Open Space
Referenced from Arena and Technologies

Open Space brings in interesting issues: it's said that open space works because self-organisation works. There's lots of knowledge available locally and globally, and local questions that arise from local concerns (which are of course also global). There's a need for ways to ask such questions and also for gathering and using the answers (or parts of answers). Any community center should perhaps be encouraged to meet in open space (or whatever's good for them) locally.

Just as an example, imagine you want to set up a solaroof ( and/or ZERI ( initiative locally. Maybe you can already count on local experts in biology, agriculture, physics variable measurement, whatever. At the same time, you may need to count on people in other villages (i.e., non local) for expertise and help. But how do you contact willing and open people locally?

In short, we need "places" in which we can self-organise around whatever it is that we find important at the time. From there, we can also contact others (or receive their contact).

My summary from (created by Harrison Owen):

  • An "open space" event invites interested people around a compelling and open theme, such as "what are the issues and oportunities about our village or neighbourhood?".
  • People (20 to 2,000 persons) join together in a circle. Ok, maybe several concentric circles. There's nothing in the middle, just ... space.
  • After the first minutes of explaining the few-and-light "rules", those who want (i.e., those with "passion and responsability") step inside the circle and announce their "topics" ("sustainable energy", "the elderly", etc), and then put their topics (along with their names) on a Wall.
  • The Wall is a grid with times (early morning, mid morning, early afternoon) and places (corners in the meeting place), and soon becomes filled up with "issues".
  • After that, the only Law that applies is the Law of Two Feet (or the law of mobility): if you're not learning or contributing, move somewhere else (another group, the coffee table, outside). The Law of Two Feet allows for cross-polination, thinking on one's own, walking away from too much anger, etc.
  • Maybe twice a day, the facilitator calls people to the circle again, so they may share what they have come up with. Other than that, experienced facilitators are proud to take a nap ("self-organisation works").
  • At the end of the day, each issue-convenor writes a small report and all reports are merged into one, and copied for all. serves as a place for the worldwide community of practitioners, Harrison Owen included. Recently Harrison Owen wrote that their content is (using other words) primarily in the public domain, and nobody said no.

Opening Space for Nichtwissen (The Question)

-- Profiles/LucasGonzalez

Open Space Online is a great service that I tried out personally. Change Facilitator Gabriela Ender and her team from Germany developed the worldwide unique real-time internet methodology OpenSpace-Online. Unfortunately this system is based on a proprietory software but it is very useful to book and to use. Profiles/FranzNahrada

I think open space can be done on-line with a mixture or combination of irc with bots and webpages. Maybe we can move that along in openlylearning or wherever. At least help define it. The above outline-summary may help, but I'm sure developpers need further details if we want a working product.

-- Profiles/LucasGonzalez - look at resources, then "Würzburg Open Space Photostory", then PDF - it's big - a photo gallery of Open Space with 2018 people - hugest ever. direct link: - I don't know what the "theme" was about --Profiles/LucasGonzalez

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