A Little History... and Context

In our online beginning, there was [OpenSpaceWorld.ORG]- the place where OSI put a stake in the web and created a place for the stories, news and practices that are Open Space Technology. Then, HarrisonOwen? created [OpenSpaceWorld.COM] - which has become a place for .COM stuff like book sales, training programs and generally a 'guru' sort of anchor to the openspaceworld domain family.

And now, we welcome you to [OpenSpaceWorld.NET] - Net Space - an open space for practitioners worldwide to post news and proceedings from community and other projects from all over.

[OpenSpaceWorld.COM] is written almost entirely by HarrisonOwen?. [OpenSpaceWorld.ORG] is more open and able to be edited by practitioners everywhere for news like osonos invitations, resources for purchase, and other organizational items. This new [OpenSpaceWorld.NET] space is wide open for all Open Space practitioners AND their participants, worldwide.

[OpenSpaceWorld.NET] is offered as a totally open site where any practitioner can post his/her event proceedings, local practice group news, projects with ost colleagues, or anything else they'd like to convene and work on here. Anyone using OST for public/community gathering can post their proceedings here and invite their participants to come and continue their work in this online space. This means that ANY group or project working in Open Space can have a working webspace up and running immediately after (or even during) their meeting or event.

A Bigger History and More of a Plan

taking a page from Michael Pannwitz, i'd like to take three minutes just before this opening, in sponsor-sort of role here, to share a bit of the story of how we have got to this opening moment. i hope my invitation/opening colleagues will forgive a bit of rambling here before we launch the invitation proper. let's have a look around the circle...


...there was the web... and then the open space institute usa. and then they came together as the OSI-USA website, thanks in large part to the work of Peggy Holman and some others whose names i am sorry to be missing just now.


then Barry Owen got to thinking there should be a Global Open Space Institute and he created a massive website with much content and support from you, Birgitt.

at OSONOS 5 in toronto, a number of us concluded that we wanted to be about the World rather than about the Globe. shortly thereafter, I created OpenSpaceWorld.ORG with good company from Barry and Peggy. early in it's life, osw.ORG incorporated the UBB software discovered by Koos de Heer, who helped maintain it along the way and continues to lurk and tidy little things. fully present and totally invisible!


Joelle Everett, Brian Bainbridge and Sharon Quarrington have created OSI newsletters and shared the content of those on the webstie.

as for research, i should note that Leon DeKing? first raised that question (to the best of my recollection) at OSONOS in toronto. there has been a research section of the website ever since osw.ORG was created and still, as you note, only a few of the many papers that must exist have been noted there. it would be nice to have more of them listed on the current version of the research page.


then there are the languages. i can't begin to list all of those who have translated materials since Artur deSilva started his campaign after OSONOS in Berlin. Artur had something to do with Portuguese and at least one other language. Diane Gibeault did a number of French pieces, i know. Tova did Hebrew. Gerard Muller did Danish and Dutch. Michael Pannwitz did the German. John Engle the Haitian Creole. i think Laura Herrera did the Spanish. and my apologies to those i've left out, who are several.


late last year, i began migrating the best of what was gathered in the bulletin board space into the new wiki space. Chris Corrigan provided invaluable help with that, just as i was totally running out of steam. Peggy and some others have helped out too, as have a number of others around the world who have posted their own contact info, soundbites, websites, etc. Chris and Gabriela Ender and some others had a good go of OSONOS online this past year, too.

the OSI Board, which currently includes Peggy, Leon, myself, Lisa Heft, John Engle, Gabriel Shirley, and David Koehler has been actively discussing the shape and future of the osw.ORG website for the last several months. we have considered readability, formatting, content, access and a number of other issues. i joined the board only this year, specifically to access their insights and energies for the sites, and the support i've received has been just great. thanks board!


finally, i should mention that somewhere along the way, Harrison created (in his usual mix of infinite wisdom and accidental genius) a site called OpenSpaceWorld.COM... even as his books continue to refer people to our .ORG site. what he did by accidently selecting the .COM version of the .ORG site we'd already established... was to set up the obvious next step to <drumroll> .NET!

for those of you familiar with the game Parker Brothers game called "Monopoly!" you will notice that we now own ALL the OpenSpaceWorld properties and are now allowed to start building houses and hotels! <grin> but i digress...

we registered the .NET name a few months ago and part of what the OSI board has been considering and what i have been spending time building out the most basic frames for is this new .NET space. it was only in the last few days that we have finalized our work on the invitation to that online open space. this is the invitation i referred to earlier today.


first we will launch that invite. we will welcome the passion and responsibility of all those who are willing to help us give shape and life to this new space. we will do this work online, in that space, and in the process we will build the skills and connections needed to maintain that space. and then, this online space holding community can apply its wiki wisdom and open space sensitivity to the care and feeding of the .ORG site.

having spent the time to get the .NET space up and running, i am glad to see more and more interest and energy for our working together online. the forthcoming invitation will say much more specifically what and how and why about this new space. and the momentum and connections and learnings we make in the development of that site will be tremendously important as we then address what the .ORG site should be and become.


of course, we can continue to post all kinds of contact information, stories, quotes, research, links and the rest into the .ORG site (as it's currently configured) while the .NET site is taking shape, but the larger structural and philosophy questions will not really be answerable until we figure out what the .NET space is all about.

so, stay tuned to the list here for the invitation to .NET... we've just got to give the room one more scan to make sure that we haven't forgotten the tape or the markers or any of our favorite posters... the OpenSpaceWorld.NETwork is about to get born!

thanks to everyone who's been a part of the last many years of developing .ORG, i know and regret that there are people i've missed naming here. even so, i hope you will join us in the development and use of the new .NET space... please stay tuned...