Leadership in a Self-Organizing World

Leadership in a Self-Organizing World is going on right now, May 14-17, bringing together years of experiments, efforts, stories, wisdom, and questions about leadership practice — with conference results showing up in wiki notes, flickr photos, and twitter updates.

17th Annual World Open Space on Open Space

The 17th annual world open space on open space (OSonOS) practitioner gathering in Taipei, Taiwan – October 15-17, 2009 is now available for viewing and registration.

A Call for Your Stories

The Open Space Institute-USA invites you to share your experiences in Open Space via our online newsletter. We’re gathering materials now for an early-spring issue. This will be volume eight, see previous issues.

To have your story in the next issue, please contact Joelle Everett, jleshelton@aol.com by May 6 and let us know what you are writing for this spring issue.

We are looking for first-hand accounts of Open Space experiences that you have facilitated or taken part in. These simple guidelines might prompt your memory.

New Video: 1,800 Delegates in Open Space

Christine Whitney Sanchez, reporting from Phoenix, AZ:

You can now purchase a DVD of CONNECTED: Transforming the Conversation at the 2005 Girl Scout National Convention through the Open Space Institute-USA bookstore. Proceeds go to the Open Space Institute-USA.

Here’s the description…

CONNECTED: Transforming the Conversation at the 2005 Girl Scout National Convention Р16 minute DVD РEnglish. This high energy video tells the story of how a blend of Open Space Technology and World Caf̩ were used to bring member voices to the foreground at the 2005 Girl Scout National Convention. Open Space brought self-organization to 1,800 elected delegates and multi-generational Strategy Caf̩s brought conversations that matter to 3,000 girls and adults. Price: US$60 go to bookstore

Deuxième Forum ouvert sur le Forum ouvert

Second Open Space on Open Space in French

Imagining, Being and Living Open Space!

June 18-20 2009 in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Quebec, Canada, near Ottawa.

For you who have experienced Open Space and who are interested in learning more about this participative and highly performing method for group work, you are invited to the second international gathering in French.

Organized by members of the R̩seau francophone du Forum ouvert (RFFO) РOpen Space Francophone Network. For additional information: http://fosurfo.blogspot.com. RFFO is a member of Open Space Institute of Canada.

Registration :
Marquis Bureau – marquis@mbureau.com ou 819 766-2873
Hélène Lamoureux – helenelamoureux@sympatico.ca ou 819 459-4446
Odette Levac – levacmao@hotmail.com ou 819 561-5123

Deuxième Forum ouvert sur le Forum ouvert

Imaginez, être et vivre le Forum ouvert!

Du 18 au 20 juin 2009 à Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Québec, Canada, près d’Ottawa.

Pour vous qui avez fait l’expérience du Forum ouvert et qui vous intéressez à en apprendre davantage sur cette méthode participative et performante de travail en groupe, voici une invitation à la deuxième rencontre internationale en français.

Cet événement est une initiative de membres enthousiastes du Réseau francophone du Forum ouvert (RFFO). Pour de plus amples renseignements : http://fosurfo.blogspot.com. RFFO est membre de l’Open Space Institute of Canada.

Inscription :
Marquis Bureau – marquis@mbureau.com ou 819 766-2873
Hélène Lamoureux – helenelamoureux@sympatico.ca ou 819 459-4446
Odette Levac – levacmao@hotmail.com ou 819 561-5123

Opening Recovery Spaces

On Thursday April 2, 12 people from both metropolitan and regional sites in Western Australia joined together in Perth for an Open Space as part of a strategic planning exercise for not-for-profit community service provider, Baptistcare. The group represented those working in the fields of mental health and counselling and their theme was to explore how their service could achieve its full potential in providing recovery and wellness services in Western Australia. Some of the group, normally separated by up to 700 kilometres, had not met before so it was a valuable exercise in colleagues getting to know each other and building relationships, but this was a by-product of a very valuable day of planning for the future.

Thanks to Rob Douglas, Baptistcare, Western Australia.

Collected Videos

Thanks to Peggy Holman and Tom Atlee for these videos of and about open space…

Descriptions of Open Space

Depictions of Open Space

For fun: A video about an open space in Beijing, in Chinese

and its use in Haiti

and in Russia

and India

Pictures and Posters

Thanks to Doug Caldwell for the following pictures and posters…

17th Annual World Open Space on Open Space

From Gail West and the Taiwan hosting team…

The final date has been set. We invite you all to the 2009 WOSONOS in Taiwan 15-17 October 2009! This grand event will take place in Taipei at the National Training Institute for Farmers’ Organizations in the northern part of the city located within a few blocks of Yang Ming Shan Mountain. In light of the chaotic economic situation, we are working to keep the expenses as low as possible and will let you know when all is finalized.

We encourage you to make your time in Taiwan an extended trip in order to visit our lovely, unique island, Take full advantage of hiking in the mountains, enjoying the seashore, museums, temples, aborigines villages, hot springs relaxing, a short (2 1/2 hour) high speed rail trip down the west coast to the southern cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan, the east coast scenic mountains, gorges and sea coast, the people, the food and more……….!

Our Conference website is in the making, thanks to the support from the San Francisco 2008 team, but you can find useful information on Taiwan by looking at the linked websites on our current blog http://wosonostaiwan.blogspot.com/ or just google it.

Open Space Training in English with Diane Gibeault, Ottawa Canada May 27-28-29 2009

Diane Gibeault, workshop facilitator, trained with OST author Harrison Owen in 1996 and has since facilitated many OST trainings and meetings in Canada and internationally. She is among the active leaders of the Open Space Institute of Canada and the World OS Network.

For summary information on the workshop, see the description of her April 2009 French training posted on this site or at www.dianegibeault.com see ‘’Open Space, Training’’.

For the full English brochure: Click here

Open Space Online Wins Fellowship Award

Gabriela Ender’s Open Space Online is almost ten years old and now it’s value has been recognized by the Ashoka Fellowship. Gabriela sent this update…

I am thrilled to share with you a next wonderful milestone on my OpenSpace-Online path. I can’t believe it, next summer this adventure will have it’s 10th anniversary. With great pleasure I can report that I have been accepted into the highly prestigious international Ashoka Fellowship Support Network as Ashoka Fellow 2008.

Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent problems. Ashoka was founded in 1980 by the American Bill Drayton. The Harvard Center for Public Leadership rates Drayton as one of the “20 Best Leaders” of the USA. The best-known Fellow of the Ashoka Network is the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus. In the meantime since 1980, in almost 70 countries, around 2000 Ashoka Fellows work to promote social and sustainable change in fields such as health, education & youth, economic development, environmental protection, regional and urban development, citizen participation, and human rights.

At the beginning of 2008, I was invited by Ashoka to take part in a multi-level, national and international selection process. I have been through a very intense seven-month process, including a practical OpenSpace-Online project for Ashoka. They are very much convinced about my “do-it-yourself online concept” – the power of virtual facilitated, solution-oriented self-organization and problem solving via the Internet in real-time and it’s wide spectrum of effects for individuals, organizations and climate protection around the globe. As I learned from Ashoka recently, I was able to win against around 300 competitors throughout Germany. Worldwide, more than 7,000 candidates were evaluated.

On Nov19th, 2008, Ashoka Germany had arranged a Award Ceremony in Munich with more than 350 guests. From now Ashoka wants to support me and the further spread of OpenSpace-Online in many wonderful ways. At the German Ashoka website there is a video portrait about me and OpenSpace-Online – currently only in German. During the award ceremony, I also saw the video for the first time. More information are also at our website news section.

At this milestone its very important for me to take a deep breath and to send again a big THANK YOU to you dear Harrison (!) and to all other wonderful Open Space and Genuine Contact (TM) colleagues and friends far and near, who supported and trusted me in so many different ways during the whole years. Thank you so much, dear OS and dear GC community!

Warmly from Berlin,

Congratulations and thanks to you, Gabriela!

Gathering: Leadership in a Self-Organizing World

Please join us in May, 2009, for Leadership in a Self-organizing World

Many of us have been experimenting with new forms of organizing and leading for years and decades. Others are seeking new ways as the old practices are insufficient to the challenges they are facing. It’s time for us to gather to bring together our experiments, efforts, stories, wisdom, and questions.

We are convening at the beautiful Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, nestled in the Cascade foothills outside Leavenworth, Washington, about 2 hours from Seattle.

Harrison Owen, creator of Open Space Technology, will be joining us and launching his book Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self Organizing World.

Harrison uses the term “wave rider” to describe the kind of leadership and organizational/community capacity needed to survive and thrive. We will spend our time together pooling our collective learning about what “wave riding” is really looking like, uncovering what our pioneering efforts are showing us and deciding what’s next.

An incredible cohort of learners, practitioners and pioneers are gathering to be part of this inquiry! Already involved and planning to attend are: Peggy Holman; Joel Levey; Tracy Patterson; Joshua Heim; Catherine Crim; Candi Foon; Mark Jones; Jan Gray; Christy Lee-Engel; Susan Partnow; Sono Hashisaki; Teresa Posakony; Anne Stadler; Dale Nienow; Paul Gleiberman; Steven Wright; Jun Akutsu; John Engle; Grace Chien; Gabriel Shirley; Tracy Robinson; Sue McNab; Iris Lemmer; Jerilyn Brusseau.

We hope YOU will be part of this too!

Register now, mark your calendar, and invite all your friends! For more information, visit www.selforganizingworld.net.

Forum ouvert (Open Space) : une animation qui développe le leadership – Formation expérientielle à Ottawa (Canada)

Diane Gibeault, l’animatrice de l’atelier, s’est formée en 1996 à la méthode Forum ouvert (Open Space Technology) auprès de son auteur, l’Américain Harrison Owen. Elle a depuis animé de nombreuses formations et rencontres en Forum ouvert au Canada et ailleurs dans le monde. Elle compte parmi les leaders actifs de l’Open Space Institute of Canada et du réseau international de l’Open Space.

À cet atelier vous participerez à un Forum ouvert qui sera suivi d’échanges en groupe et avec Diane qui fera part de son expérience et expliquera les guides détaillés et les outils qu’elle offre dans un cahier facile d’usage et en Cédérom. Vous apprendrez : une nouvelle façon d’animer, les principes fondamentaux du Forum ouvert, quand utiliser cette approche, comment planifier un Forum ouvert réussi, comment préparer les parrains et comment créer les conditions pour l’émergence du leadership. Faites l’expérience de nouvelles méthodes pour déterminer les priorités et pour planifier l’action. Enfin, si vous le désirez, profitez de l’occasion pour vous exercer à « faire l’ouverture d’un Forum ouvert ».

Qui s’intéresse à cette formation sur le Forum ouvert? Leaders, animatrices et animateurs de tous les niveaux d’expérience et toutes personnes visant un travail collectif plus performant et inspirant. En effet, Le Forum ouvert permet un travail d’équipe plus fructueux et stimulant.

Cet atelier est offert en FRANÇAIS. Pour un atelier en anglais, voyez le site web qui suit pour les possibilités.

Pour des renseignements sur la méthode et sur la formatrice : www.dianegibeault.com

Brochure-inscription : Cliquez ici ou, au menu du site web mentionné ci-haut, cliquez : Forum ouvert, Formation

User’s Guide Translated into Russian


Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide, by Harrison Owen, is the “bible” of Open Space practice. Now it’s available in Russian.

Elena Marchuk translated it in Novosibirsk and then it was co-edited in three cities over email and skype by Marina Tyasto (Novosibirsk), Ludmila Ivanova, and Raffi Aftandelian (San Diego).

To get your copy, mailto:emarchuk@mail.ru AND mailto:marco@mail.nsk.su. For Russians they can send books with ‘nalojennym platejom’ or you can wire your money for bank account, which they will provide you. For out-Russia friends they have ‘rouble’-account, ‘dollar’-account, and ‘euro’-account. So they are ready to supply you with a book no matter where you are or what kind of money you have.

Trainings in Australia

Perth will host 3 Facilitator co-learnings in 2009. Brendan McKeague has the details at mailto:mckeague@iprimus.com.au

Sydney will host another Facilitator Co-learning program at The Aspire Hotel in Ultimo, April 27-28, 2009. Led by Brendan McKeague and Brian Bainbridge. Brendan McKeague is handling the admin side of this event. Registration pack also available from Brian Bainbridge at mailto:briansb@mira.net

Melbourne will host an Open Space Training at The Metropole Hotel in Fitzroy, May 5-6-7., led by Viv McWaters and Brian Bainbridge.

AND… Harrison Owen will visit all three cities for a number of events and conversations, from March 29th through April 8th or so. Details from Brian or see http://openspaceworld.com/waveriders.htm

Svenska Open Space Institutet

Svenska Open Space Institutet är en ideell förening som ”syftar till att utveckla och sprida kunskaper om Open Space metoden samt verka för ömsesidigt stöd och lärande mellan handledare/praktiker som arbetar med Open Space metoden i Sverige och världen”. (stadgar 2004) Contact OSI Sweden: Chairwoman Eva P Svensson mailto:eva@epshumaninvest.se or phone +46 (0)706-89 85 50

Local monthly mentoring circles in Göteborg focusing on Open Space/Genuine? Contact. Contact: Thomas Herrmann mailto:thomas@openspaceconsulting.com or phone +46 (0)709-98 97 81

Scandinavian emaillist/ Skandinavisk mötesplats för utbyte och lärande om möjligheterna av att arbeta med Open Space-metoden/The? Genuine Contact Program. Gå till: http://lists.genuinecontact.info/mailman/listinfo/gc-scand

Wave Rider: Now Available in the Bookstore

Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World, the newest offering by OST originator Harrison Owen, is now in our bookstore. In Wave Rider, Harrison shows how to apply the fundamental principles of self-organization – the driving power behind OST’s immense success – not just to a single event but to the day-to-day management and leadership of organizations. It’s published by Berrett-Koehler, in paperback, 246 pages. List price is $24.95 and our bookstore price is $20, plus shipping.

Your order can be shipped within USA or shipped internationally.

Dare we say, the perfect gift for all of the leaders and change agents, consultants and facilitators on your holiday giving list!

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

The Tao of Holding Space


Chris Corrigan has posted his version of the Tao te Ching at the same Internet Archive where Raffi Aftandelian recently posted his Living Peace ebook. Chris’ book, The Tao of Holding Space, relates specifically to facilitating Open Space Technology meetings but slightly more universal that that too. Both are free for sharing.

.NET Open Space 2008 in Leipzig, Germany

Thanks to Alexander Groß for sharing this invitation to an Open Space conference about Software Development with Microsoft’s .NET Platform:

.NET Open Space 2008 is a free conference and takes place in Leipzig, Germany from October 17th to October 19th, 2008. The .NET Open Space 2008 will cover these four topics:

* Mobile Computing
* Soft Skills
* .NET on embedded systems and microcontroller devices

Which concrete topics will be discussed is up to you, because the event is an Open Space. The organizers provide a place where discussion and exchange
of experience can take place. You can read more about the event here.

Open Space on Open Space Proceedings

The proceedings from the sixteenth annual Open Space on Open Space, about 80 sessions worth of notes, thanks to 120 or so friends and practitioners, from more countries than I could tally from the participant list… are now posted for downloading. Enjoy!

Open Space *Online* on Open Space

You are invited to join the Worldwide OpenSpace-Online on Open Space Technology on September 20th, 2008

Together with a group of co-inviters Gabriela Ender and her team from Germany invite worldwide face-to-face Open Space practitioners to a next global OpenSpace-Online Real-time Conference on Open Space Technology.

The title: “Open Space Technology – What can we learn, teach, explore, share, discover with each other about our work?”

Let’s get together in real-time to exchange experiences, ideas, dreams and resources. This Internet conference also provides wonderful opportunities for greeting old Open Space friends and for meeting new Open Space colleagues from around the world.

Through a sponsor cooperation with NEULAND this event is free of charge.

Interested? You are warmly invited to visit the invitation website and to register online before September 12th, 2008.

“Circles of Change” Video – en Français

John Engle and friends in Haiti have announced a downloadable version of “Circles of Change: a quiet revolution in Haiti” video with French subtitles.

He sez…

It’s 19 minutes long and in very good resolution. It’s a large file (1,100 mb) and will require some time to download even with a high-speed internet connection. We have many DVD’s of English subtitle version and have also distributed in Haiti many of the Haitian-Creole version, which has no subtitles.

We’ve received a number of requests in recent months for this French version and we’re delighted to make it available in downloadable form. Perhaps you know of individuals and/or organizations in French speaking Canada or French speaking African countries who might appreciate viewing this. Please feel free to share the download link with anyone who might be interested.

Let me know if you have problems downloading, have questions, or if you would like to receive a DVD of this version. mailto:john@johnengle.net.