold is still hoping to send out a note to the OSList about our intentions.

    Clean Language

    Caitlyn Walker is a Clean Language instructor doing reat work. She wrote a book titled From Contempt to Curiosity. It comes from David Walker, a part Maori pyschotherapist, using very simple methods for talking to clients. It seems like it would be helpful for discussing the theme with the hosts and setting up a successful Open Space event.

    Next Meeting

    We will move the meeting to Monday September 17, same time, 6pm EDT.

  • Meeting Date: 24 Jul 2018

    OSIUS Board Meeting Tuesday July 24, 2018 @ 6:00-7:30 EST

    Present: Kevin O'Brien, Barry Owen, Tricia Chirumbole, Harold Shinsato, Mark Sheffield

    Check ins

    Barry agreed to take notes

    Mark was designated the “Bin Wrangler”

    Mark stated the bin items we would discuss, and we dove in.

    Practice of Peace 2019 update from Karen via email 7/24/2018

    “As mentioned previously, if I’m able to connect tonight, it will only be a short time cuz our music festival guests and activities are underway.

    In the meantime, know that the International House gathering dates are finally confirmed by them for 1820 January 2019.  I’m working on the contract with Claribel and will let Harold know when to send the deposit.

    FYI, about WOSonOS:  Suzanne Daigle has had to cancel out of Iceland.

    Regret not being fully with you tonight, other than in spirit!

    Peace, love and laughter.

     Karen “

    Harold mentioned that it would be nice to have Harrison on the big screen as was done in 2018 . . . not a fan of having 2 “Big Screen Guests” but maybe “Somebody Else” to give a talk in person with housing, transportation paid, and “$1,000” . . . Perhaps someone from Europe?

    GDPR Compliance and “Membership Commmunication”

    • Harold wanting to move this forward in terms of “Opt-in” or “Opt-out” and how to do this in an effective way

    • Membership contact list is currently @ 1200 people

    • Harold and Mark talked about the possibility of Mark doing some of the “Back end Website” work in DRUPAL . . . but then there was concern that it “Breaks” easily and could create a big mess if something went wrong, so the question was: “What can we do now?

    • A good (smart and relatively easy) thing to do now would be to install a “Cookie Warning Pop-Up” to appear when users enter the site. This would communicate that “We are concerned” about safety

    • Make Opt-out visible

    • Harold mentioned that we need to have documentation of date each member opts in

    • Suggestion: Send “note” to all members “If you want to hear from us, Opt In” along with an easy button labelled “Opt-In” for them to hit. Harold indicated this might be possible in September

    Sponsor WOSONOS 2018

    • What does this mean?

    • Harold asked if there is energy for this - not seeing this energy communicated

    • How many people have registered? Harold thinking not many “10 or so”

    • Resolved to reach out to Kari to learn how it’s going.

    • Harold may be not going - Barry not confirmed but “working on it”

    WOSONOS in USA - Washington DC 2019

    • This is an intention to have this WOSONOS at “Home” for/with Harrison

    • We acknowledged that, if we want to do this, we have some preparation that will need to be done to to present it at WOSONOS in Iceland in October

    • And to do that, one (or more) of us OSI Board members would need to be there to present.

    • I Barry Owen have passion around this and will do some work this coming week on firming up plans to attend 2018 . . . Assuming we are a “Go!” I would propose we “mobilize the troops” here in the US to help us put together an invitation and proposal.

    Sponsoring of Agile Coach Camp and Agile SOCAL

    • Harold said there are brochures already prepared, but they may need up-dating or editing.

    • Mark offered to work on this if Harold sends it to him.

    • Howard has sent the documents to all members of the OSI board along with the open invitation for anyone to offer edits.

    Kevin’s game

    • Virtual Reality simulation of teams on a submarine executing missions to achieve objectives.

    • Attempting to help people collaborate virtually

    • Identify Leadership

    • Cultivate more personal Leadership

    Mission and Vision of OSI US

    • Not enough time or energy remaining to do this topic justice, but were some comments

    • Hold Space for Open Space

    • The possibility of truncating mission statement to Mission questions

    • What is the meaning of Open Space vs closed space?

    • The action “Opening” versus “Closing”?

    Final comments

    • Mark observed that there’s a “bottleneck” in the flow of the OSI board because so much (most) of what needs to be done relies heavily on one person - Harold

    • How do we spread this stuff out to even the load and responsibility more?

    • Suggestion surfaced to outsource some of these functions for pay

    • Mark added a card in the Bin “Sharing IT support

    Checking out

    Next meeting 8/21 @ 6 PM EST

    Barry commented an intentional new habit: To invite Open Space into everything I do


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