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These are the proceedings from meetings of the Open Space Institute.
  • 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)

  • Meeting Date: 18 Jun 2010

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

    1) New Monthly Meeting Time

    To accommodate our shifted availabilities and to include the fabulous Harold, we are going to seek a new meeting time.

    Action: Peggy has sent out a new Doodle for generic / new meeting time (though you may note that ‘July’ may be used as the template for that – so please fill in as if it was generically any month at all – thanks).


    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)

    July meeting: to be decided upon based on your responses to the ‘Doodle’ survey – thank you

  • Meeting Date: 21 May 2010

    Board Notes — OSI-US Friday, May 21, 2010

    Present: Ed Laboy, Peggy Holman, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Phelim McDermott, Christine Whitney Sanchez and Suzanne Daigle
    Absent: Harold Shinsato and Lisa Heft
    Suzanne took notes at the meeting.
    Started with silence, then check-ins.

    Reflections on WOSonOS in Berlin

    Peggy and Suzanne shared their experiences being at WOSonOS in Berlin describing what had been a lively event filled with passion, high energy and lively conversations.  Although there had been questions initially first in Berlin and then on the OSlist, the invitation to be in Chile in 2011 and London in 2012 is clear and has received wide enthusiastic support.

    On-line web presence and identity

    We continued our discussions acknowledging the many virtual tools that are out there now including Wiki sites which can be managed independently and which offer more features that many in the OS community seem to want. We are now using Word Press for OSI Board notes which is working well — easy to use in a shared, self-organizing way. The OS NING is also attracting more people.

    Suzanne offered to work with Harold as they explore and reach out to the OS membership with the intent of creating one or more subcommittees. The goal is to walk before we run, looking at the big picture and consulting many in the OS community in the process. This topic will be the primary focus of our next Board meeting though the Board will not be directly involved in assessing any particular technology.

    Doug has been working to connect with Michael Hermann to gather his insights as we look ahead to the long term anticipating that we will be changing our current platform at some point with an emphasis on a well-coordinated transition that assures we preserve and retain all the historical documentation that we have.


    On Line Web presence and identity; confirm the availability of the OSI URL.

    Potential for “strategic collaboration in open space community”

    Annual meeting (all)


    Next meeting: June 18th – 10:30 am PDT / 11:30 am MDT / 12:30 pm CDT / 1:30 pm EDT / 9:30 pm GMT

    Karen will send us out a reminder with the call-in phone number a few days ahead of each meeting date.

  • Meeting Date: 16 Apr 2010

    Board Notes -- OSI-US Friday, April 16, 2010

    Present: Ed Laboy, Peggy Holman, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Harold Shinsato, Lisa Heft, Suzanne Daigle
    Absent: Phelim McDermott, Christine Whitney Sanchez
    Suzanne will be taking notes for us today.
    Started with silence, then check-ins.

    WOSonOS in Berlin

    Peggy, Lisa and Suzanne will be attending this year

    Lisa will be contacting US attendees to see if anybody wants to share rides from airport etc. if schedules align. She has been working behind the scenes with the Berlin Host Team and they have very communicative with Access Queen to assure that financial support for housing, transport and suggested ideas for additional fund-raising reaches those who need assistance; there is no specific source at this time however for larger amounts of funding such as for Asker flight expenses. Many individuals are being helped through the Access Queen program

    Brian Bainbridge Memorial Scholarship

    Many people involved including Lisa, Larry and Viv

    Lisa assisting under the umbrella of Access Queen

    A recipient has been selected for the scholarship (announcement at a later date)

    In future, Viv is exploring with Australia and New Zealand how to continue this scholarship;  Lisa as Access Queen is the informer, funds representative and communicator with the selected individual, as it both presents an international community face to the award plus aligns with Access Queen’s support of the recipient’s other access needs. However should this scholarship continue into future years, she can take the same roles (including being able to receive the scholarship money once it is collected) but cannot be the one who announces, invites and collects the funds specific to the scholarship - as it’s hard to do both this and the general Access Queen invitation and activities each year.

    Open Space Institute membership donations

    Peggy reports that $450-$475 has already come in following the contribution request  letter from Christine that went this past week on the OS list.  This money typically goes to a general use fund to support the growth and use of Open Space around the world. There may be special requests directed to particular projects i.e. Ning site, Brian Bainbridge Endowment) and this is on a case-by-case basis.

    OS Institute Board Notes

    Discussion and decision that in future the Board meeting notes will be posted to the OSI-US’s Word Press site rather than on the site. This is one of the action items in a series of what we will be doing to further establish OSI-US’s identity and resources on the web.

    A link to prior Board meeting notes will  appear on our the wiki directing people to the Word Press site.  Harold will be setting this up so the OS board members can edit/revise notes once they are posted in the event something is missing or needs to be changed. Michael Herman had indicated he would be happy to assist us in this transition of anything we need to migrate such as this.

    Ask letter from Haiti

    Initial discussions regarding financial request for their Annual Open Space scheduled for June 24th-27th with an expected attendance of 30 vs 20 Haitian Open Space facilitators last year. In light of the size of the financial request, board members will continue their discussions via email in order to provide a timely response taking into consideration available funding in the account currently.

    Words of intention for a successful WOSonOS

    Lisa Heft will be conveying our best wishes to our friends in Berlin from all of us in the US



    Potential for “strategic collaboration in open space community” (deferred until Christine is back)

    Annual meeting (all)

    On Line Web presence and identity

    Special thank you to Tree and Gabriel (honoring them in gratitude for their dedicated contributions and work during our moment of silence at the beginning of our next meeting)


    Next meeting: May 21st - 10:30 am PDT / 11:30 am MDT / 12:30 pm CDT / 1:30 pm EDT / 9:30 pm GMT

    Karen will send us out a reminder with the call-in phone number a few days ahead of each meeting date.


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