Wave Rider — Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

The achievement of superior performance for individuals and groups has become the holy grail for organizations and institutions of all sorts. All businesses, governments, NGO’s, and other social service organizations want to optimize their energy and resources in service to the people they support. Individuals have similar concerns, whether that be for reasons of profit, service, or simple survival in a sometimes not too friendly world. How we get there from here is a critical question.

To date, our efforts to reach our goal have largely revolved around planning and design in the belief that we may sufficiently understand our human systems and the environment in which they operate in order to create truly ef.*?cient and effective operations. We have learned a vast amount about the complexity and interrelatedness of our systems, but that knowledge has served only to increase the enormity of our task. But there is light at the end of the tunnel!

The modern sciences of chaos and complexity have introduced us to a world of bewildering nterconnections and detail. What may have seemed so simple on the surface turns out to be a monster of complexity, made all the more daunting by virtue of the fact that it is in constant and unpredictable transformation. With such a world, ordered, intelligible change seems little more than a phantasm, a wisp of smoke.

And yet, for something like 14 billion years the cosmos, and later our little planet, has been evolving into its present ordered state. Were you to ask how did all of this happen the traditional answer is that God did it. I have no problem with that answer, but it now appears that the Almighty (by whatever name or gender) performed this miracle through an elegantly simple means – the power of Self Organization.


The program lasts two and a half days. Each morning, Harrison Owen will offer a presentation with the balance of the day spent in Open Space. The several presentations are offered in the spirit of a multi-part fugue with Harrison’s presentation designed to initiate a conversation in which all participants are equal players drawing upon their own unique knowledge and experience. This is not an Open Space Technology training program. However, since the majority of time will be spent in Open Space the participants will have ample opportunity to experience and understand the approach.

Day I: The Meaning of High Performance and Why We Fail to Reach it.
Day II: The Gifts of Self Organization as the Way to High Performance.
Day III: The Way of the Wave Rider: Creating the conditions for High Performance for Individuals and Organizations.

Dates and Places

Istanbul, Turkey: October 30 – 31, 2008, contact Funda Oral
Milano, Italy: November 6 -8, 2008, contact Gerardo de Lunzenberger
Amsterdam, Netherlands: November 13 – 15, 2008, contact Gerard Muller
Berlin, Germany: November 20 – 22, 2008, contact Jo Toepfer
Tallin, Estonia: November 24 – 26, 2008, contact Mikk Sarv
Uppsala, Sweden: November 28, 2008, contact Anna Pia Hellstedt