Annual Member Meeting of Open Space Institute (US)




LisaHeft, FremyCesar, MikkSarv, JohnEngle ?

Summary of the meeting:

August 25, 2003

Open Space Institute (USA) Annual Member Meeting

Why are we here in this small group discussion?

Lisa expressed how much she appreciates the possibility to meet in person and to do so outside of the US.

John echoed Lisa’s sentiments.

Fremy: I am here because I am curious about how and Open Space Institute works.

Peggy: My first answer would be, “It’s a legal environment.” In addition to that I see this annual meeting to discuss what’s on the edge. What’s bubbling in the open space community so that we can better serve the community?

Mikk: I am here because I am curious too about how an Open Space Institute works and wondering if we should have one in Estonia.

Peggy shared a “report to members.” We looked at the document entitled About Open Space Institute. We like this document and Peggy is going to share it with members perhaps in the annual letter. Next, we looked at the timetable history of OSI activities since we formed. We looked at the financials. While it’s a very small amount of money, we find it fascinating that there is money coming in with virtually no effort.

We see that while there is so little money, there seems to be value that the OSI (US) is providing. One result is that we’ve developed competency and capacity in the non-profit world. It is being used as the fiscal agent for Practice of Peace. We won’t be surprised if there are more opportunities in the future for OSI to be used as a fiscal agent.

Next, we looked at membership.

Having looked at the reports, we now will respond to “What’s on the edge?”

Lisa shared some of the things she’s hearing about wiki. The fusing of words (to create links) can be difficult for people who speak English as a second language. Also, the long scrolling text can be challenging for people to access the information they want. It’s a lot of text for people. Also, regarding photos, do we put them on wiki or what will we do with them?

Sorry to comment here instead of my "online comments" space below, but it seems to fit better here. A couple of comments about wiki.
Hope this helps! --TedErnst (see also another comment at the bottom, Lisa)

Lisa remarked that two other Open Space Institutes (Canada and Australia) have contributed to Access Queen fund, which helps make it possible for people like Fremy and Mikk to come to OsonOS?.

Peggy asked Mikk and Fremy if they thought about starting an Open Space Institute in Haiti or Estonia and if so, is there a way which OSI (US) might be of support. Fremy responded that this is exactly the question which he has been asking himself since the meeting started. He thinks that its just a matter of time before it happens. Mikk shared of an opportunity of bringing together students for an Open Space which is likely to happen, which could be an event that serves as a catalyst for creating an OSI Estonia. There are other opportunities Mikk is imagining for how he might facilitate the creation of an OSI and, how OSI (US) could add to their credibility.

Peggy noticed that “Pre-work” is a reoccurring theme. Lisa anticipates that Access Queen will receive many requests for next year’s OsonOS? in India.

John asked if there is something that we should be discussing regarding the idea of a World Film Tour of Practicing Peace. We decided that we should be discussing this at our next OSI conference call and, that Peggy would raise the question with the Practice of Peace planning committee. (Sept 5, 10 am pacific time). This is the idea regarding bringing documentary producers, Jane Regan and Daniel Morel to the Nov. Practice of Peace gathering with the intent of developing a plan, collectively, for documenting with film, ways in which OS is being used around the world to promote peace.

Follow up:

Online Comments:

Peggy: can you please send me the "report to members", the "history of OSI" and some information on "OSI regulations"? I was expecting this anual meeting to give an opinion about two questions I have send to the OSlist. Would you aceppt an OSI based on language an not geography - in this case, Portuguese - including Portugal, Brasil, and the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa and Asia? And what if it was Iberian (Portuguese and Spanish) like the Iberian Wiki? Would you believe like myself that this is a different and more sustainable way of "going global"? Ant comments are mostly welcome -- ArturSilva

Hello Artur, I'll add my two cents here in case Peggy doesn't get to a computer there... I don't think it's a question of accepting. OSI-USA is one of many OSIs. More chartered than most, more funding-ready than some others, but generally a peer to all. So OSI-USA need not accept or reject your plans. Peggy and others may have thoughts about how to get more global, but I say if you think Iberian OSI is a good idea, go for it! See OSWorldORG:OpenSpaceInstituteUSA for more details, some of what you ask for, some extra, and maybe some still missing. --MichaelHerman

Hi Michael (and all the others that will see this rather large comment). Thanks for your tips: I see I can get there almost all the documents I was asking for. In what concerns "going for it" (an Iberian OSI) it is more complex than that (I will explain that in a minute). I understand that OSI-USA is a peer to others, but it is also the first and the most organized - and the one that directly supports the osw sites. What I want to create needs the sponsorhip of OSI-USA or of all the others (not a financial sponsorship but the sponsorship of an idea), as it is a fundamental change to the current "nacional" organization of OSIs (I don't want to change the others - only to create this one...).

As you know, I was the first to propose a multilingual OSW site and the first to translate the Introduction to my native languaeg. And now I have proposed and created the Iberian Wiki (Spanish/Portuguese?). The reasons for that are many. First, if OST is a world-wide method it must "speak" many languages - both presentially and online. Second, the English language is extending in the ciberspace and all the others will be probably killed there in a short while. Third, Portuguese and Spanish are very close languages and neither of them has the dimension (principally economical) to surviev alone. (So, yes, I am trying to "change the world" or, more exactly, to "resist to a change" that is hapenning and that I feel like an opression, as it risks to kill my native language, as well as a close one).

But there are only a few practicionners in Portugal, and, as far as I know, no one in Spain (except Florian), no one in Brazil, and there are a few in Spanish Latin-America by they appear and disapear all the time. Oh, and there is Bernd in Mozambique. So an Iberian OSI will need to be nurtured and that can not be done without the help of all the OST community independently of the language they speak, and especially of the other OSIs. What do you all think about that? What do the boards of existing OSIs think about that? ArturSilva (Sorry for the long comment...)

ah, yes. more complex than i was first understanding, but still a worthy experiment. don't see why anyone would be against your trying it out. so i still say 'go for it!' ...if you like. --MichaelHerman

Lisa (See also Ted's comment as inline text): The fusing of words is not particularilly difficult for people with English as second (or third) language - not more then simply reading or writing English. The point is that the words that are fusioned all begin with capitals which makes the separation easy to understand. And in Spanish or Portuguese (to give two examples) Wiki words are also composed in the same way. Go to the site. Search for and click on "Iberia Wiki" - and see there some marvelous "Latin Wiki Words" like (Espacio Abierto" or even "Espaço Aberto" - add the fusion). (What you have lost in your trip to Africa - the construction of the Iberian Wiki. What a pity!) Go there, please. Let me make it even easier for you - just follow this link [IberiaWiki] -- ArturSilva

Janet : I've been all 'ears' here. We will need to set up an Organization -- I envisge 'Open Space Institute of India' -- to anchor the event in Goa. This has been my focus in the last few days and I'd decided to write to Peggy for guidelines. It's so marvellous - this opportunity to take part on line. Many thanks to all those who've made this possible.