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OSI-US Board Meeting May 27, 2007
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Present: Gabriel Shirley, Peggy Holman, John Engle, Karen Davis, Christine Whitney Sanchez, Lisa Heft, Phelim Mc Dermott, Douglas Germann Sr., Kerry Napuk, Tree Fitzpatrick -- Absent: Ed Laboy. Notes-taker: Lisa Heft

We began by sharing a moment of silence together.

Personal check-in -

Kerry just returned from China - at the end of his trip he saw 70 surfing Buddhas (statues) at the Bamboo Temple. He has photos to prove it.

Christine just finished leadership development for Girl Scout Board - they have been tracking how the invisible shows up. Every person in one group heard Tibetan bells (though the group next to them never heard a thing) - this will be part of their documentation. She is attuned lately to what happens in the larger field and has been paying attention to that.

Peggy attended our meeting while on her way home via train from Eugene, Oregon where she’s working with Tom Atlee on the Storyfield Conference (people who carry meta-narratives - such as one group who carries a model of sustainability through the arts and story). She has been looking at the story field in which we live and also in shifting the story we live in.

Phelim is very busy making a Philip Glass opera (Satyagraha) about Gandhi - it has been hard, exciting, going well, rave reviews, angry reviews, people love it, and it is an interesting journey working in an opera house in an open style. In the middle of this all he flew to Minneapolis to do an improvised puppet show, then flew back. Out of the Devoted & Disgruntled OS event, a funding for the arts conversation group has been galvanizing itself; quite actively self-organizing post event. By the way, the opera will be at the New York Met in spring 2008.

Tree has moved to California and has been writing her novel. She became so absorbed in her work that she stepped away for a moment - dived very deeply into it all, feels so productive. And she’s very tan and her hair is bleaching blond in the California sun.

Karen has been involved in OneVoice? - coalition of organizations that are grounded in spirituality with an interest in making a difference in the world. At their first gathering over 800 people showed up (!); another big gathering is coming up in June. They are discovering other groups around the world also doing this. She is aware of the energy going out into the world and also the impact that we as a Board are making, as well.

John and his wife Merline and 14-month Daniel have returned from Haiti - they had a very encouraging time. The kidnapping has stopped, it is very hopeful, and he and Fremy held a great, well-attended training. He’s preparing for his largest OS ever, with the World Bank; also moving to Florida May 25 (to be closer to Haiti; will also be close to some close friends as well).

Gabriel is starting an exciting new project with NBC Nightly News. He participated in a Business as an Agent of World Benefit online conference - and shared that the TED website (Technology, Entertainment and Design) has recently been updated to feature many presentations by incredible people - ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ - he sent us a link. He has been reflecting on what keeps good ideas from spreading and what enables them to spread.

Doug has not much news to add.

Lisa spent a busy January through March - jobs, conferences and travel - she is happy to be home again enjoying her garden, being in her sweet, quiet home and catching up with her other work. One of her highest experiences was the national immigrant and refugee farmer conference in February - inspiring, complex, hard work, gratifying, humbling. She has been named a Fellow with Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution. This formalizes a relationship where she has already been consulting on the use of OS in very high conflict zones (East Timor, Northern Iraq).

1. Joining NCDD as a Member Organization (Peggy)

Discussion of the US National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation recently creating member dues -- $100 for an organization; seems worthwhile to give, to support the growth of more dialogue and deliberation practice, tools, resources and community.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement to do so. Peggy will do this.

2. OSI-US Annual Member Meeting - OSonOS by the Sea, Maine (US) (Peggy)

One of our requirements in being a 501(c)3(nonprofit) organization is that we host an annual member meeting; we’ve traditionally done that at the WOSonOS2008 - none of us are going to Kiev; Christine, Phelim, Karen, Lisa are going to Maine so we can do it there.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement to hold member meeting at OSonOS by the Sea in September. Christine will discuss with Karen. If by chance she cannot make that event due to an event that happens immediately before, she will contact Karen.

3. A Gift for Mikk for his Board Service

Typically we have sent an earth candle to those leaving our Board. We will be doing this for Mikk - will we also be doing this for Ric?

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement that this is a great thing to send, to both. Peggy will do this.

4. The International Conversation about WOSonOS2008 (Karen)

Karen sent the notes of the last international telephone meeting to the OSLIST. Unfortunately no Kiev folks were on that last call for an update. Discussed how decisions are made and feel that is the setting but we agreed on several principles - 2 year lead time / plan ahead several years, make the process more conscious (planning ahead and ensuring more worldwide people in attendance) and encouraging and supporting other local OSonOSs? to continue in any region that wishes to but to continue one annual worldwide event. Usually there is someone present at the WOSonOS2008 who can extend the invitation. Last year there was an invite from someone not attending (US). The international group greed on rotation between North America, Europe, Somewhere Else (until more folks avail from southern hemisphere).

Lisa again interested in inviting to US for 2008. Nobody from OSI-US will be in Kiev - importance of giving support for whomever will present from OSI-US in inviting and ensuring this does happen in way we would like it to. Q: how willing is OSI-US to support this coming to San Francisco? There is a call Day 2 Kiev conference which extends this invitation (we may be able to call in to the conference). Kerry met with Mark Pixley in Hong Kong who is anxious to participate in the international calls representing Mainland China. Discussion of technical ability to call into conference (May 25 - 26 Kiev time) - would we be able to support that call financially. What kind of support would Lisa need to put on event? She will think about it - she has a large local community to assist. Perhaps it is possible for OSI-US folks to be on call during Lisa’s invitation.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement that Kerry will re- invite Mark to join those international calls. Lisa has designed a physical, interactive, experiential invitation which will be led by Thomas Herrmann and Eva Swenson. Agreement that the cost of calling in to conference will probably be reasonable (possible via internet connection / skype can be supported - we pre-authorized up to $100). Gabriel is available to the Kiev team to answer questions about technology for such a call. Peggy and others are waiting to be asked if and when Lisa may need it for support. This invitation comes to the world community from the San Francisco-based group with the whole-hearted support of OSI-US. Karen will keep us informed re: worldwide group calls and the possibility if needed of OSI (some or all) calling in to the WOSonOS2008 event.

5. Check-in about Kiev WOSonOS2008 (Lisa)

Lisa has shared the ongoing host-to-host letter (tips, recommendations, lessons learned and wisdom from past hosts to the next host team - she grows this letter with input from current hosts each year). The Kiev team has been quiet on the email front. Lisa has asked them if they need any Access Queen or other money, but to-date there has been no response. Interaction before this has been lovely and they seem capable and active - they also have help from Jo Toepfer and Michael M Pannwitz. Access Queen helped BhaV? apply for OSI funds, which were granted. Is there concern about their lack of interaction? Traditionally we honor the way hosts do it for themselves.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Lisa will keep in touch as possible with the Kiev host team.

6. News Item - Videos (Christine)

Finally the Girl Scouts video is in its BETA form - is a blend of OS and World Cafe - about high engagement and what that means to a membership organization. Great addition to the Open Space library. She is talking to co-owners of this video about re: how to make avail through OSI-US. She has a friend in Phoenix with a wonderful video of his work with firefighters - very high energy - firefighters made the video. She hopes to have him contact OSI-US. Lisa also has a video coming - the National Immigrant and Refugee Farming Conference. Michael Herman forwarded an email from Chuck Smith - he is coordinating a film festival at the wikipedia conference in Taipei in August - He will be viewing John’s Circles of Change video for probable showing (can only show one).

Gabriel is thinking - is it possible to put multiple clips together different methods for TED conference?

Phelim is completing a stop-frame video of Devoted & Disgruntled - OS in theatre arts community - the mini-video - covers 300 people and 2 days in about 8 minutes - you see the whole process.

Our colleagues in Haiti are getting lots of hits on YouTube? - John says over 6,000 hits by now. Not a lot of people put comments on it but different people are getting connected and there is an OS event coming up HaitiSalon? in Brooklyn - some Haitian American organizations have been promoting and linking to that video. Hard to know what impact it’s having - but: people are looking at it. Doug observes that folks interested in or from Haiti bump into John’s piece - is there something here in promoting OS around the world via the use of that tool? Could we tag various videos with keywords for people looking for those things (firefighter, immigrant, farmer, girl scouts, theatre) to reach out to people to share to new audiences? Christine feels this connects to training of the younger generation - how to reach young people? This may be one of the formats. Possibly MySpace?, too?

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Peggy will write to Chuck Smith and mention these other videos. Gabriel will follow up on the TED idea with Christine. Those with new and in-progress videos will keep us posted.

7. What Happened at the Nexus Conference (Peggy, Christine, Lisa, John, Doug, Gabriel)

Doug felt there was lots of sharing but also lots of ego - folks marketing themselves, touting their methods, pushing their trademarked programs - great people but different from Doug’s experience at OS events. Uplifting time, lots of good ideas, quite valuable - he also felt a lot of people were working way too hard. John had a great time - felt the organizers did a phenomenal job making it affordable, accessible, getting people from diff disciplines together. Echoes some of Doug’s thoughts and felt at some times there was more focus on instructions than on interaction.

Peggy was central to the planning team - which had its own internal struggles. She was consciously aware of working with people all over the spectrum in terms of how they approach design. She was originally unattached to OS having to be in it - allowed for design to emerge through conversation. It was clearly ‘pretty warty’ - something for everyone to hate - and to love as well. Doing a lot of work around conferences right now - about finding patterns that create rich productive experiences. Was an experiment - some parts worked great, some parts were grim. Thrilled that many really important conversations got sparked there that will have a significant impact on the field over the next few years. Got something started.

Christine was also involved in the planning - there is an edge that we’re playing on - how to give space for and practice and attend to that which is emerging so it is always part of our conscious co-creation. At the same time how to provide the opportunity for people who really did come because they want to interact with a certain method, belief system, or personality - how to do that in a way that is more integrated? They tried to design as a flow but it moved in rather a disjointed way - in part because wanted to work with things emerging - therefore they were moving things around, letting go of things, bringing new people into the design team during the event and letting them do some things as well. Very appreciative with how they moved with what was emergent. Interested in how we will do better design / how that evolves for the next Nexus.

Gabriel was also on the design team - he has the additional sense ‘we got what we asked for’ - intended for people with diverse desires, interests and backgrounds to show up and they did. Perhaps they did not communicate well enough across they spectrum of people that other strong desires besides their own would be in the room - this informs the next round’s invitation. There was tension between emergent design versus structured design - this tension evident during pre-work the event and the feedback. People had great experiences, great conversations, enjoyed meeting valuable folks, enjoyed some experiences, disliked others -- it was diverse depending on who was talking. They got requests for more structure, more openness - all really interesting. Part of what happened: we got together. We did it. We did it for the first time. Other things are now going to be possible. John feels that with a bit of a modified OS you can accomplish both. Fulfill the desire for learning methodology, hanging out with some of the ‘rock stars’, some sense of coherence at the end. Hats off to those involved - phenomenal job.

8. Training next generation of facilitators (Kerry, Christine)

Kerry and Christine are in conversation about this. Lisa also continues her interest in and support of this as she trains and mentors young facilitators.


NEXT MEETING: May 25 11a PST / 7:00 GMT

BIN for May 25, 2007 OSI(US) Board meeting:

1. The International Conversation about WOSonOS2008 (Karen)
2. Check-in about Kiev WOSonOS2008 ?
3. Open Space Institute Going Deeper (Christine)
4. Training next generation of facilitators (Kerry, Christine)
5. Making individual grants from a 501(c)3 (non-profit organization) (Doug)
6. U.S. website for practitioners (Kerry)


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