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These are the proceedings from meetings of the Open Space Institute.
  • Meeting Date: 17 Jun 2012

    Open Space Institute – US (OSI-US)

    Meeting June 18, 2012 – 5:30 to 6:45 EST

    Attending:  Peggy Holman, Christine Whitney Sanchez, Harold Shinsato, Douglas Germann, Karen Davis, Ed Laboy, Suzanne Daigle, Chuni Li and Sharon Joy Chao

    OSI - Special invitation had been extended to our Emeritus Board members Peggy, Christine and Lisa with a message that they would always have a standing invitation to attend our regular meeting and retreats.
    We also wished a warm welcome to our new Board members Chuni Li of New Jersey and Sharon Joy Chao of Manila in the Philippines.

    The meeting then began with a moment of silence and our habitual check-ins.

    The group then took the opportunity to share on the following question as a way of getting to know each other through this transition on the board and to capture a bit of the history:

    “How did open space come into your lives?”

    Doug - I ran into it when I was program chair for a statewide organization.  The speakers for the upcoming month had to cancel because of a family emergency.  I had heard from someone that there was a weird way to have a meeting with no agenda.  Thought it would be a good thing and found it was called Open Space Technology.  I was given several documents via email about it and got him in touch with Michael Hermann and there was a guy named Albert in Indianapolis where his meeting was going to be held. When I read the Users’ Guide, why wouldn't it work? Why would anyone see it otherwise?  I had done circle work in different organizations and found it to be quite effective. And found it to be a natural thing. I did my first city-wide thing on the anniversary of 9/11.  That would have been 2001-2002 when I really found it and attended a whole bunch of different places and thought it was the way we should organize everything from cities and towns.  It turned my  life inside out.  I really enjoyed it. Doug then asks a question of Peggy:  “When you started this thing (Open Space Institute), where did you think you would be in 2012 with this organization?”

    Peggy – Regarding the formation of the OSI:  I ran into open space in 1993/94 doing some work with USWest around the question:  “What does it mean to be a learning organization?”  Peter Senge's book had just come out a year or two before. I was an internal consultant tasked with finding what was the leading edge of learning organizations and bring these insights into the company.  Until then I had been involved in the area of quality. I talked to a friend of mine in Denver about the Organization Systems Program in Antioch in Seattle. She said “You might be interested in this thing that we just did in school.” She referred me to a three-page article in the Training magazine.  I picked up the phone and called Harrison.  I talked to him about doing an Open Space Meeting on the subject of learning - one of the first Open Space meetings was done in Goa India around the topic of business learning.  So we started talking about the possibility of doing Open Space at US West. In the meantime, one of the business units had a flood in Arizona. Someone at US West who was Union and doing OD kinds of stuff and working with management in AZ on major outages had convinced the company to use Open Space.  I went to a workshop in New York and experienced my first Open Space. I ran a 2.5 Open Space with 200 network technicians. I saw that the needs of individuals and the organization could both be met. I had to learn more. It profoundly changed what I did. I realized I didn't have to take responsibility for others experience.  It changed the way I worked. That was about 1994.  Somewhere in the summer of 1996, Harrison was on one of his world tours as a book came out and he came to Seattle. There were about 10 of us in a meeting. Harrison had stopped in Toronto on his way and Seattle was his next stop. He proposed the Open Space Institute as a research institute to help clarify the efficacy of OST, this “strange thing”.  In essence, he wanted to make the research case, to make the case to tell its story. He had done the same thing in Toronto so these two different groups (Canada and US) declared the Open Space Institute alive and well.  We decided to create a 501(c)(3). The cost was about $700.  We each put in $70 and that was the seed money to start the Institute. It took a different direction than what Harrison had envisioned it being a research organization. The last OSonOS that Harrison hosted, the 3rd being in Washington D.C.  There was also Australia with Brian Bainbridge. We had 3 Institutes (Canada, US and Australia). And we did an Open Space on what we wanted from an Open Space Institute. Three things emerged: People said they wanted mentoring and being mentored. It would also be a place for learning and researching and offering mutual support and connectedness.  I wanted a place to send my friends to –a hearth fire. As the idea of an Institute, I always thought of it as having potential energy with the capacity as a tiny placeholder that could involve thousands of people around the world. There was a need to unleash all that potential energy. Back in the beginnings when we were forming, I didn't think that far out (in answer to Doug’s question) , but I  did imagine that we would have members actively engaged and this being a place for sharing stories, for spreading the understanding about Open Space, and frankly doing research - which was something we never managed to get launched.

    Christine - I discovered open space through girls’ clubs many years before I discovered the actual form of Open Space. I was trying Open Structure and in grad schools had lots of things to choose from. As I was mulling around trying things, I did not know self-organization back then, saw a pilot program called self-structure. We created a few givens for the kids and they structured their own program. I was in a group counseling class. I got my husband involved.  It was some time after that I discovered the form of Open Space. At an OD meeting, I heard people making comments about an Open Space type thing. I was curious, got the book and two weeks later, I facilitated my first open space. It was 1997.

    Harold – My first open space like experience was the rainbow gathering in 1996, and I go regularly. The Rainbow Gathering started in 1972 as a peace gathering after Woodstock for folks who wanted to be for peace rather than against war. It was a music festival with 25 to 30,000 people. It's self-organizing with no formal leadership, and the event just comes together with many diverse elements to pray for peace. I then heard about something inspired by Harrison Owen. I had been interested in meetings not constrained by hierarchy (Bar Camp and UnConference). I first was exposed to the ideas of Harrison Owen indirectly through the technology world when I heard about FooCamp and then BarCamp. At the 2006 JavaOne conference in San Francisco, there was an unconference track that Kaliya Hamlin was hired to lead, and Kaliya told me the real thing was Open Space Technology. She invited me to her Internet Identity Workshop, where she introduced me to Lisa Heft who dazzled me with her slides and stories of open space around the world, including Israelis and Palestinians. It blew me away! That led me to take her workshop a few months later, and then to hold my first open space for my work colleagues in San Jose at Business Objects in 2007, and then five annual Missoula BarCamp's since then. I have since attended many OS meetings in the technology world. Also participated in Peggy’s “Journalism Matters”; I saw how the format can be spiced up with a bit more structure. I keep falling in love with Open Space more and more.  I met Harrison in Seattle at the Leadership in a Self-Organizing World event. It’s where I first met Peggy and Suzanne and other world class facilitators. There is something ancient, organic about Open Space. It works well for emergence. I saw that with high tech. It has been wonderful watching the leadership evolved in the high tech world. Later I was invited to join the board. I found the group to be so human, to see that something so amazing is being held by mortals, to see people doing this work and seeing how beautiful it is much like poetry, science and spirit. It's been a life changing experience and I hope to live more and more in Open Space.

    Karen –For me, it’s as if I was in Open Space from the time I came out of the womb. It was some point in the early 80's that I invited Harrison to present at an OD network regional event.  I don't remember the topic.  It was when he was thinking about other ways of organizing conferences and doing things. He was planning to do something in Tarrytown  around organizational transformational. I knew that is where I was supposed to be. There was something about martinis and coffee breaks. 

    In the 90's with Harrison and Devorah Gilbert we hosted our first Open Space four day program for facilitating OS.  One of my colleagues commented then that there was some theory behind the way that I functioned. There was some rationale now, a model. (in others words meaning that Karen has been living Open Space throughout her life).Anyway she's been involved forever and always will be. For her it was a gradual and progressive thing. I became more and more convinced about Open Space even if it's not called OST, convinced about leaders/non-leadersholding space for people, with people taking responsibility and acting on what they care about. That’s what Open Space is about

    Suzanne - I was introduced at an Art of Hosting event in Florida. It was just a little sampling. It’s what triggered me to know more and to get to understand this. I attended  Open Space training in Ottawa with Diane Gibeault.  I invited two colleagues from our company NuFocus to come with me.  I immediately saw how powerful the process was. It brought everything that I had been about all my life together.  I could trace it back to my corporate life wanting all the voices in an organization to be heard, to bring the human side to work, to bring a quality vulnerability to leadership. Suddenly there was a structure and a container for this way of engaging – that was permeable with the right principles. I cannot ever get enough; it has introduced lifelong learning and I feel as if a beginning painter with a craft of which I will never tire. It took me along all kinds of trails. I went to a WOSonOS  in Taiwan and  from there, I threw caution to the wind. I had never been that impulsive in the past. It began my journey in Open Space. I see such potential in so many areas. It is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

    Ed – I was introduced to Open Space through a business partner who attended an open space meeting that Karen and Harrison had back in early 2000. His partner kept talking about it. At the time, they were working with a department in the government around homeless services.  There were major issues and they decided to use Open Space.  At the time, Ed was thinking: “Let’s see what will happen here”.   The commissioner, who was part of this meeting along with 200 other people from 9 different government agencies, wanted to control everything.  The goal was to come up with a way to best economically handle and assist the homeless. I was amazed and surprised. This was in 2002 or 2003 and each person came up with 2 to 3 basic solutions, many of which are still working today. It was so amazing to have so many different stakeholders, each with their own agenda, come up with a working solution that they developed it in just 2 days, all saying that they can do this. I realized then that this was something I wanted to be involved in. A few years later Doug called me and invited me to be on the board. I have been on the board ever since. It’s still like magic to me now. “How can you get so many different people in a room with different perspectives who are able to quickly work out something for the future of their organization. Open Space is the only thing that happens that way. I am an Open Space person the rest of my life.

    Sharon - I have appreciative inquiry to thank for it. I found my way to OST through Appreciative Inquiry. I was doing research work, evaluating projects in 2009 in the Philippines. I thought then that there has to be other things that I could use in the Public Schools to evaluate performance. Did some research work and that's when I found Open Space. As I went through some of the materials, I thought that’s weird and it can't be real. It is beyond me. They self-organize.  There is no agenda. Then there was this opportunity in 2009: a WOSonOS in Taiwan just a couple hours from Manila. I felt called to attend. I got to meet Gail West. She has been my mentor in Open Space and a dear friend ever since. After WOSonOS, I tried on a number of OST gatherings in the company, with some religious groups, with people who have disabilities and also organizing communities who were displaced by typhoons. Then in 2010, my office got approval to do an international conference. We made use of OST and it was incredible. Harrison Owen attended. This international organization had been very stiff in the way it managed meetings before. Then here comes Open Space, which asks them to loosen up a bit and just be themselves. Before the conference, one person came up with a 15-page critique of Open Space and somehow Harrison got a hold of that paper. He felt that this guy must have his reasons for writing this 15 page paper. That started the conversation which happened late last year. Somehow we were able to get him to come to Manila for this conference about Learning for the Future.  It helped take the issue to the next level around the question of: “How do we move forward, tackling the issue of Learning for the Future. Harrison said this should become an annual gathering. I don't know. I hope with God's grace we will be able to do it again next year. In the future, we could also include other from outside the Philippines to get a sense of what is the future of learning and also to get more young people involved in the conversation. Sharon shares that the spiritual quest in her life is a practice of emptiness which is in alignment with that practice that we do in Open Space. Letting things be so that possibilities can unfold in our lives. I agree that Open Space is magic.

    Chuni - I think I learned about it initially on a Maestro call that Christine was hosting. Harrison was a guest speaker. I was fascinated by the way they interviewed him. He was iconic. I then became fascinated by everything that he wrote about. I thought to myself: “This guy is interesting.  It’s very relevant to what we're doing here” A couple of days later, I came up to OST in NYC. We are a non-profit have no money. Karen said whatever you can pay you can come. I came and it’s where I met Harrison and Suzanne. At that meeting, I was totally shocked that for 20 years as a facilitator I had been leading the wrong way.  As I read Harrison’s book and saw what had been done at ATT, I was amazed that I had never heard of Open Space. I kept thinking why I had not heard about it while I was at ATT. I was in a different department. We had never talked about it. At the session in New York with Karen and Harrison, I walked up to Harrison and said: “Everything you are teaching here is telling me that everything I have done in my career was all wrong.” That triggered Harrison and we talked about this. Later I was introduced to Suzanne, which led to a partnership in New Jersey on revitalizing the economy. I had wanted to do more community-based work. Open Space became a natural vehicle to meaningfully engage with my community. It brings people together. I came to OD from back door. I have a degree in Education, but my work has always been as an OD person. No I know I will be an Open Space person for the rest of my life too.

    The bin -
    Annual filing - requires a Washington state address for registrar and corporate address. Suzanne will complete the form and Peggy will remain at the main contact.

    The next meeting is scheduled for July 16 - third Monday of the month (starting at 5:30 pm EST)

  • Meeting Date: 21 May 2012

    In attendance: Suzanne Daigle, Karen David, Harold Shinsato, Phelim McDermott, Ed LaBoy, Doug Germann

    Recruiting to the Board

    Chuni Li - hard worker - would be delighted and honored. Karen remembered her - very focused and would be a fantastic contribution to the board. Sharon Chao - working closely with Gail. Both would be delighted to join. Karen mentioned Mikki from Estonia. Phelim mentioned Chris Corrigan, but he's too busy at the moment. Chris would be very good on the board. He's fantastic. He'd be great to have on the board. Phelim - someone met through Lisa Heft - Bhavesh Patel. Of all the people - Bhavesh seems to be aligned with understanding it. He's younger and suss out whether he'd be interested. He's not an elder. He's a youngster. He works in London - but not sure where he is in Europe - he works for a really interested organization in the UK. Suzanne will send them a note.

    Arun - One Wholesome World Project

    Suzanne saw it was only 35 people. I want to say yes before let me go see what this is about. Make an outreach. Do it by Skype. They were on the phone for 2 hours. So inspired by the event. The focus is about peace, talking about peace, education, environment, and economics. Not to be a woo woo event. Very grounded by what is happening in the world right now. Using a lot of open space. Appreciative Inquiry, World Cafe, and Silence. Inviting Peace and Progress. This is the first time that an Eastern country is being the igniter and inviter rather than from the West. Quickly talking about different people. John Engle type people, achievers, described them as outstanding achievers. Did not expect that. Just listening to him speak, I was in awe. He was such a positive well organized individual.

    He is not asking for money - he has a philosophy - money comes - people who are willing to fund through the United States - is for tax purposes. The donors can get a benefit. Did write to Peggy Holman - that has been done in the past. If the amounts exceed $25,000 you'd need a form 990, what he would do is to advise the donors - to give instructions. This would be written out or coded - written out and coordinated.

    Fiscal agent - we charged an administration fees. If it's more than - building in an admin fee...

    Here it is a service in kind - nothing that costs us anything - case by case basis. Arun has been doing OS for 15-20 years. Also ok with 3-5%. 1% plus any administrative costs.

    Good by party for departing board members

    Maestro use on a continuing basis - starting with a walk down memory lane. Ed likes the idea - the three of them  - giving them the possibility of joining us. Keeping it open for them.

    WOSonOS 2012

    Phelim is starting an UK OSI in order to make it cheaper to secure the venue - relationship with US Institute will have a bearing at the WOSonOS whether that happens. Website is up and exists - it moves into another phase which is good. Very beautiful website (Suzanne).

    Next Meeting

    We will start 30 minutes later next month.



  • Meeting Date: 17 Apr 2012

    Board Proceedings April 17, 2012

    In attendance: Suzanne, Karen, Harold, Peggy, Doug, Phelim, perhaps others.

    Suzanne - wedding in the air - head space there.

    Karen - Thought were all checking in - say something else - Open Space with Occupy Wall Street - very much alive - Saturday Spring Awakening in Central Park. Kelly McGallan - been supporting it over the past number of months faciliated that - first time out of doors - Biggest Challenge - free standing banners or signs. Stood on either side of a standing things for purpose - writing on chalk what they were going to convene. Continuation what is happening here. She doesn't I'll say more. Good variations for engaging people. Very pleased to be a part of that.

    Harold - Trumpet call - open space - Missoula BarCamp. Ignite. Michael Sahota - Open Space Expert - Scrum Gathering

    Peggy - make it brief - it's busy time - I'm heading off to a JTM board meeting this weekend. We received our 501(c)(3) - first face to face. It's um - I'd say that's a major thing going on - JTM Work - that and we're in the midst of a house remodel. Stop there. Turn it over to someone else. And I'll be back.

    Doug -couple of hours hither and yon. I've got something coming up - very busy week - not exactly open space - it is conversation - on Wednesday Morning - facilitating group of doctors - continuing medical education for an hour - getting credit for the conversations they're going to have. Starting the conversation about end of life matters with our loved ones and our patients clients, whatever you might call them. And I'm really excited about it for an ethics committee for a local hospital. A lot of things going on too that related to that topic. That's the main thing that is going on - seeing my grandchildren in Indianapolis. Meet with him for a couple hours - get enough sleep.

    Phelim here - just checking in - I feel like it's great hearing other people's journey and where they're at - lots of different parallel journeys - endings, deaths, and griefs around that sort of things - my own company - difficult time - 17 years. Is going through a probably out the other side rebirth - sitting ina place of not knowing - while that's happening. I'm working very hard on the big task which is much bigger than I thought it was - creating a website for WOSonOS. Website for our big tour that happens this year in the summer - June - 20 open spaces that will be part of one big conversation - holds all those conversation sfrom beginning to end - building a kind of community - network . So I'm feeling exciting - conflict and endings in his own theater company. Big state of flux. Great to hear about stuff happening - which I share - touched by.


    Feel very energized for the future - gotten more courage - testing her courage (Suzanne) - into the corporate world and invite them into new ways of engagement. Fascinating to see the resistances. Talking about shared leadership and self-organization. Just want to jump in even more. We had a really terrific conversation - ed christine and suzanne. Really good time.

    And the last thing Suzanne did - increasing prices dramatically - they honored last year's price  -400. If needed more lines - real urge to have meetings in the future - many voices in the community to join in.

    Peggy can scan in the documents - we could blank out the number.

    Peggy - send an articles - please post the documents. Peggy will send me the articles. Phelim is talking about - operating along the lines of open space according to that philosophy.

    Peggy is thrilled that Suzanne is stepping into the presidency - it is time for a new era.
    Suzanne- I feel a lot of love for all of you, love for the events that are happening ,with riddley being born, being embarrassed to be bold and that she wants to charge ahead. Watch her not to micromanage - get to be a perfectionist when charging a hill. Meeting the bride to be - go through each of the positions.

    Suzanne- is the president.
    Emeritus - not a role just to be called upon - anytime want to sit in on the call - always welcome - Peggy, Christine, Lisa - whoever.

    Vice President - Ed LaBoy be VP...
    Treasurer - Harold
    Secretary - Phelim

  • Meeting Date: 17 Apr 2012

    Present: Suzanne Daigle, Karen Davis, Harold Shinsato, Peggy Holman, Doug Germann, Phelim McDermott

    Moment of silence and checkins.


 - There's a wedding coming up in her family.

    Karen - Open Space with Occupy Wall Street is very much alive. Kelly McGallan faciliated out of doors which had big challenges but they did it and Karen was very pleased to be a part of it.

    Harold - Used a vuvuzela to make a trumpet like call to open Missoula BarCamp's Open Space which also used warm up talks inspired by Peggy's Journalism That Matters. Perhaps it's time for the trumpet to call people to the circle for urgency. Michael Sahota was called to lead the Open Space Scrum Gathering with the title of expert in Open Space.

    Peggy - It's busy time - I'm heading off to a JTM board meeting this weekend. We received our 501(c)(3) - first face to face. It's um - I'd say that's a major thing going on - JTM Work - that and we're in the midst of a house remodel.

    Doug - Facilitating a group of doctors in open conversation, not exactly Open Space. Starting the conversation about end of life matters with our loved ones and our patients/clients. He's excited an ethics committee for a local hospital. Also seeing grandchildren.


Phelim  - Rebirth probably going on with his company, but still sitting in a place of not knowing. Creating a website for WOSonOS is bigger than expected, and also doing a website for his big tour of open spaces this summer to help build a kind of community network.


    Corporate World and Open Space

    Suzanne feels very energized for the future and is testing her courage bringing OST into the corporate world and invite them into new ways of engagement. Fascinating to see the resistances. Talking about shared leadership and self-organization. Just want to jump in even more. Ed, Christine, and Suzanne had a really terrific conversation. Suzanne is interested in convening more conversations with Maestro. Maestro has raised their prices dramatically and Suzanne called them so that they enabled keeping the price the same as last year. She feels a strong urge to have meetings in the future where the community can join in.

    Old Files

    Peggy has a number of our legal documents. She can scan in the documents for online sharing and blank out anything sensitive. Peggy will send them to Harold. Phelim likes that we operate along the lines of the open space philosophy and be more transparent.

    Annual Elections

    We agreed to have Suzanne Daigle step into the role of President. We appointed Ed LaBoy to be vice-president in absentia (if he agrees). Harold will continue to be Treasurer. Phelim stepped up to be Secretary.


Peggy is thrilled that Suzanne is stepping into the presidency - it is time for a new era.

    Emeritus Board Members

    Emeritus is not a role just to be called upon. The are welcome at anytime to sit in on the call, they are always welcome. The Emeritus members are Peggy Holman, Christine Whitney-Sanchez, and Lisa Heft.

  • Meeting Date: 23 Mar 2012

    Board Proceedings from March 23, 2012

    In attendance: Doug, Peggy, Christine, Phelim, Harold, Suzanne, Karen

    Christine will convene the silence...

    Suzanne checked in inspired - working with Christine Koehler, Gidot, producing french book on Open Space - intended audience is for organizations... 9 authors around the world - Belgium, Haiti, Africa, Portugal, Switzerland. 18 year old niece has coproduced the video. It's an ebook that people can telecharge. Harrison wrote the preface...
    Harold checked in quietly inspired
    Doug - wonderful early Spring in Northern Indiana
    Karen - great weather in NYC
    Peggy - emptied inbox
    Phelim - lots of art work on computer
    Ed - Visiting friends and just got home... major job - friend and he's doing it. Lisa when going to the hospital with her friend. It takes a lot out of you. Ok, just tiring...

    ------HAROLD TAKING THE NOTES----------
    Combined WosonOS 2012

    UK Open Space Institute, came up in getting a venue for WOSONOS 2012. Discussion of set up a charitable organization and we would get the space cheaper. Whether to form an OSI to do that, or if it would combine 2 jobs. It became very clear that the people who had ideas of what the institute would be about and the ideas were very different. That kind of as a prospect it fell away. I personally didn't want to step into an organization when I didn't share the values. Let's drop that now, let's see if out of WOSonOS if an institute might be emergent as a legacy out of coming out of the WOSonOS.

    Communications might happen with other institutes around the world.

    Posted something on the list - we did a chain invitation for DnD, Phelim wrote the invite. On tumbler blog, invited others to share their invitations. 36 or 37 different invitations attached to the same event. They were very exciting and some were very different. Some were very heart felt, as continuing the invitation, every other day, it kept it live. Doing the same thing for WOSonOS. I'm interested in other people on the board of being a part of that process. Reach out to the world wide community. It can keep being shared on facebook and twitter.

    One of the surprising of things from DnD, invitations came from people who have never been there before - as well as invitations from people from the last 7 years. I think there have been processes on the list already, we managed to create all those invitations were together in an archive. - you could see the people who were coming. Invitation to create that. If you want to do that, let me know, if you don't let me know...

    Segue into other things, one of the issue of things that came up, some people that were in Germany a core of 8 people who have been working and a wider group of 15-16, and some people who had been to previous WOSonOS, felt the lack of a theme. Germany not being focussed. Because there wasn't a theme pertinent to this year. Phelim has his own personal response to that, that the UK might decide on a theme sounds limiting and presumptuous. What the world should be working on in a way. I think it comes out of, UK convening group, that there are very disparate reasons for people being involved.

    What about the OSList asking about if there should be a theme, those of us who are trying to make the event happen, and make the community happy. Slightly daunting. I guess I'm interested in people's thoughts.

    You might counsel with Lisa - she would know about all those things. Lisa's feeling was similar to his, if you focus in on a theme, you might limit what people might use the WOSonOS for. It becomes something that doesn't become emergent. We all kind of think of the call have agreed about that. However, going back to the UK group and say I say I've spoken to Lisa, they sort of don't quite like being told that. That's generally... and improbable's challenge. Not quite trusted. It seems to be part of the UK open space culture. Not alot of trust amongst people.  A lot of scarcity mentality. Pissed of that they're doing it and others aren't. Another example, we had to make a logo - and in the end we decided what the logo was, you didn't consult us, we don't like it.

    Then the theme is another example of this...

    Harold - this is a tension in the community - how do you make decisions...
    Doug - who ever shows up - bring it to a head. let people make decisions...
    Phelim - now we have to make things happen. Some people have been helping make things happen, 3 weeks creating a logo - people who haven't been a part of that reappear and are very strong in their opinions. Not having worked very much. We need to be moving on making things happen...
    you know something has to be dropped. With a group that doesn't quite trust each other, it's more painful.
    Christine - this is an issue - meme - it is tough to go across all the different memes and there is no way to please everyone. Leadership and the connection between all those things. Your sense of it, this is it and we're moving. It's a leadership role. We can't stay in the question forever.
    Phelim - more support from world community than from local UK community.
    Christine - almost all the folks that jump to do things for that conference, then learned about Appreciative Inquiry. Asked Diana Whitney to support the chapter and the conference. Quite helpful to have someone else to help do that.
    Doug - When doing a big project, beginning, muddle, end. \
    Phelim - optimistic, at the end of the muddle.
    Karen - there's someone still in New York - fascinating to her, listening now to the early WOSonOS's. So simple, weren't those issues. People came together and just did it. Team collaborative, Occupy Wall Street, still trying to do a consensus thing - very much understand what your culture is bringing to the party - the people that might be able to help with this - Kerry should be helpful.
    Phelim - Kerry was helpful, then got feedback, I got really pissed off with that guy and left.
    Christine - blessing and releasing the volunteers that are such a pain in the neck.
    Karen - find ways to piss them off even more.
    Phelim - when feel confident - Seth Godin's thing, if you're not pissing people off, you're not doing your job.
    Doug - Switch the conversation to your first point here, links or chains of invitations. That's kind of neat. Not seen those, and I think that would be a wonderful way to bring people to this.
    Phelim- I was very aware that people were interested for lots of different reasons. Within the invitation process itself. Thought it was a good solution. Will send the link from the DnD website. We created a series of images that were from DnD and we'll do something for WOSonOS, active for a week - instead it keeps the invitation alive and reanimates the first invitation.
    Karen - thinks its a great process.

    Check out
    Phelim - somewhere there is confusion that everyone works on everything - instead OS supports people to follow their passion and take the lead. It causes confusion that it's about everyone agreeing. That misunderstanding can lead to some confusion about stuff.
    Doug - so uplifted - even if we disagree - people who are seeing what's possible in the world with sacred conversations.

  • Meeting Date: 19 Feb 2012
    • Present: Doug, Karen, Harold, Suzanne, Peggy
    • Silence

    • Checkins held

    • Harold will be bin gardener:

      • Haiti partners is done; Suzanne will send another email for completion
      • Meet logo designer is done; Harold might add something to Website from the logo
      • Spiritual evolution is done
    • Annual membership drive:

      • Suzanne drafted one
      • Harold is reworking it today
      • want to have something by the end of the call
      • move the appeal up to first paragraph
      • $20 to 1500—don't set the bar too low.
    • Wikipedia entry:

      • Not much energy to eliminate the banners
      • resistance to cleaning it up—might offend people if clean it up
      • Leave it in the bin, but bring in items around it, e.g., what we are doing as an institute in a very non-institutional world. Contextualizing.
      • Whom do we serve and how best do we serve them?
        • Difference between leadership in a hub and leadership in a hierarchy
        • about invitation, attraction, questions that matter
      • Need a layered approach, so people can find themselves in there.
      • This conversation needs to go to the OSlist
      • Maybe host a separate conversation about this.
      • There is a stewardship issue here: lightly stewarding the community.
      • Question needs to be larger than just cleaning up the Wikipedia entry
      • Recommend to Phelim to do something separate from Wikipedia
    • March 19 next meeting

    • Checkouts held

  • Meeting Date: 30 Dec 2011

    Open Space Institute - US
    Annual Membership Meeting
    December 30, 2011

    How has Open Space Technology impacted the evolution of your own consciousness?

    • This is what mystics have been trying to do forever
    • It’s already present, it’s already happening
    • Wanting the right answer, but in order to serve customers, we are turning more to this emergent science (physics is doing this too)
    • Open Space as a philosophy
    • What’s interesting about Open Space Technology is that it can be seen about an event
    • different areas of life - how to have a child in America, engaging with the health/insurance system
    • Could substitute OST for natural birth
    • Open Space is a midwifing process
      • interaction with authority, sense of choice
      • the 5th principle is very important
    • Open Space as a direct connection with the Divine
    • Open Space has lifted thinking - election time - if I were running for office, I would hold OS meetings and ask people how they would change things
    • Think of life as before and after Open Space
      • gratitude for what OS invited into my life.  Life before, I was duty bound, rescuer, fixer...not truly of service, more in control, did not have the depth of exchange and dialogue
      • I could have missed my life if I hadn’t been introduced to Open Space
      • Palpably aware of not being alone in this - well-intentioned but misguided
    • How can we anchor the awareness of what’s happening?
    • Mission to go at it in 2012.  Going to set up a buddy system, so when I get discouraged I’ll call
    • Conversation around language - how to expand
      • Are people really open to new ideas?  Generally not.  They have to be forced to new ideas.  Open Space does that.
    • Maybe, in addition to discoveries and ecstatic conclusion of open space, maybe it’s in the follow-up.
      • those who are excited, get them to follow-up and get them to do what they said they wanted to do, could be a way to help cement
    • I come to Open Space from a different angle.  It’s been an affirmation of what I’ve been thinking/doing before OST existed.  Intrigued by making connections between human behavior and the scientific world.
    • my own evolution and growth in consciousness is getting deeper inside myself, know I am the only one who can change
    • Always striving for what open space could mean in my own life. for a long time, I couldn’t say anything - couldn’t make the link
    • thought I was open to the ideas but discovered that it was difficult for me to facilitate the open space in Paris because I wanted to control everything.  had to find a point where I could be centered.  
    • What does leadership mean?
    • Open Space means taking the responsibility for what I am passionate about.  
    • Discovered through open space that I could feel connected to people who are not thinking the same way I do or understanding open space the way I did
    • Working with Open Space in 1994, completely changed.  Liberating to discover that I wasn’t responsible about their experience.
    • I’ve said that many times - what does that mean now?  It affects the work I choose and how I work with people now.  Making as visible as possible that revelation I had years ago.
    • Life practice.  Excited to find others.
    • Working with a group of Rabbis - looking at it from the point of view of how they can mobilize around core issues facing Judaism
      • being aware of the messy way that things change
      • ask the question - what is the simplest way of thinking about this to communicate the message as accessible as possible.
        • inviting people to take responsibility for what they love as an act of service
        • Opening to the systems implications and the invitation to: take responsibility for what we love as an act of service
    • OST made sense to me because of my work as a therapist and my spiritual practices
      • I started with Appreciative Inquiry, I could see how much AI needed Open Space.  It can be a grand part of letting go, letting come at the bottom of the U.
      • I toggle back and forth between being an OS practitioner in my life and looking for ways for people to experience this different way the systems they’re in.
      • When I first met Christine, I was excited to bring OST to AI work, in 2003, we knew how powerful self-organization could be in transforming system.  OST gave us a way to experience being in chaordic structures.

    Worldwide Open Space Institutes

    • perhaps a legacy of the WOSonOS 2012
    • internationally, it would be great to have a sense of what we are as an institute and series of institutes so that people who are interested in creating or joining, they will understand why they might want to call that an institute
      • is there something deeper that we want to communicate about what we are as institutes?
    • Left the Institute in France
      • Developed and funded out OSonOS
      • Observed power struggles which were never named because it was “not appropriate” in the context of open space
    • What is the purpose of an OSI?  What do we want to share by building one?
    • OSI-US has followed our passions, what we care about - has brought us together

    • Audios could be made available, in addition to our notes.
      • Agreed:  Harold, Christine

    • Important to find a way to get together and work together with others who have a passion for open space
    • in Occupy Movement are struggling with power struggles,
    • OST provides a means for people to work together, apart.  Not all having to agree.  Work in different groups about what we care about
    • Often solutions could interact with one another if people could learn to share power
    • divide and conquer - John Young, Rome issue.  Forced people into different groups and divided.  How we tend to solve problems in the military and corporations.
    • Open space is a powerful metaphor for midwifing
    • It is critical to find ways that we can hold space together to move this thought process together, even if just conference calls or Facebook


    • Ph: Interested in discovering how to engage - the quality with which I listened is different from the communications when everyone is on mute.  my quality of listening was not as connected and attentive.  Knowing that I couldn’t be heard or engaged in actively listening
    • D: Thanks to Peggy for sharing her practice again - inviting....
    • S: Feel warmly connected.  Thank Harold of the nice ways he sent the notes,
    • K: Wonderful stimulus and example of the beauty of connecting.  feels like it’s just bait - all kinds of wonderful things to delve into more deeply
    • E: Thank you, great meeting, looking forward to future meeting and coming year
    • P:  Appreciating the people who have kept OSI-US going over the last year.  Thanks for your companionship and partnership
    • H: Wish everyone a happy new year.  Gratitude for the level of everyone’s work and what they bring to the field.  breathing in that energy/feeling.  what Open space enables.  Making a stand.
    • CK: thank you for this meeting and for inviting me.  How important it is to be connected and be able to self-organize.  
    • CWS:  Been hearing about 2012 for many years - curious and excited about the possibilities for this coming year.
  • Meeting Date: 18 Dec 2011

    Present: Karen, Ed, Harold, Peggy, Christine, Doug, Suzanne

    • Meeting lasted 45 minutes
    • Moment of silence + check-ins
    • Decided to limit topic to the Annual Open Space Institute Meeting
    • Date of the meeting: Friday December 20th (90 minutes) - Noon EST
    • Group defined the agenda with the focus on 2 topics:

    1) The Evolution of Consciousness & Open Space Technology
    2) The future of Open Space Technology Institutes Worldwide

    • Lisa to moderate the meeting or if unavailable Christine will facilitate;
    • Harold to prepare annual financial summary with activities and post on OSI US Institute website; Harold also offered to send a general invitation to the community
    • Suzanne offers to use her Maestro Conference account and set up the meeting
    • Meeting adjourns with holiday greetings to all
  • Meeting Date: 20 Nov 2011

    • Present: Karen, Peggy, Harold, Doug, Suzanne, Christine, Lisa

    • Peggy will moderate

    • Harold bin gardner

    • Doug will take the notes

    • Opened with Silence

    • Checkins held

    • Calls with Christine, Ed, Suzanne—leave for next time

    • Kai Degner: never heard back, remove from bin

    • Add annual open member meeting: open invitation to December Board call; Harold will write the invitation and prepare for posting a financial report, in a simple format

    • What per cent of our Budget to devote to any one project?

      • Do we spend it all, first come first served? But we are not here to have a bank account....

      • Prefer to spend some time on awareness, and not adopt a specific policy

      • Articulate a few incentives; what are we intending to do with our funds; different from Access Queen; how do we make these decisions?

      • Not easily, complex, emergent

      • It was good to have a little bit of the naiveté; we'd ought to be able to be flexible to meet the needs; not sure we can be informed by the past;

      • Do we say there has to be an hiatus, and they have to have a year off?

      • Haiti does so much good work; could have used more money in Chile for the WOSONOS--that was good work too; more of a conversation of with Haiti, not shutting the door

      • Everybody does not have the same cultural ability to ask; both Chile and Haiti helps a lot of people for a little bit of money

      • Not clear what the issue is; is there some other principle that needs to be named?

      • May be we should have a per centage for projects; Haiti depleted our treasury; maybe 75% of our funds will go to projects; as against a Dollar amount; Need to keep it flexible; let's say they ask for 3500 and we only have 4K in the treasury

      • Access Queen does not just say, "OK," but says "I will see what we have"—no promises, no funding of one person twice in a row; very fluid; "I only have $X, does that mean you can still go?"

      • We had over $5,000 when Haiti request came in; as of now we have less than $3,000; we have Checking and PayPal accounts

      • We have not had a lot of requests for money; we don't have a list of projects all waiting; we need to have a conversatino with them, so they develop other opportunities; their fund raisers could be developing some fund raising, too.

      • Temporary conclusion: we are wanting to be as flexible as possible, but do not want to go over a certain per centage

      • Let's agree we do not need to talk about it more today, but want to create a placeholder; we seem to create the wheel all over again each time; and the shared willingness to let things emerge; see no reason to keep it in the bin;

      • We will mark it done; but there is something for us to consider this again face to face; we should put out that other people can request support; and we would probably get more donations

      • Suzanne will speak with John Engle about what the capacity is in Haiti to get more donations elsewhere and become selt-supporting.

    • December 19th is our next meeting.

    • Checkouts concluded the meeting

  • Meeting Date: 25 Oct 2011

    Present: Christine, Suzanne, Harold, Doug

    Harold - occupy missoula

    Christine - our business together - interesting so many skills in many methodologies - think they know what Open Space is. What is and isn't open space. Continue to promote the importance of this form especially at this time. Plugged into what's happening in the spiritual evolutionaries - for a very long time - this big shift is coming - and now here it is. Barbara Marx Hubbard - 14K other people. Other people interested in what can we do now? It's another example no one is talking about what methods to engage people - talking about the skills needed to progress in evolutionary development - figure out how to plug in without trying to take it on as it's our to do - very interested in that. Hoping to reconnect about the language as that is getting more critical. I'm in.

    Suzanne - Just got in late last night - I thank you Harold Occupy time there - world cafe' and open space about a book by Brene' Brown - global conversation - free event - about 200 people - going to be doing it in open space - doing it - Harrison talked - everywhere and anywhere don't know where to start- very intense time - time to Harrison 1:1 4-6 hours - and he was in Chile' - wonderful - however, he is much leading a team, sensed impatience - so much effort put into the preparation and planning - there's important work to be done- it's not the way of open space - much more simple than that - we're all on the same page in that regard. Needing to rest and get ready. Come back with that - Tuscany - president - group of 22. I had a real intimate view on the line - couple spouses - mid size businesses. They do not seem to have top of mind or top of spirit the shift that we're talking about. Very addicted to their own work and their role in that work. But it is not part of their regular world, nor part of their regular thought processes. Is not working as well - successess that they get are a little empty and they're on a treadmill. The other thing - made me reflect on the OSI board and the role that we play in a non-formal way but it is very important. It implies to Karen - what she had done - Lisa - part of the tribe in South America - feel she represents us. Conversation November 20.

    Gone full out in Landmark - because it to be so powerful - connected to Open Space - prepare to do the work - not in the shadows of myself. With others and for others.

    Christine will send out note for the next meeting time November 21.

    Occupy & OST

    1500 communities around the world. A symptom of something wanting to happen. San Diego - Raffi - attempts at bringing Open Space. We met in a circle in Occupy Missoula, but still not having used OST. Lot of presence of homeless and additions especially alcoholism.

    Chile WOSonOS

    Someone brought some different kinds of instruments to create a way to experience other than through language - tubes, 90 minutes, kind of long. Harrison stayed 10 minutes and then he left. Waiting to go back to San Diego - he was a little tired - understandably so - why are putting all this effort - I keep harping about that - it shouldn't be this complicated. It's supposed to be easier. There is the simplicity. Having an intention and trusting the process. The facilitators, to do that inner work. Which is personal work, would help meditation. Just before the closing circle - some bowls that sounded like bells, you could feel the vibrational - closing circle, palpably beautiful and very strong and Suzanne commented - that was amazing. Just sharing this because it gives you a sense - many beautiful things.

    No one in Chile talked about Occupy - Christine - most of the meetings were in Spanish - in Chile', it's not quite the same as it is in other places. Students are in their equivalent in occupy requesting that education be more available and accessible. Combo of private and public- sit in strike almost a year. On the day that we were leaving were going to be some big demonstrations. Very frustrating - seemed to think that the government and status quo. Only the big reference that I am referencing to Occupy. Most of the meetings were held in Spanish. Most people spoke spanish - some things in English - many times having their own discussions.

    The importance of the hoop - understanding the intent of the process - and not be caretaking - trusting - that the process can hold this - I really felt that I came out - just kind of went along with the flow - very good flow for the most part - some spurts - I just wish I had used my two feet. And by doing that how committed I am to certain things - participating in watering down something that is very powerful and strong. In holding the space. And honoring. There is a lot.

    When in Rome - 200K people, wasn't thinking Open Space when I was there - too young - in the bliss that there was space being opened for talking to be heard - for people to speak. Well organized. Burnt cars - didn't see bank windows broken - did feel at times that this - someone could drop a bomb this could be aweful - bad vibes being chased and shoed away. Mainstream wanted to be heard. I wasn't even thinking Open Space while I was there. Just wanted to hear those topics, no space and place - see pensioners - saw students - and young people - two degrees and no jobs

    Doug- there's truth to what you're saying - interviewed people - specifically - journalistic hat - it felt like I was opening up space for them - there's not that much space - it did make a difference - went to buy something - these two young women - so maturely - so coherently - we want you to have it - warmed my heart that there were some people chasing bad guys away - when I was in Chile' - where I'm still confused about this - the people were immediately happy to be together they were happy and hugging, kissing, haven't danced like that in I don't know how long - enjoyed being together and being in life together - the meeting each other that felt so wonderful and the release and there were tears as there often is in the end - sobbing tears of people that were having things emerge in them. You could just feel it. Felt like that place needed to honored - didn't feel it an honored - but there was other stuff happening. Other things happening - people taking care of each other - we wouldn't have - someone from Chile' just gone back and was at the airport and the Republican Convention - hugest drought - watering their lawns - involved in Open Space and Permaculture - oh gosh - shoot me now - haven't been back - more despairing than the poor places in Africa. So this is not a joyful note.

    Christine - witnessing - deepening inside of ourselves- this is what have called - women have been highly successful in their roles in the community - in their roles - such a longing to connect with their purpose in life and they are coming back and asking for more because of the depth of the experience not because of what they are doing in the world - the focus of what they're doing - some have left their jobs - there is a tremendous need for this - there is some stuff to help small groups and smaller groups and a dream of mine to integrate that into the large scale work - and from time to time experienced it - and I agree it has a lot to do with the consciousness of the facilitator and the container is created that may or may not have to do with the official opening of the space - the other thing I want to say is that I believe part of this shift that we're in is that jobs as we've known them have been part of a cycle that is going out. That we are railing against the reality of the global economy we're still looking for people to point the finger at - not that there's not some validity in all of that - the grief in letting go of what is passing and opening to new forms. Pretty stuck in the upset around the old form.

    Wherever we are opening space - we are contributing to occupy wallstreet and all the adjoining cities. It is such a good movement that it can feel very overwhelming. Rush with the buckets and go with the fires. Holding the space spiritually and talking with people and allowing and hearing. That brings some closure for me to express this.

    Deep Nature Connection

    Birgitt's work is right up this alley - integrating - quite grounded. Not a genuine contact person. Quite a few friends are. Just taken the Native America medicine wheel. And many of us have - came out of a spiritual place. A deep connection - don't have to talk about it. Very much embedded in open space. And very much one facilitator more powerful whether are sourcing what they do from another space. Opening up themselves as a channel.

    An awful lot of the story - circles is one of the primary practices is being taught to all the girls - we have a little hand out that we designed out several years ago - circle practices - linked it to the circle practices that have always been in place - seeing each others eyes - and all the things that Harrison has talked about. Doug- as you were talking about this, Harold, I don't know how many Charles Eisestein - The Ascent of Humanity - if you go to can get the book chapter by chapter. He shares a thesis that seems to be the separation of human beings one from the other - from nature - and I was hearing a great deal of that when you were talking about wilderness and awareness and connection to the land - Eisestein talks alot about hunter gatherer - they were living in the world which was abundant and provided everything they needed and how things changed when we went towards agriculture and put up fences things - not to blame that as being the problem or going back, that it was inevitable that we would do that - but we have to move past that - a lot of the same themes moving through that. One of the things that I got out of a chapter or subchapter - suggested it - one of the things I'm seeing that Open Space and all conversational methods turn people into being producers of light as opposed to consumers. Circle conversations, people are in charge of their life and of the meeting and making decisions, and no longer mere spectators and not consumers, part of what is going on in open space, we've just shifted the ground from under their feet, not just receiving what they are receiving .

    They are creating something. They are creating new - those are two powerful - deep nature connection is woven deeply in all of that.

    On a continuum what is now - people living in isolation - dealing with emotions - job security - how people are working really hard and we think of nature and the native communities - everything they have to teach - such a wide divide - little things that are important - why is it in other cultures - families out in parks in nature out doings - not seeing - not the same - have witnessed people who are laughing singing are in a more joyful space - and somehow when people connect from a place that has joy - this is why it is so attractive - Brene' Brown = the power of vulnerability - to be ourselves to let go of the things we thought we were supposed to be - pathway of OST to get to the deeper stuff - for many of us it's not even in reach - they will be happy = get this or get that. We're all coming to terms - how off the mark - and we can find peace in nature - in communities. Feel myself drawn to those simple things - as a smile in conversation - before I can go as far - in Chile' - important native people that there - presence at the closing - this is not mainstream.

    Sono Hashisaki - possible board member.

    If I hadn't met Open Space - there is something OST under the surface of it all - it's a theme of possibility - that people rally to - connected to action to outcome - otherwise no one would come - what happens under the auspices under it when we are together - and we find ourselves - Suzanne's path has mirrored Harold's. To sit in a circle the first time. Dutiful citizen - corporate - good deeds and enabling a whole bunch of stuff. What we have out there. We need to breathe possibility as well - from the despair - have to trust - when we find each other - we find our neighbors and co-workers - and see possibilities in things that we can do - in this the human spirit - it's even hard to discuss this when there are homeless - won't be able to do anything if I come from that place. A step at a time even if it's not convenient - not congruent to living life vibrantly - the men in North America would hug their children. The Pinochet years were not that long ago. Nobody was hugging anybody. The reality 30 years ago was different. The value of hugging around the breakfast table. In their families what it means - levels not expected. Other lands that are different.

    Evolution of Human Consciousness

    Normal witching hour. Christine - put a placeholder to continue the conversation - a little bit. The folks who have been tuned that are predicted to occur in 2012 and the current state of the human consciousness have been at it since 1970's, from own fields and persepctives - in the mystery realm. How we can take the evolutionary leap that humanity is ready to take? Spiral Dynamics - if everyone would take the leap - still having the common world view - but just imagine if just everyone went to the next level.

    Singularity (Geek Apocalypse)

    This was from Harold. The Singularity is the concept of exponential trends in technology, especially Moore's law where computing power doubles every 2-3 years as well as getting cheaper, will eventually lead to such a dramatic shift that we can no longer project what is beyond the point where the curve of advances goes nearly vertical in time. Some believe that consciousness will be transported into computers, or that a new form of life will emerge from technology that will displace humanity. These ideas are taken seriously in Silicon Valley and in much of the intelligentsia around software and computing. It is sometimes called the Geek Apocalypse because it does have a similar ring as to coming to the "end times", the end of the world as we know it. And it also in many ways is similar to what so many of us are sensing in terms of a big shift coming very soon.

    Each Open Space that he has been part of - a community which allows for possibilities to think out of the box - continue to do this - allow this facilitation - to be free internally - to be free spiritually - to understand because you've been alive 50 years - doesn't give you a right to be better than anyone else - a way we can communicate and be with each other - 2-300 years ago - jobs with money- the better job - made more money - people need to work - but don't need to make money - we can barter - we can do as the Native Americans have done. This is not my land this is everyone's land. We're approaching this - we're going to have to think differently - move up 2-3 rungs quickly - so we can allow ourselves to be human again. I always say that OST is like magic - in it - after awhile you see humanity - see 20 people looking at each other and hearing each other and trying to understand each other. As opposed to sitting in front of a blackboard and no one listens to anybody. Very encourages about what heard about the Chilean OST. Open Space allows us to hug each other. Let's do more of it!

    It's like childbirth. We're going to deliver a baby - that's where there is the deepest pain and the greatest possibility - secure and cozy and comfy and aren't we glad were aren't there. Willis Harmon's Global Mind Change. When people were totally unconscious. The Spirit of Leadership. The Practice of Peace. A lot of this stuff. It has tons of it. Resonate and feel comfort that open space came about that was there. So ... in the simplicity of our lives. The planet needs to heal - only heal when we connect with each other. How we feel about the animals and the birds. Christine going out in nature all the time - be more in nature like you're doing. Holding space - shifting consciousness.


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