Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen
Whoever comes is the right people
Whenever it starts is the right time
Wherever it is, is the right place
When it’s over, it’s over
If you like the five principles of Open Space Technology (OST), I bet you will like OST.
It also has Law of Two Feet – If at any time during Open Space, you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.
I know you like OST even more now. But wait, what is OST?
OST is an approach to purpose-driven leadership, including a way for hosting meetings, conferences, corporate-style retreats, symposiums, and community summit events, focused on a specific and important purpose or task — but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology
Without any agenda? Correct. The agenda and talking points come from participants whoever come. Following the steps of OST, issues that participants are passionate about are discussed, action planes are made, and actions will be taken after it – OST works with passion bounded by responsibility. Passion is what gets you out of your seat, responsibility is what causes you to take action.
I had the privilege to know the inventor of OST Harrison Owen, a 80 years old American gentleman. Harrison told me that as an Open Space facilitator, you should always do one thing less and give no control to the space and participants.
Starting with a circle, the job of OST facilitator is open the space and go away, leaving the space to participants. Everything will work out from chaos to self-organization.
I am so glad that the organization I worked in Beijing has been using OST in China for over 10 years to help community solve their problems by themselves. And I wish OST could be used in more events and training in the U.S.