How many conferences or seminars have you been to where the most stimulating parts were the coffee break discussions between sessions?
Harrison Owen, the originator of Open Space Technology, designed a strategy to power the whole event with the energy and learning of coffee break discussions. After reading this book I dove in and successfully facilitated two Open Space events myself.
Open Space is a facilitation strategy that enables groups of 5 to 2000 people to create their own agenda and self-organize to dialogue about the important issues of large complex theme.
Event participants are invited to identify issues or challenges related to a larger theme that they have real passion for and for which they are willing to take responsibility. With this self-generated agenda, participants then move into groups to work on literally dozens of issues in a safe, open environment.
Collaboration turns into greater understanding, innovation, and action.
Open Space has been used in business, government, and the social sector in 134 different countries over the past 20 years. The beauty of Open Space is its simplicity of how it results in giving all participants a voice in what they are passionate about and willing to work on.
This book is a complete guide to what Open Space is, how to determine if this approach is appropriate for your event, and details on how to successfully facilitate an Open Space event.
The empowerment and self-organization in Open Space will be refreshing to those tired of a command and control style meeting.