New Research and Journal

An evidence-based practical guide to effective use of Large Scale Interventions. Towards sustainable organisational change with the whole system. Author Tonnie van der Zouwen. Read more


The Journal “Challenging Organisations and Society . reflective hybrids® (COS)” is the first journal to be dedicated to the rapidly growing requirements of reflective hybrids in our complex organizations and society of the 21st century. Its international and multidisciplinary approaches balance theory and practice and show a wide range of perspectives organized in and between organizations and society. Being global, diverse in thinking and acting outside the box are the targets for its authors and readers in management, consulting and science. Read more

Remembering Fr. Brian Bainbridge

Fr. Brian Bainbridge’s death caught so many of us by surprise. He was a great friend and teacher and student with OS practitioners around the world. He belongs on any short list of people responsible for making Open Space the global phenomenon that it has become. He travelled the world facilitating and teaching, learning and conferencing (he almost never missed the annual OSonOS) and then always returned home to life as a parish priest — where he really did practice what he preached about self-organization. Andrew Rixon and Kate Kneebone offered these reflective interviews with Brian. They’re published today to mark the second anniversary of his passing.

1. Brian a co-discoverer of Open Space Technology?
2. Brian’s scholarship at the international level
3. Opening Space with the world bank and becoming a parish priest
4. Reflections on his role within the Catholic church
5. Among other things, how Brian became a priest – there was no masterplan
6. Brian’s love of world travel and sabbaticals!

Andrew and Kate posted all six of these into a playlist on YouTube.

9/11 Boat Lift

Jane Lewis in Taiwan mailed this to the OSLIST today:

Just watched a documentary on boat evacuation ‘open space’. 500,000 evacuated by boat from Manhattan on 9-11. Coastguard invited – made 1 call for help. Hundreds of boats, all kinds, showed up, spraypainting their destinations on paper signs for people to pick from. They say its the largest boat evacuation in history. Great open space story.

Video and story at: is born!

This in recently from Egypt:

Hi All :

I wish you have a beautiful day.

I am happy to announce the launch of the site
Have a look and let me know what do you think?
We have a plan to add more Arabic translation to our website.

Greetings from Egypt “Tahrir Square :D”

Eslam Erman

open space on open space – old and new

Recently on the OSLIST, David Smith of imaginAction, Victoria, Australia, shared this short video of OSonOS 2002. It happens to feature our old friend, Father Brian Bainbridge, hosting the annual international practice conference, when it went down under.

Seems an appropriate lead-in to the newest world OSonOS invitation, coming from also-under friends in Chile. The 19th annual Open Space on Open Space will happen in October, 2011. You are invited. Click here for details and registration.

The Company of the Future

Harold Shinsato sent this to the OSLIST after last year’s Open Space on Open Space practitioners conference:

I’ve just finished uploading a 50 minute video of the highly interactive discussion held at the Berlin WOSonOS – “What is the company of the future?” which was convened by Deborah Maarek. I found it packed with really great experiential reports of how to build a company around a much more sustainable, participatory, and light weight model.

Berlin WOSonOS – Company of the Future from Harold Shinsato on Vimeo.

There is a place for interactive notes for the session here – I put the link to the video also in this site, in case you want to find the video in the future.

Harrison Owen Video

Open Space Intro by Harrison Owen from Harrison Owen on Vimeo.

Harrison Owen made this video last year for Stanley (Spark) Park, to welcome participants to Spark’s OST training program in Korea. Short and sweet take on Open Space.

OST Video from Northern Ireland

Kevin Flanagan wrote to the OSLIST a while back to share:

I’ve taken part in two Open Space events previously. An Open Space on Open Space in Belfast and Open Space Pathways to rebalancing the sustainability equation with 7thGeneration at Ballycastle Northern Ireland. I made a video for the Open Space Pathways event, which runs about 10
minutes if you have time to check it out.

Video Explanation of OST, in Russian

Raffi Aftandelian came across this video in Russian about OST posted to YouTube. The presenter is Tanya Podushkina. She was at the San Fran WOSonOS. In this video on OST she is talking about where OST came from and how it works. Raffi opened space for Tanya’s organization a few years back and they quite liked the approach, began using it, got further training from Raffi. If I knew how to say “good work” in Russian, I surely would!

On Keeping it Simple

Harrison Owen shared this a while back on the OSLIST:

…regardless of the venue or the means I have found it useful to ask a basic question: What is the simplest approach to yield the maximum result? Which usually goes right along with: “Thinking of one more thing not to do.” The elegance of simplicity is a personal preference, but it is also a very practical approach. The simpler something is the less there is to go wrong. This is not simply a matter of “annoyance avoidance” but also a way to create more space. The best part about Open Space Technology, so far as I am concerned is that it is so simple it can’t break. Which also means that it is robust enough to allow for very rambunctious behavior — just what we need for dynamic conflicted situations. As a facilitator I need a laser like focus on the present moment in order to hold space. The more I have to worry about something not going “right” the more difficult my task. KISS (Keep it simple stupid) may not be an elegant expression, but it surely has kept me out of a world of hurt.

Haiti Partners Video

Our old friend John Engle sends this from Haiti:

We recently completed a 5-minute video where I talk about our purpose, philosophy and essential practices including ost. Here’s the link to those interested and who have time:

On the ground regular updates at

Egyptian Youth in Open Space, Facebook

Harrison Owen shared this recently on the OSLIST:

Egypt at the Crossroads Project
Thursday, March 31 at 9:00am – April 3 at 5:00pm
Location: Hotel Palmera (Ain al Sukhna)

Created By
Egyptian Youth Federation – الصفحة الرسمية للإتحاد النوعي لجمعيات الشباب

The workshop will be an Open Space event aiming to exchange views and visions on Egypt’s future between Egyptian and German youth belonging to political parties on the issue of political reforms in Egypt. Our goal is to empower the role of youth in the democratization process via training and dialogue among young members of the civil society and political parties in Egypt.

The project promotes the establishment of structures for independent youth work, which increases the opportunities for young people in Egypt to participate in social processes. They are supported in their efforts to play an active and creative role in civil society, working towards a sustainable democracy and taking part in NGO activities of youth cultural centers.

This Open Space offers the participants room to discuss their understanding of human rights and democratic change, discover their potential power to change and improve the social and political reality of Egypt develop their own project ideas and implement them effectively The aim is support young people to shape their futures independently and join the political and social dialogue in Egypt.

Target Group:
Motivated and engaged young people (20+) who are either already members or are interested in joining or founding an NGO.

Join Now :

Forum Ouvert Liste Nouvelle, en Français

Luc Bizeul, en France, écrit:

Bonjour, j’ai le plaisir de vous inviter à rejoindre une liste de diffusion sur sur le forum ouvert; le but de cette liste est de permettre les discussions et les échanges en français autour de la pratique de l’ouverture, plus particulièrement au travers du Forum Ouvert, et de faciliter le développement de la communauté francophone.

Vous pouvez vous inscrire via l’interphase web : ou en envoyant un mail sur :

Le vous trouverez des nouvelles en Français sur le forum ouvert via le blog du RFFO (réseau francophone sur le forum ouvert) :

Second European OS Learning Exchange

Please join us for the Second European OS Learning Exchange (first was in Paris in 2009) from May, 17 through 20, 2011 in Italy.

This event is a unique chance to meet and link up with other European colleagues and learn how they are using Open Space in their work and daily practice. Living, experiencing and working in Open Space for three days with people from all over Europe interested in Open Space Technology. How does it work? Why does it work? How can I make a living with it? What is self-organisation, anyway, and what does it have to do with Open Space Technology? What is it useful for? Why are people so enthusiastic about it? Come find out!

The sponsoring team is a group of three organisations: Poliste (IT), Genius Loci (IT) and boscop (DE) and we have so far 6 Co-Inviter from 5 countries. 27 people signed already up for the event and we have plenty of space since the venue we are meeting at has about 2000 sqm. All the details about the event are here at

Open Space Co-Learning Workshop – London UK


The Open Space Co-Learning Workshop in London is coming up fast, on Friday 28th of January 9.00am – 5.00pm, London (at The Hub in Islington, Candid Arts Studios, 5 Torrens Street) £20 – 200: Sliding scale according to your ability to pay

Brought to you by Register now at to reserve a place.

This workshop invites those who are new to using Open Space Technology and those who already have some or even extensive experience of using it, to co-learn together, deepen our practice, and share our experiences of using it.

This workshop will be run as an Open Space so that participants can learn experientially, while learning how to design, prepare and facilitate an Open Space event, including tips and tricks, likely issues that may be encountered, follow up and incorporating an event within a wider context or strategy.

This will help anyone looking for a method for encouraging participation, engagement, equality and inclusion. Open Space Technology is a format for organising compostable conferences, unconferences, meetings, or stakeholder engagement, with maximum efficiency and minimum time and resources. It is a form of ‘crowd sourcing’ which can be used to bring together a company or any group or organisation to focus on a specific problem or question; Open Space allows for participants to co-create experience, learning and solutions in a way that unlocks creativity.

Open Space is used by large companies, local government, community activists, and forward thinking organisations everywhere, from gatherings of 5 to several thousand people, from a couple of hours to several days.

And if you love this kind of stuff: World Open Space on Open Space (WOSONOS) 2012 will be in London:

(Image by – process and event photography)

Training for Conference Organizers

Jasper Lim reports from The Netherlands that Merlien Institute and SAF (Gerardo & Frank) will be organising an Open Space Training targeted for conference organisers, in late September, in Utrecht.

8th Haitian OSonOS Gathering

John Engle sends this report and also publishes on-the-ground regular updates on progress at

We just completed 9th Annual Haiti Open Space on Open Space. Here’s a quick blog entry with link to photos and a short video.

We are grateful more than you can imagine for generous support of OSI (US), which is made possible through people like you. THANK YOU!

Open Space is thriving in Haiti. More than 80 people convened from around the country for this gathering. The atmosphere was upbeat and even joyful. The resilience of Haiti’s people continues to amaze me.

Thank you for your interest in what’s happening in Haiti and for your generous support. We feel so fortunate to be a part of this global network.

With deep gratitude,

John, on behalf of many here

Open Space Co-Learning Workshop, Brighton, East Sussex, UK Sat 3 July 2010

Be Prepared To Be Surprised

03 July 2010 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Brighton, East Sussex, UK

For more info & booking, click here >

This workshop invites those who are new to using Open Space Technology and those who already have some (or even extensive) experience of using it to co-learn together, deepen our practice, and share our experiences.

It will be run as an Open Space so that participants can learn experientially, while learning how to design, prepare and facilitate an Open Space event, including tips and tricks, likely issues that may be encountered, follow up and incorporating an event within a wider context or strategy.
You might also be interested in (the World’s 1st!) FacilitationCamp, London, 9-10th July. Go to homepage to sign up for our newsletter, CoLaborative Times for more of this kind of thing 🙂

thanks to Martin Grimshaw for sending this along.

Connect Your Meetings Article

Connect Your Meetings recently published an online article entitled “Open Space Meetings” with the tag line: Sometimes risky, the unscripted format is popular, productive and powerful. OST veteran facilitators Christine Whitney Sanchez, Lisa Heft, and Chris Corrigan all quoted.

Being Ourselves Together

Recently, Doug Germann made a comment on the OSLIST, suggesting that after some few days in Open Space, people might begin to “internalize” the Four Principles and One Law. Harrison Owen offered an evocative reply:

Good wonderings, Doug. But I might suggest that you turn things around, or possibly upside down. Rather than internalizing The Law of Two Feet (and we might also add the 4 Principles), I suspect that it is more a matter of remembering what we already know and for one reason or another have chosen to repress. All of this goes with the idea that Open Space is truly not something new and radically different. In fact it is a forceful confrontation with a pre-existing condition.

We are already in Open Space by virtue of the fact that we have forever been in a self organizing world (the usual 13.7 billion years stuff). The Law and the Principles are descriptive of normative behavior in a self organizing world, and therefore Open Space, I think. In short, we do all of the above all the time — unfortunately we usually feel guilty about it, and because of this, we tend to do it/them badly, or at least awkwardly and grudgingly.

Thus with the Law: when faced with a nonproductive situation (no learning, no contribution) we always leave (hearts and mind out the window) — but the body remains feeling miserable, and making others miserable as well. Once we get the picture, things work better, and we feel a lot better. But it is not about doing something new, or internalizing some new truth — but rather remembering what we already knew and doing what we should/could have been doing in the first place.

Why bother with all this? Well if nothing else, I think it makes our job as consultants and facilitators a lot easier. First of all we are not inviting our clients to engage in risky behavior. Quite the opposite, we are opening a space in which they can really be themselves. And the real risk is to continue with the non-productive, guilt inducing, dependant behavior. The old Marxist Battle Cry might have some application here (with modification): People of the World Unite — You have nothing to lose but your chains.” In a word — Be yourself.

(…which points to another dimension of the both/and nature of Open Space: People can be united and unique, at the same time. The “marketplace” we make for “individual” passions, skills, interests, responsibility — and initiatives — is its own sort of “united” collective. In this way, the realization of Open Space can begin to erode traditional political and idealogical fault lines, in largely peaceful and powerfully practical ways.)

Open Space on Open Space: Berlin and Melbourne in May

This is a special invitation to a free Open Space on Open Space in Melbourne on Tuesday May 11 at the Abbotsford Convent.

Of course, the WOSonOS is in Berlin, Germany May 12 – 15.

You may also be aware that Fr Brian Bainbridge (who died in early February this year) was instrumental in the growth and development of Open Space in Australia and New Zealand. He also maintained the Open Space Institute, circulated regular newsletters and trained many of us in the art and practice of Open Space Technology. He was also well known throughout the world and attended all but one of the last 17 World Open Space on Open Space events. He was, of course, planning to attend the WOSonOS in Berlin.

We have decided to host a Fringe Open Space on Open Space in Melbourne on May 11 to continue the tradition of having local Open Space on Open Space events and to honour Brian’s contribution. Fringe because it’s the day before the WOSonOS and we hope to post some pictures and reports on the (yet to be created) new Australasian Open Space Institute web site for those in Berlin, and elsewhere, to enjoy. It’s also an opportunity to explore the future of Open Space in Australasia – and to do what we always do at an Open Space on Open Space: have conversations about what matters to us, whatever that might be.

Oh, you’re wondering who ‘we’ is? Well, it’s me (Viv McWaters) and Andrew Rixon (Australia) and Anne Pattillo (New Zealand) and Chris Corrigan (Canada) and Johnnie Moore (UK) and Geoff Brown (Australia). So you see it’s our mini World Open Space on Open Space, and even if no-one else comes we’ll have great conversations.

But we’d love you to join us.

Date: Tuesday May 11 2010
Venue: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Time: 9.30 am – 4 pm
Cost: Free
Format: Open Space

Please if you plan to attend, or if you have any questions. That way we’ll know how many lunches to order.

Self-Organization Master Class at OD World Summit

The OD World Summit 2010 — Co-creating a New World of Organizations and Communities — is coming up on 22-26 August, in Budapest, Hungary. Peggy Holman will lead a master class called Open Space Technology: Supporting Self-organization and a number of other OS friends are involved in various dimensions of conference planning and support.

Open Space Website for South Asia

Hempal Shrestha sends greetings from Kathmandu, Nepal, with this bit of news:

I am a learner and follower of OST based in Nepal and very recently joined the ning group at I have learned about the work that you had been doing on OST. I also studies many of the materials that you have provided at Further, recently I am in working out to develop the wiki for collecting stories on OST from South Asia. The link of the proposed wiki is:

This new South Asia site is already taking shape, with more news (hopefully) forthcoming.