ISSUE: How do you bring OS to groups who have never experienced OS and the underserved?
SUMMARY: Obstacles to the use of OS: Fear, Money, Culture, Isolation, OS is unknown to the people, Accreditation – Gatekeepers, Too busy, not habitual, too self-absorbed,
Groups who are underserved or who have never experienced OS
CONVENER: Claudia Haack
PARTICIPANTS: Sue Ann, Ted, John, Dierdre, Albert, Doug, Sara, Erol, Stephanie, Karen, Diane, Shiela, Sue, Lansing, Barbara, Becky,
Is Open Space a Tool for creating Chaordic Organizations? Organizations that are…
Is it possible to "organize" chaordic organizations? Can you create a "container" for it to self-organize?
It’s like compost. If you have only straw, you’re not going to get compost. You can be intentional about being chaordic.
Albert’s Theory – Chaos doesn’t exist; it’s someone’s perception, based on one’s capacity to see. Only God knows. Organizations form around need and constructs order to meet those needs.
John - Chaos = "non-meaning."
Lansing’s experience: Organization carved out a week for their people to come together. Brought in an incredibly diverse group; broad cross-section of organization. Started growing from the edges instead of the center. No one was marginalized. Went out from there and did their own OS events.
What allowed OS to be successful in Lansing’s examplel:
Claudia – Research by Chaordic Commons indicates that for transformation to work you have to crank up the stakes (create a "burning platform").
Doug – Leadership has to perceive the burning platform on a personal level. Because leader is taking big risk – reputation, costs, etc. Fear is at root of shift; it’s so radical, it’s so large that we have to downplay.
John – Somehow dialogue of Open Space is key to transformation…Assumption that using OS can make transformation happen. Something leaders have to do…break beyond their authority, bring in diverse people. Leaders engage followers in a conversation about values and moral motivations (Why do we participate in this organization?). Reclarifying what is meaningful to us.
Stephanie – Causes me to question our government’s values. Might makes right…unfettered capitalism…has dominated. Some of us now seem to want to go to a "partnership model" meeting needs of all people involved, but government is lagging behind. What we’re talking about goes beyond corporations or other organizations. It’s fundamental to the future of democracy!
Lansing’s experience – Natural leaders of group did a lot of deep listening as other leaders emerged; those who volunteered to take responsibility for various improvement initiatives. Did day and a half of prep before OS event. A lot of one-on-one time with leaders. Brought in speakers from other organizations to talk about their experiences.
Barbara – It’s different if you’re trying to shift an existing organization rather than building a new organization from scratch. How do you create a comfort level (or do you?) for those who don’t want to change (or don’t get it)? In her organization, some of the leadership are getting it, and giving up some of the power, and others aren’t. It seems to be energizing one group and paralyzing the other group.
Claudia – OS allows people to see the potential and power of participating and learning that comes from the OS event.
Shiela – Experience where there was a clear cut need. Time was being wasted on quarrels; lot of time on grievances. Need to get together and talk this through. Walked into room on first day and you could cut tension with a knife. By third day, they were at lunch together. Queen of Denmark "Most of tragedies in the world are caused by the conversations that didn’t happen."
Stephanie – Anyone have a church example? Where people are volunteers, diverse, and may lack time. Need – they’ve lost their sense of community, ability to sustain itself financially, not fulfilling mission in community.
What is the "chaordic process?"
John Summarizes reasons he posted topic. Is of great interest to him for many reasons, one being a conversation with Stephanie. It is hard to get people to sit down with each other. "We use this method in Haiti. I have been involved with an organization called CPT which Sarah is a part of, which has teams of people in Columbia and other areas, of extreme conflict and I wanted to explore this further."
John acknowledges large size of group, and invites people to create smaller groups if they desire. "Where do we want to go?"
Define Conflict - people who have an aspiration of behavior, but impulse of something else. I don’t have an ability to effectively respond to a situation because it’s so extreme, I can’t respond. This is conflict.
Maybe it means different things to different people. Some implicit opening to reconciliation, some say I am wrong you are right. In OS conflict in nature imagines the notion of reconciliation.
I have learned when there is conflict, it is tight. Open space allows a chance to engage dialogue. Reframe perceptions. People in an organization can’t express disagreement, so change is stifled.
In Palestine and Israel, John learned that local practitioners spent 9 months of work toward encouraging people and helping them to become willing to sit down and talk. The event was intense, different emotions and profound learning. Now, with interviews, we’re learning that there are disappointments. Palestinians face reality that profound experience doesn’t mean that the people they connected with really care and are necessarily engaged in bringing about change.
In Haiti John had an OS experience. A famous journalist named Jean Dominique was assisinated after beginning to criticize the government. He came from the elite class, and a foundation was created shortly after his death to keep his dream of democracy alive. The foundation began working to bring perpetrators of the Jean Dominique’s killer to justice. A member of the foundation found out about OS and John was invited to do an open space to convene people who appreciated Jean Dominique and wanted to push for the end of impunity for his killers. The OS day was tense, but people were shocked that they could have a day with all these different people, and not have more arguments and disagreements. At the same time John felt disappointed, along with a board member, Some people from the foundation shut down and didn’t engage. Didn’t create a welcoming environment for these people to meet.
The legitimacy of the concept of meeting basic needs of everybody and sharing, negotiating interests, is basic to cutting extreme conflict. Now we have the good guys and bad guys.
How do you engage an adversary that precludes the idea of being able to resolve something? There is nothing that was previously there to break. Was there a community to begin with that broke? We need to desire the wholeness of the group.
In coming together and acknowledging equality, if given chance to express themselves, people deepen respect for each other.
Shared values are being part of a community, even if they don’t feel they are deeply connected. Shared value could be independence, so this is linking the group.
If everyone shares a value, then this is the premise for OS.
What constitutes success?
People need to be helped to see they have something at stake that can be helped by coming together and discussing this problem. When people come together, what kind of conversations help us to help individuals/groups to see how they can help themselves.
OS is about having people come together to express themselves and seeing what happens.
The principle that everyone has there own ideas and can express them.
Principles need to be considered. Whatever happens happens. Timing thing. You don’t know tipping point until after it happens.
Minorities and those who are victimized, those who are wronged usually don’t have the chance to have a point of view. OS allows the different parties to feel invited and express their opinions.
OS allows for malleability, there are no real rules. How do you assess and measure and evaluate the method?
Realities of democracy are that there are a million possibilities as to what things should look like. The rule that a convener should take is to open the door to everyone.
Preparation for os means making sure that there are accurate representatives of the groups you are going to invite. Building and working with these groups may take months, and this practice will build relationships.
What are our rights as an outsider?
Legitimacy is in invitation. IF you are invited then you have the right to be there.
We have responsibility to share ideas and help others to manifest their ideas.
What happens after the bubble, and people go back to their situations? How can we perpetuate what has been learned in the OS?
Experience of an OS that after first one, they had another, and there were more places of overlap.
Are people who come to OS only those that are willing to be changed?
Some people that are used to speaking to each other can interact well. The dialogue that occurs is part of a progressive growth and opportunity to share. OS facilitates ability to feel they can share.
Some people come to OS because they are open to being in the same room with the opposing side. OS encourages people to be in a space that allows them to feel safe with those of the opposing side.
Repetition of the OS experience with the same people and groups so that there can be continued growth and exposure.
OS is not always the way to do things.
Is there a tactical use of the methodology?
Exercise by leadership to say the power is yours. OS allows for people who rarely have choice, to exercise their right to make a choice and speak out.
CONVENER: Francine Dolan
PARTICIPANTS: Noah, Sarah, Francine, John, J.P., Steve, Erik, Sarah
Steven spoke of a Open Space experience at Shimer College
CONVENER: Erik Badger
PARTICIPANTS: Sarah G., Sarah R., Sara, Shiela, Noah K-O, John F., Francine, Erik
CONVENER: Deirdre Knowles
PARTICIPANTS: Sue Martin, Deirdre Knowles, SueAnn? Kendall, John Frank
PARTICIPANTS: Deirdre Knowles, Karen Davis, Sue Martin, Sara Reschley, Becky Hugh
How does training, teaching about OS happen? How do we make more leaders/facilitators so we can make more Openings?
CONVENER: Karen Davis
PARTICIPANTS: Lansing, Diedre, Dave, Claudia, Barbara, Sarah, Al
Global wisdom society has been defined as a society that values all cultures and traditions and skillfully utilizes multiple ways of knowing for the greater benefit of all life (Institute of Noetic Sciences.)
In the session people began talking about our hopes and fears and about where our world and society is and might be.
CONVENER: John Engle
PARTICIPANTS: Erik, Steven, Francine, Sheila, Diana, Lansing, Dave
F, D, and Dave: Curiosity, interest in topic, anything-addressing question of learning, what is being taught, focused on, etc. E: Essential problem to developmental work are the framers tend to be American, there is little inclusion of others in the process. Feeling a sense of arrogance L: Learning is a deficit conversation, something that you do not have and need to get, result is American conversation about learning. Re-member, powerful way to look at reconnecting what you do know
Clarification on topic, John: Sharing the expertise (appreciative inquiry, Open Space, etc,), inviting people who have developed skills, comfortable in critiquing American ways and what we bring, to assess what is liked and disliked.
Steven: Recognition of know-how and knowledge to share, but done with respect to the cultures you encounter. Wanted to acknowledge personal know how, and not to think that it is all about absorption. Power dynamic is coming from the economic power base, you are potentionally working with people who are put in a situation of economic stress, over in a position of economic stability --- who will be able to say yes I like that or no I don’t like that. The continu
Dave: Skills vs. Experience: Depth of experience needs to be held the combination of both is the first step. Appreciations of what others bring to the table, so to speak. Capitalist model, we think we have everything--we assume we know everything. Dave: Unlearn-- "I though", Need to be aware of perspectives of others, humility important-- Failure of goal vs. Failure of strategy: You’re being present, are worth a lot, and are worth a lot to these people. What price do people pay for hope, rising out of poverty, is at the price of their inhalations of their culture, language, etc.
Sheila: Fastrack program, addressing entrepreneurship. Transferable skill set. Watch your assumptions-- System problems, somewhat frustration. Robert Fuller, Some bodies and Nobodies All of the "ism", How do we share our expertise in a respectful way-- Someone is inviting you, what are the ways that we go about doing it, there is a power dynamic present.
Lansing: (story) rethinking approach, sharing information, his story
This reminder of Missionaries--
Unintentional, outcome of giving money-
John: Apprenticeship Program--Learn language and culture in Haiti; work out with them what you all should be doing. What emerged, Americans living in Haiti grant monies to education, wanting to be respectful, but seeing what was happening was disheartening (giving money to them seems unsettling) methods start to unfold
We have resources to share, how ignorant in the institution we are-- brought the apprenticeship program.
Evaluation of the Process (participation of Open Space discussions)-- A way to assess: Open Space meetings of Evaluation, list serve (105 people), how to we evaluate long term--Am I the one to put it out there? Another idea came about - turning to the 15 people (6-American, 9 Haitians), to have the decision come from
How do we, as we learn more, continue to integrate and move forward?
(Lansing)--How can you create an authentic situation? --- You can’t, there are no pure choices, We can’t be sure that we know the person’s motivation work with us, is other than a little of both (personal & for the good of the community) (Steven & John) Should I be worried that people want more than just doing this for the good of the community-- (Lansing) is it impure to have people be interested in solely at personal benefit?
Yes, this is how you may develop dysfunctionalism, which takes years to fix, relativity-- must be responsible to the process,
Position: Leadership, cultivating practices that help people in positions of authority, to help others create a greater sense of responsibility. Making use of the resources, which are there.
Steven: 2-day workshop, exciting conversations, passionate--go out and do it. No space in the trainings, (regimented, schedule- "early 30’s knew a lot J) Dramatically different to what had been done, discussion format (pre supposes sit in a circle), did not come up in the training, no ongoing discussion limited number of teachers able to keep it going.
Learned needed ongoing discussions.
People have the right to be complicated, but I want to do what I can’t to avoid the power dynamic, which exploits.
The danger with relativity: We think we have solved a problem, now lets get back to work.
Recognize that failure is an option.
CONVENER: John Engle
PARTICIPANTS: Stephanie Hughes, Claudia, Dave Keohler, Dianna Lewis, Maggie Keohler, Karen Davis, Albert Schnazi, Sheila Isaacman, Ted Ernst, Michael Herman, (apologies for names misspelled) others dropped in.
John handed out some documents covering mission and strategies of OSI (USA) along with financial and activity history. He addressed questions and invited anyone interested in being a part of the board to let us know. OSI (USA) operates on OS principles. The value that John and Michael gain from being on the board is through being a part of monthly board conference calls and the projects and activities that emerge from them.
CONVENER: Sheila Isakson and MichaelHerman
PARTICIPANTS: Diana Lewis, Becky Hugh, Dave Koehler
1. How to host an OS event?
2. Larger Context: Living example of OS in the world….it is evolving
3. Is there a way to resolve the language differences for international events? Assumption: if we cannot speak to each other, we cannot work together. We could use translators.
4. How do we practice OS in the US? OS is not a technique it is a practice. Practice is use of many tools and techniques in an ongoing basis. US practice varies somewhat to deal with various culture and other practicalities.
CONVENER: Stefanie Downs Hughes and Michael Herman
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Howell, Ted Ernst, Doug Germann, Diana Lewis, Sue Ann Kendall, Sue Martin
Stefanie has a number of projects and ideas, for which she is looking for partners to help her implement them. Some profit, some non-profit community projects, some could go either way.
Michael has been developing [sCNN] since the [GivingConference] in July 2004. The vision is to link many many projects, each one documented independently in their own weblog, in a simple, powerful network of active citizens. Invites little individuals to write/publish online thoughts about:
...members begin and document common-good projects, blog regularly and answer the questions above on an ongoing basis, link to the main sCNN site, and steal the sCNN code and use it to replicate the sCNN sidebar list of links on their own site... thus extending a network of weblogs, all connected to each other via sidebar links.
We explored sCNN as a concept, a working model and shared a list of the free services that have been cobbled together to create it, all free except for last one:
...noting that this is one really big, open, space. to post a topic/project is to create a weblog, to convene an event is to create an sCNN network node, which links a bunch of member projects. an organic web of good works with all assets owned by their creators... passion bounded by responsibility, rewarded by and connected to referrals, advice, volunteers, funding, and other resources, as requested and contributed.
Stefanie and some others may have caught the blogging bug.
Introduction: John gave context to the question, described one experience of his, "third place conversations" (Oldenburg) in coffee shops, free form open space conversations on timely issues of the day. How else can we promote political discourse in American civil society?
The group considered:
Social Analysis: Americans are divided into several camps; Several models were discussed based on participants experience and knowledge. For instance:
Sue Ann: Two groups: One group represents pluralists who accept and seek to honor multiple answers, while the other group seeks the answers more definitively, i.e. authoritarian model; To open the door to the conversation , we need to grant each group to have the right to their opinion;
Karen: Sees it as a developmental process, based on research of Ray and Anderson <?> Three Groups:
Traditionalists think dualistically, either/or; Social Progressives think dialectically, seeing the context of relativity and relationships as key; The shift through the stages advances cognitive development; Impacts evolving value systems; connects with Kohlberg’s stages of moral development;
Claudia: her experience moving to US (Colorado) after living in Europe. Difficulty in adjusting to local political culture where people defined policy position on basis of a moral value (i.e. abstinence as part of sex ed curriculum) and then realizing that "nobody really talked" and seemed to "live their life in a bubble;" People in US are so isolated, unlike Europe where folks live close together; there are no gated communities there, you can’t isolate yourself. In US, ISOLATION causes much of the polarization as people are ignorant of other folks’ experiences that fuel varied political dispositions;
This election is wake up call! It has brought out lots of folk to make a stand, and therefore, it illustrates well the reality of the state of polarization;
Example of the isolation of being around like-minded people, so totally separate from others in the polarized society‡ "everyone I know voted for Kerry … we live in two different worlds!"
Only in such isolation can one maintain one’s entrenched position;
So how do we start true dialogue in this situation, and can Open Space be a means to that? Where do we begin when there seems no movement on this in the culture; its as if the system itself prohibits this kind of critical thinking
What about those people in the Middle? (Sue Ann’s model, i.e. "Moderns") The middle folks are split, some driven solely by self interest and money, i.e. tax breaks, etc, while others are driven on the basis of Fear in an age of terrorism. Those in the first group (traditionalists) claim they are driven on "moral values", yet progressives have "moral values" too, but have absented that language from their political discourse. This is problematic.
Consider the challenge of a centrist "communitarian" position that moderates between individual rights and one’s social responsibilities to the community (Etzioni);
It is in best interest of the affluent to share; but the one’s who are strong are that way because they have power, they write the rules, and thus frame the dominant discourse.
John’s classroom Model: promoting political discourse in dialogue; students become attuned to how their political dispositions are developed as a result of being influenced by one’s another’s diverse ideas and experiences, i.e. political views arise out of conversation;
Claudia’s Model in framing a hierarchy of shared values, her experience as a planner <<need more clarification of this methodology??\>> …in that model, anyone can veto, break consensus, legitimates dissent; provides means to inventory where people are, and then to bring them into the discourse exchange … and go from there … it begins with meeting people "where they are at" and goes from there.
Sue Ann: This brings open space, allowing a way for even authoritarian people to use it. But how to move toward a unified vision/ action plan????
John: Is open space dialogical? It can be, but there are no guarantees? Is that problematic? At what point is open space dysfunctional? Is that even a concern?
Karen: OS has a capacity to meet people where they are. It is fundamentally based on choice. People must want to be there.
But how do we solicit that participation of people, when there is risk that some would simply use the space to propagate their own ideas, political disposition, without openness to being changed by others in the discourse?
WHERE ELSE CAN WE HAVE the Civil Political Discourse?
Karen: Potential for the conversation to occur ON LINE. Tells story of vibrant email exchange among two friends who hold sharply differing political worldviews, one being a social progressive liberal, the other a social conservative Christian. Email provides a great forum for positional expression. Others felt differently, suggesting their was no community, a loss of face-to-face, and that it was not a good way to achieve resolution on divisive issues. But email provides an unpressured, reflective way to respond to one another, with sufficient time delay to be more recollected, our email writings are more direct, less cloaked in politeness, and thus truer reflections of our real dispositions. We can be more honest and say what we mean.
Claudia: when there is a community of interest, to which all members ascent, emailing can be a great means for mulling over the issues.
Stephanie: if there is agreement that we don’t have to agree, that takes off the pressure and increases the likelihood to people being able to shift their position;
Diversity Dinners: (Stephanie’s program in Chicago) … illustrates another means to create a venue for open space political discourse in civil society. For more info, see website: http://DiversityDinners1.Homestead.com <site not working now, call Stephanie at 630-420-4233> --- also, check out website: humanistwestofchicago.org
We are faced with two party system, and this constrains the discourse, puts people in boxes.
Sue Ann … The Media is a big part of the problem, media often sets the political agenda, impedes the discourse, biased on both the left (CNN) and right (FOX) … it polarizes the civil society. People pick their news source to reinforce their predisposed political beliefs.
Karen’s experience in South Africa .. <?>
Media conglomerates have resulted in a reduction of diverse news analysis/interpretation; often we don’t have access to objective news, valid information, to make an informed decision.
Can news ever be objective?? , or is it always filtered through the perceptions of those who report it? Need for new media sources, i.e. AL Gore’s new TV network??
What about the workplace, can it be a place to promote civic discourse on political issues, in an open space way. Workplace now provides childcare services, health and fitness centers, etc… why not provide occasional forums to talk issues on public issues in open space??
This will be difficult, depends on organizational culture; Businesses in a traditional autocratic model, see themselves as individual legal entity, with no room for diverse expression of individual members. Individuals must pay homage to the "dominant culture" and expression of such beliefs can be costly to both individuals and business productivity. However, Non-profits and green organizations may be more suitable for this than traditional profit making corporate organizations;
But some organizational cultures promote community (i.e. Sergiovanni, esp. schools) and these environments can become moral communities that engender that sort of conversation.
Chaordic organizations may be more prone to being able to provide the venue for social-political discourse in appropriate open space.
PARTICIPANTS: Jason, Francine, Lansing, Barbara, Claudia
Transformation from Doing to Being—Desire is the necessary, Burning Platform, another point—get the information to people, given a venue, opportunity to learn more, connection with others.
Cultural Revolution in a corporation
How do the administrations response to this vested time in the old process-- To be developed adm. must be present and a part of the process/transformation.
Not a lot of resources on chaordic: Had to compete, prove that, common product with many banks, had to prove that they would compete.
Agree on basic rules:
6 Lens Process: Systematic process
.06 + 2
Examples of corporations who have changed:
Weaknesses of the Models
U.S. Army—changed and developed, localized intelligence, hand was doing something, not waiting for the brain, pushing intelligence out into the system. Norstroms- clerks have the ability to make decisions on the spot
To grow organically—a different relation to your cash-flow, from the traditional way.
Chaordic Systems- is distributed vs. centralized/decentralized
Need order and some chaos to be creative and adaptive. Organizations to actually survive have to become a lot more adaptable or flexible.
Institutions really don’t deliver on what they are supposed to deliver on. (social institutions)
Surfing the Edge of Chaos: Gioja, Pascal
???More involved skill set on the edge, compete better, make the best decisions.
Initiative, self-reflection, navigating in environments in which you are not very comfortable in (skill translation)
Gas delivery example: Changing the rules about what success and failure means—the rules of the game have changed, you need your own intelligence, efficient communication, permission
LaLeche? League: Traditional, only because 2-3 people, uncomfortable, model not matching who we say we are. Patriarchal system. Focus group introduced to model, talk to people in position of influence, talk to the people who do the work.
How Do You Open Space in Your Life?
Participants: Sue Ann