1. The problems about the "foundations of OST" and about "why does OST works?" have been discussed many times in the OSLIST and elsewhere. The point with the word "foundations" is to try to clarify what are those elements that, when they are present, make the event an OST event? And when they are not present or are "mixed" with other non-OST elements make the event to NOT BE an OST event - even if that event was very successful and used the "best method for the event", but not a really OST approach.

2. I prefer to use the word "foundations" instead of "principles", even if the meaning of both words are very similar in my native language. The point is that in OST terminology "principles" refer to the "4 principles" and I assume that everyone agrees that there are other "foundations" than the principles. In this text, and in order to make a so general agreement as I can, I will accept that the "4 principles" are part of the "foundations" - without even questioning the "wording" of two of them, or if some or all could eventually be included in the "one less thing to do".

3. I would suggest, as HO wrote in the old Userís Guide, that OST begins with:

4. To those foundations one can add others that are generally accepted by all practitioners:

5. Some notes. I have not included BREATH, as I think this can only be understood by someone familiar with the American culture; and I have not included the so-called GIVENS, as I think this is not generally accepted and for those who accept it (and if I understood well) it is not a "foundation of OST", but something that some claim that helps. I have not also included "self-organization" that I think is a good explanation of what happens, but not something that everybody accepts can be declared ŗ priori as a "foundation".

6. And I would like to add some other elements that are clearly stated in the Users' Guide (UG) but are normally not included in these types of lists.

7. Am I forgetting something that from your experience is also indispensable? Am I adding something you think is not indispensable?

8. And about "adding" other methods to OST. What are those that you have added (or seen to be added by others) maintaining or even improving the OST event? And what others have created difficulties, as seen by you, or the sponsor, or the participants? (Often facilitators are not the best people to ask about that, as they are normally an interested party).

After you have read and eventually commented on this list, let me ask you a more complex question: Suppose that you have agreed on some of these (or others) to be the "foundations". Can we begin understanding more about the "spirit of OST"? Are there any other non-written foundations or attitudes that skilled OST facilitator use as they walk their talk and that are not used by others that still don't know the talk, or don't walk it consistantly?

This is the type of thing I would like to address in the new sub-topic ComprehensionOnTheSpiritofOST.

You may follow the above link unless you prefer to go back to the SpiritofOST


I would simply note that the term "space-invader" implies an us-them worldview that contradicts what I believe is the essence of OST.

Speaking of worldview, maybe that conversation belongs here somewhere. There's a fellow in Switzerland who is doing work he calls "Conflict Free Conflict Resolution." He says the choices we make about how we resolve conflict have everything to do with our worldview. I think he even maps out different worldviews and the consequent conflict resolution strategies that follow from those various worldviews. If I recall correctly, he ends up saying the emerging worldview is a unified worldview, a view that see us all as connected. For those of us who operate from that worldview, there is no "them." There are no invaders. There's just us. My interpretation of that is that conflict and chaos are clues that we haven't reached full understanding of each other or the problem. We don't try to fix people, but we try to solve problems.

I hear many (but not all) people on the OSLIST speak from a unified worldview. I think in some ways, Artur, you can't really get to the deeper foundation of OST without going here, and I also doubt we'll find ourselves reaching consensus on this one. Interesting, isn't it?


'' Very, very interesting question. I understand what you are saying, what this fellow from Switzerland, or maybe the Dalai Lama too, are attempting. But they are in a different plan of reality. In our day-to-day activities we have organizational rules that close the space, we have people that try to control and invade the open space and they may be the sponsor, a participant, or even the facilitator - if he/she is a "controlling facilitator". The fact that we use the OST aproach, and generally believe in people, doesn't imply that we are so naive as to accept that ALL the people have good intentions in the world. I can think of some that don't!!! So, if we have an worldview that prevents us to see that, we will be unable to hold the space if and when that is necessary - and maybe we shall change our worldview for one a bit more "realistic". My two Euro-cents, anyhow - ArturSilva