10 First Steps: #5. Use Open Space

Rob at Transition Culture (an evolving exploration into the head, hearts and hands of energy descent) writes as part of an ongoing series, “Open Space Technology is an extraordinary tool. … In theory it ought not to work.” He goes on to describe the some functions of OST in his community:

  • It brings together the majority of the people interested in a particular subject (i.e. food)
  • Within that, it brings together people interested in particular aspects of that subject (i.e. allotments or veg. boxes)
  • It is a great research tool, for drawing out ideas and visions within the community
  • If timetabled properly, it also creates time for people to just be with each other, to chat and eat.
  • If you run an event a few days before with a dramatic title (i.e. “How Will Totnes House Itself Beyond Cheap Oil?” or “Feeding Totnes; Past, Present and Future”) and then the Open Space, and promote both heavily, it can bring that issue to the forefront for a lot of people. This can be very powerful for the TT process in terms of identifying what is already happening in that area, and who are the main movers and shakers