“Open Space Technology” by Harrison Owen

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.

“Active Training” by Melvin Silberman

Mel Silberman is the master of active training. Just skimming his book gave me a handful of new ideas I immediately applied in my training. Reading the book helped me to revamp my training courses to include many more participatory training exercises.

What is active training? Everybody loves being involved, talking, interacting, and exploring during a training event. Lecture, however, is too often the default delivery methodology. In some ways lecture takes less time to prepare and is less risky, but studies show it is not the most effective learning style.