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Open Space Technology

Open Space Technology is a self-organizing practice that invites people to take responsibility for what they care about. In Open Space, a marketplace of inquiry is created where people offer topics they are passionate about and reflect and learn from one another. It is an innovative approach to creating whole systems change and inspiring creativity and leadership among participants. Read our summary of Open Space, or learn more at

Here are the 18 resources from Open Space Technology.

Circles of Change: A Quiet Revolution in Haiti Recently Updated Highly Recommended

Produced and directed by Jane Regan and Daniel Morel/Wozo Productions in collaboration with Beyond Borders.

Learn how Beyond Borders promotes participatory learning and leadership by viewing Circles of Change, a 20-minute DVD/VHS video documentary about the grassroots movement that is transforming notions and practices in education and leadership in Haiti and beyond. Through Open Space and Touchstones Discussions (Reflection Circles), the seeds of change are being planted among a new generation of Haitian leaders.

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Dalar International Consultancy

Dalar International Consultancy, Inc. offers a holistic approach to leadership development and organizational development that achieves results that some call miraculous. We offer consulting, coaching/mentoring, and meeting facilitation services to those who wish to work with us, always customized to the unique needs of the client, and yet always within a holistic perspective that works with four levels of consciousness: mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical consciousness.

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Genuine Contact Program

The Genuine Contact Program's holistic approach provides the opportunity for leaders and organizations to assist their organizations to heal and to increase their skills, capacity, and competence in achieving optimal performance. Workshops include Organizational Health and Balance, Individual Health and Balance, Working with Open Space Technology, Whole Person Process Facilitation, Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution, and developing the Conscious Open Space Organization.

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NCDD Commentary: Inviting or Excluding? Evaluating Our Way of Being Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

John Engle, The Experiment in Alternative Leadership. Engle, 2003.

John Engle submitted this commentary for NCDD's website on December 7, 2003. John is the co-founder of Beyond Borders and The Experiment in Alternative Leadership and board member of the Open Space Institute USA. In this commentary, John openly discusses his work with the Open Space method in Haiti.

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Open Futures

Since 1997, Open Futures has facilitated 63 large group events involving 4,176 participants or an average of 66 people per event. Open Futures specializes in six large-group, whole system processes: Open Space, Future Search, Giant Mind Maps, Vision Search, Strategy Search and the Perth Process. In 2003, they published The Large Group Facilitator's Manual and, using the manual as a professional platform, Open Futures offers open training workshops or customized workshops in understanding, planning and running large group events involving from 20 to 500 people.

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Open Space and the Legacy of Education

Chris Corrigan.

A paper that uses John Taylor Gatto's "Seven Lesson Schoolteacher" essay to explain why people experience freedom shock in Open Space. "Essentially freedom shock is a state of anxiety generated by having unprecedented amounts of freedom over one's choices and responsibilities. Freedom is such a strange and unfamiliar concept in many workplaces and communities that the shock of it comes as no surprise to seasoned Open Space Technology facilitators."

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Open Space for People Unable to Read

John Engle.

The following is an account of an Open Space Technology approach designed for people who are unable to read. The idea was conceived by a small group during the 2001 annual gathering of Open Space practitioners in Vancouver Canada.

Open Space Institute - U.S.

The Open Space Institute - US is one of many Open Space Institutes worldwide, all born and raised by the efforts of volunteer members. The Institute is an inclusive learning community that provides access to resources on Open Space and connects individuals and groups to inform, inspire, mentor, and sustain each other in opening and holding space. Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired, self-organized meetings and events. In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance.

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Open Space Technology Process Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Open Space Technology, created by Harrison Owen, is a self-organizing practice that releases the inherent creativity and leadership in people. By inviting people to take responsibility for what they care about, Open Space establishes a marketplace of inquiry, where people offer topics they care about, reflect and learn from one another, to accomplish meaningful work. It is recognized internationally as an innovative approach to creating whole systems change and inspiring the best in human performance.

Open Space Technology: A User's Non-Guide

Chris Corrigan and Michael Herman (editors). Open Space Institute, 2002.

A companion to Harrison Owen's Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, this book is an edited conversation between 37 Open Space Technology practitioners.

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Open Space Technology: A User's Guide Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Harrison Owen, Open Space Institute. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1997.

Open Space Technology: A User's Guide is just what the name implies: a hands-on, detailed description of facilitating Open Space Technology (OST). Written by the originator of the method--an effective, economical, fast, and easily-repeatable strategy for organizing meetings of 5 to 1,000 participants--this is the first book to document the rationale, procedures, and requirements of OST. OST enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with hugely complex issues in a very short period of time. This practical, step-by-step user's guide details what needs to be done before, during, and after an Open Space event.

OpenSpace Online Highly Recommended

Change Facilitator Gabriela Ender and her team from Germany developed the internet real-time methodology OpenSpace-Online, which promotes autonomous, responsible, respectful, and results-oriented collaboration. Available in German and English, the Internet Conference method features successive phases in which 5 to 75 people can work simultaneously. The participants work together in a goal and solution-oriented manner for 2 to about 8 hours.

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OSLIST (Open Space Listserv)

The OSLIST worldwide email listserv is a discussion list for Open Space practitioners and friends from everywhere (really)... perhaps the most active and easiest place to connect with the living Spirit of Open Space and the OS community. From the very beginning (1985), Open Space Technology has been free and freely available. But there is a cost -- that we freely share what we are learning. The mechanisms of sharing are multiple including training programs, public presentations, private emails and most especially in the online community known as the OSLIST.

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Parking Lot Blog

Chris Corrigan is a process facilitator, a specialist in Open Space Technology, and an active and public learner. His blog is about living in Open Space. It's about noticing what's alive in the world that informs a life long practice of invitation, conversation and facilitation. And it's about putting it out there for others to share.

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The Art of Hosting and Convening Meaningful Conversations

The Art of Hosting and Convening Conversations is a practice retreat for all who aspire to learn and find new ways for working with others to create innovative and comprehensive solutions. We are a growing community of practitioners, supporting each other to explore and accomplish what we most care about. The hosts of the Art of Hosting invite you to explore the practise of hosting conversations that matter with us, to enhance your own practices of inviting, designing, opening and holding inspired and meaningful spaces in new places in your work, communities and life.

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The Large Group Facilitator's Manual: A Collection of Tools for Understanding, Planning and Running Large Group Events

Kerry Napuk and Eddie Palmer. Gower Publishing, 2003.

Covering six processes -- Open Space, Future Search, Giant Mind Maps, Vision Search, Strategy Search and the Perth Process -- Open Futures' Manual provides a collection of tools for understanding, planning and running large group events. A clear step-by-step format takes potential facilitators through every stage of making large group events happen. This is the first manual to offer such detailed guides for so many different processes involving between 20 and 500 people in real-time work on the future.

The Tao of Holding Space: 81 Short Chapters on Facilitating Open Space

Chris Corrigan.

This 84-page book is a collection of interpretations of the 81 short chapters of the Chinese classic Tao te Ching as they apply to the author's experience of holding space. Corrigan started this book in 2003, when he began noting parallels between Lao Tzuís words and his own experience of leadership, facilitation and living in Open Space. In some ways this book chronicles the essence of Corrigan's own emergent practice of Open Space, and most of his knowledge about Open Space is somehow distilled into these chapters. The book is meant to be shared freely.

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An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. The term is primarily used for high-tech conferences for developers or bloggers. Open Space Technology is commonly used in unconferences, as are World Cafe and Appreciative Inquiry.

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