Creating Open Space
What if those of us interested in the evolution of consciousness wanted to get together to discuss a range of subjects? The spiritual community is so diverse and our unitive banner so vague that we might not know how to do it or what exactly to address.
It's safe to say that we'd all have different ideas about priorities and methods of conduct.
Would we want an intellectual meeting, open forums and lectures, or what about group meditation? How could we go about organizing such a complex event?
Open Space Technology is a progressive tool that helps organize such events.
Developed in 2000, Open Space Technology was created to help "complex, meaningful groups" address "complex, meaningful issues" in a dynamic, multi-modal way.
It's founders surmised that people at conferences learn more from the floating of "coffee talk free time" than from seminar presentations.
The technology is described by its creators as a way of living, in addition to being a holistic system for organizing events.
Founders of Open Space Technology say that the most important aspect of its work is the "open invitaiton for people to take responsibility for discussing their passions."
Facilitators, or practitioners, explain the processes to the hosts of events:
Whoever comes are the right people
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
Whenever it starts is the right time
When it's over, it's over
People assume different roles on many different levels, from the overall event to small groups within the event:
Host: the person who feels a burning passion for the subject and is willing to take responsibility to call the conversation, invite others in and make sure something gets harvested.
Participant: Anyone who is drawn to a conversation wants to stay the whole time and participate fully.
Bumble bee: The ones who move from conversation to conversation cross-pollinating the learning.
Butterfly: A butterfly may not want to be in any conversation, instead they prefer to sit on the lawn and look beautiful. A new, unexpected conversation may happen when two butterflies meet.
The events generally combine a large number of discussioin forums and interactive "events." The smaller meetings and events are podcasted or recorded in some way and then made accessible to the rest of the group
An event law: the law of two feet. If you're not finding yourself engaged, then take your one foot of responsibility and your other foot of passion and find a place where you can engage.
The methodology of Open Space Technology is simple and accessible (though this summary only scratches the surface). Meeting participants are shown the rules and philosophy at the beginning of the event.
Open Space Technology's founder is Harrison Owen. His book, "Open Space Technology: A User's Guide," describes the system in its entirety.
Perhaps something like Open Space Technology is just what our community of spiritualists, psychonuats, shamans, weirdos, techies, scientists, writers, artists, and concerned citizens might need in order to meet and talk together?Tweet