Open Space and Nature




Agneta Falk, Marianne Matsgard, Jessica Nilsson, Michael Pannwitz Jr

Summary of the meeting: For OS to reach its full potential nature needs to be part of it. All living things generate energy and by being close to nature we become part of its energy, and the nature gets part of ours. It is all one system and we need to live in harmony to one another to feel our best.

Relaxed people tend to make better decisions and nature is a great way to make us relaxed. It can be as easy as to just take walks by the ocean, in the forest, in the park or wherever you get the most inspiration from nature.

Nature speaks with us in different ways.

Who is the happiest, a child that mostly sits in front of the computer or a child who spends most of its time in nature?

How to get closer to nature in a business environment. Eg military tent in Murmark where Russian Sami people got together to discuss their quite difficult situation and how to deal with it. The Samis felt at home in the tent environment, since that is the way they have lived like for generations. This familiar atmosphere close to nature made them feel relaxed, which made it easier for them to speak freely and come up with ideas etc. Walking Open Space Communicate when walking and, if wanted, make stops along the way to change groups, and to continue the discussions and then sum up after the walks.

Having meetings in nature gives you plenty of oxygen, sunlight, even if it is cloudy, and exercise. So the outcome should be much better than sitting in a conference room without windows, with air conditioning where people drink coffee to stay awake.

Very good experience was in the Swedish mountains, when OS was combined with outdoor activities on the mountains. Half day OS + half day activities in open air for two days. The results were very good.

Finding extra special places in nature like ancient places can add even more energy to the meeting. Creating the right location and atmosphere is essential, we believe, to make people think and act freely and newly. There were traditional places to hold meetings, in Swedish ‘ting’, some kind of ancient parliament gathering places.

Give back what you take. The Sami throw coin to thank nature. Silver coins in the waters and copper coins on earth, as an appreciation for a place they think is beautiful.

OS makes us think about oceans, mountains, horizons, freedom.

Summary written by Agneta Falk and Jessica Nilsson

Follow up:

We invite people around world, who have experiences about the topic OS in nature to share hints and tips in wiki, how to organise OS in natural surroundings, how to make the postings etc.

Online Comments:

I have convened Open Space events outside. Without an agenda wall we can just use rocks to hold the paper down. Meeting spaces became shady spots around our field (big stump, bottom of hill, Douglas-fir with broken branch...etc.) Recently for the Snug Cove Open Space events we did here on Bowen Island, we used a ceder hedge for the agenda wall and attached topics to it with old fashioned wooden clothes pins. This lead to hilarity: "hedgenda" "people's hedgemony" and so on. -- ChrisCorrigan

Thank You, Chris, this was inspiring! I experienced some hour ago again the wonderful environment of tipii for inspired discussion. Having a fire in midst of circle, some fresh fish grilled on glowing coles creates a really nutrient, warm and safe environment for open discussions... --MikkSarv