OSI-US Board Meeting June 18, 2009
Thank you for your comments, adjustments, corrections.

Present: Christine Whitney Sanchez, Ed Laboy, Lisa Heft, Doug Germann Jr., Karen Davis
Absent: Phelim McDermott?, Tree Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Shirley, Peggy Holman
Notes-taker: Lisa Heft

Moment of silence.

Check-in - Ed is in good spirits in spite of looking for new office space or renegotiating with existing landlord. Looking forward to the rest of the year and to summer actually coming to New York. Christine is a little conference-called out, looking forward to going to Tucson for Institute of Noetic Sciences conference - rather refreshing for once not to be giving workshops or otherwise facilitating - doesn’t even have to pack her bells! Also working on the Promise USA project with seven other colleagues and very excited about that - a proposal recommending the Obamas initiate a nation-wide conversation, using all kinds of dialogic methodologies. She will send us a copy of that proposal. Doug is in the middle of a continuing education legal conference during our call - has been thinking lately about how to bring conversation into legal practices - bringing the interaction between humans back to law. We welcome his 6th grandchild! Lisa is excited - at the 2000 WOSonOS? she pledged to work to grow the Open Space community in South America and Africa, and has been building relationships and sharing resources with folks from both countries ever since. Now it looks like she’ll be bringing the Open Space Learning Workshop to Argentina this Autumn, and some of our colleagues from nearby countries may attend as well.


a) Rethinking our product strategy (Gabriel & Christine)

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

(into the BIN)

b) Product pricing - GS video $10? (Christine)

Several months ago we set the price a bit high for the Girl Scout video as a revenue generator. Christine would like us to consider that our products are more a way to generate interest in OS therefore she moves for us to drop all the product prices we can to low-levels - or, in the case of the GS video, for free. Doug notes we have a fulfillment house now and we need to cover our cost so without further info from Peggy about that we cannot drop everything down to free. And we cannot do that with published books.

Christine recommends if we can set costs for labor on distributed items that would cover the fulfillment guy’s costs on lower-cost items. Christine also asks what about emphasizing downloadable version of the video for free (go to a link, show it from an online portal), with the DVD itself being $10 and allowing folks to make copies? Gabriel has the video up, and Christine links it to her website - it’s out there.

Gabriel’s email last month raised a few questions - we could not find that message during this call.

Doug mentioned the idea of a ‘tip jar’. Lisa recommends ‘for a contribution’ and we don’t name what the level of contribution is. This is similar to the 2009 WOSonOS? and Lisa’s workshops - contribution is according to each person’s ability (and set up as PayPal? or whatever, just at a participant-gets-to-set amount). All: For anyone who wishes to offer resources for free - create an option on the OSI-US products page for folks to access links online to those -plus- create the ability to donate via PayPal? at their own rate as a contribution for these resources. Harrison’s first guide has a downloadable earlier version (free), Lisa has free resources at her site. For published books - you can buy the User’s Guide for a discount off the retail rate / contributing to OSI-US, and you can download a Brief Guide for a contribution as well - further supporting OS and OSI-US.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Peggy - please let us know about overhead with bookseller. Doug can talk with Michael Herman about the products web page stuff (including listing photos of the books, a photo of the disc from Christine’s site, and photos of other sites or products free or otherwise that we refer to). When we know the links and payment/contribution connection is clear on the web page, we can then gather links (Lisa’s, Harrison’s free downloadable stuff, etc.)

c) OSIworld website (Christine)

CWS finds osi.world.org difficult to navigate - so does Ed, and Lisa has heard this from other folks as well. Christine hopes for a way folks can upload and fix their own things. Thoughts about the website and what could be improved?

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreed to continue conversation at next call.(into the BIN)

d) Improving the design of the OSI-US Products page/video playlist (Doug) 

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

No more to be said; looking for time do it. Remove from BIN for now.

e) Open Space DVD for the Corporate World (Tree)

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

(into the BIN)


a) Sending Trainers to Underserved Areas (Doug, Lisa, Karen)

(I changed the title because it’s not just about me, although as mentioned it has been my passion since 2000 to grow OS communities of practice in South America and Africa)

Agreed that sending trainers to underserved areas may be another good use of our funds rather than sending individuals to WOSonOS?. Discussion that all facilitators are not trainers - it’s a different skill-set and for many facilitators, a different interest. Also - we are often talking about sending training to emergent and developing countries. This informs an interest in sending folks who are trainers specifically and who may also have some experience working in developing countries.

Recommendation to collect that names of folks to train OS who may be interested in being part of a trainer pool. Perhaps Lisa, Elwin, Bhav ?, Karen - does Peggy wish to be included ? - We may wish to think of what our guidelines / criteria for selection ? are for trainers - and for communities seeking trainers. Then we can look at our budget.

Agreed that most supporting of sustainability is to bring these to existing communities of practice rather than disconnected individuals coming for a one-off workshop. These communities can support each other and practice in-between training opportunities and spread and share the tool - often leveraging on skills they already have. And from our side, we can build from existing/growing relationships. Best places to offer to start could be in South America and Africa - because Peggy-Karen-Lisa do / have done work in South America and Lisa will be training in Argentina. Lisa’s done work and is growing connections in South Africa / Mozambique where there’s a growing facilitator community. Both countries have International Association of Facilitators chapters / existing communities of practice, and Lisa knows the folks who coordinate those chapters (for Africa, South Africa may be strongest place to begin as Changewright and other facilitator networks are there).

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreed to gather info on the above and work towards bringing training to these two continents. Lisa will send an email to continue our conversation to develop this (contacts, criteria, resources).

Note that there was another topic called ‘Climate Space’ which is now being folded into ‘Training’, no longer its own topic.

b) OSI-OZ training model (Christine)

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

(into the BIN)


Scholarship Donation for WOSonOS? 2009 (Doug, Lisa)

No final agreement reached in recent meetings - general tendency / direction was to no longer provide scholarships for WOSonOS? but to instead help Access Queen and possibly provide some funds to leverage for more people through donating annually to AQ for this purpose. AQ works behind the scenes each year with WOSonOS? Host Team to support Askers, identify hidden costs such as pocket money, help Askers provide as much of the fees as possible and seeking to make up the difference in shared resources or small funds, and use any funds and other resources raised for the maximum amount of people possible.

Lisa shared a concern - as she looks back over the years we have helped people, only the Haitians have stayed connected, fed back stories, leveraged their in-person experience to teach more people back home, maximize their learning to help others and share OS. Other than Franklin and Bhav (yes? OSI helped Bhav, or was that just AQ? LH) we have not seen most of these other people ever again.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement that we do not want to provide transport for WOSonOS? but do wish to support via Access Queen each year. We can leverage our funds to help more people via AQ and use other funds to send trainers to organized communities of practice. Lisa requests that this item (how much) be on next meeting’s agenda as the WOSonOS? is just a few months away and her knowing what’s in her resource pool will help her know best ways to support Askers. AQ bows in thanks.


Periodic Face-to-Face OSI-US Board Meetings (Ed, Christine)

One idea is to begin with a pilot, see if we want to continue 4, 2, 1x a year.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Ed will write up something and send it to us all via email to assess ability, financial ability, time, location, and so on. Then he will prepare this info for discussion at a next meeting.


Office for Public Engagement (OST as community conversation tool (see 5/30 email) (Christine)

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Christine - please bring it up a la email if it has a deadline. Keep in BIN

In silence, reflect on the 3 words that describe the essence of your connection to this Board and this work.

gratitude hidden jewels supporting
caring openness creativity energy
energy friendship conversation
conversing heard embrace

NEXT MEETING: Thursday July 16 10:30 am PDT / 11:30 am MDT / 12:30 pm CDT / 1:30 pm EDT / 9:30 pm GMT (third Thursdays)

BIN for July 16, 2009 OSI-USA Board Meeting:


1. WOSonOS? 2009 - How Much to Send to Access Queen(All)
2. Rethinking our Product Strategy (Gabriel, Christine)
3. OSI World website(Christine)
4. Open Space DVD for the Corporate World(Tree)
5. Office of Public Engagement (Christine)
6. OSI-OZ Training Model (Christine)
7. Sending Trainers to Underserved Areas (Lisa, Karen, Doug)
8. Periodic OSI-US Face-to-Face Board Meetings (Ed, Christine)