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

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.

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

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 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.

New Video: “Open Space – The Power of Self-Organization”

Jutta Weimar offers a fantastic new OS video, after a two-year period of producing:

I am very happy to present the release of the DVD “Open Space – The Power of Self-Organisation”.

Here the most important features:

– material out of 5 different open space events
– incl. Preparatory Meeting and Action-Planning
– incl. booklet with 16 pages
– 27 Minutes, german and english with english or french subtitles

The short version of the film with english sub-titles can be seen on YouTube,, or (english version click on “english”)

And now it’s time to spread the film all around the world. I sell the film for 29,75 € plus packing and postage (in Europe) and I will bring lots of copies to the WOSonOS here in Berlin in May!!!

OS in Liberia

This from Susan Partnow, via the OSLIST…

You may enjoy these photos. The middle group is of an Open Space we did in Liberia – where Harrison first gained many of the insights for OST! It was inspiring to see how empowered the participants felt. They began offering many contributions to the circle once space was opened – songs, dances, etc. It was also wonderful to see how participants who were illiterate were easily incorporated and supported by those who were literate.

If you’re inspired by our work, you may be so moved as to support our endeavors to create the Liberia Peacebuilder Initiative. We have a $10,000 matching fund grant and so we need to raise $10,000! Your donation will be doubled (or – if you have a corporate tie with a policy of matching – quadrupled!) so please give it some thought! You can donate here:

Devoted and Disgruntled 5

Phelim McDermott reported recently…

It’s amazing but it is now five years since I first dived into Open Space after reading Harrison’s book. At that time I had never been to an open space event had no idea what it looked like but knew it in my bones.Since then we have done Devoted and Disgruntled 5 times and done one in Scotland, one Brazil, one in in NYC and one in Newcastle will be doing another one In Newcastle in the coming months. Been asked to set one up in LA etc.. its become a growing community of people who are devoted to theatre and want to use the fuel of their disgruntlement to change.

I remember that the thing that really inspired me to read the book in the first place was Harrison’s intro saying OS belonged to everyone and would never be certified/owned/contained etc we should all just do it. It reminded me of my own feelings about Impro and its relationship to the many attempts to categories, teach, quantify it. In the end Impro just was and would appear where it wanted. It also reminded me of Robert Le Page’s advice to “Mummenchance” theatre that they must “Give away the recipe.” He was referring specifically to the recipe for their squidgy changing putty like masks. But he meant this as a wider metaphor to look after our own creativity. We must gift the recipe not guard it.

In this spirit here’s our fifth annual report on the state of people who are passionate and responsible about theatre. The event is an annual 2.5 event on third day we reopen the space for whatever people want to still talk about and do.

So here’s the report and here’s a visual representation done from the report by wordle which i love. It’s a big theatre word sitting in a nexus of other issues! I think it gives a better feeling representation of the event than the report.

Report from 1st European Open Space on Open Space, Paris 2009

This report from Christine Koehler in Paris:

Appreciation, common ground, and deep conversation: all appear in Open Space as natural, emergent phenomenon. Best of all the people believe they did it all by themselves. And they did! Further more they know at some deep level that they can do the same thing again – and will. That is true empowerment. It is not the method, the process, or the facilitator. It is the people. And I can go and take a nap knowing that they will do an infinitely better job no matter how hard I might work. –Harrison Owen to OSLIST, July 30, 2009

On October 30, Saturday October 31 and Sunday, November 1rst 2009, was held the first European Learning Exchange , for a 3 days Open Space format, in one of the most beautiful scene in Paris : La Grande Arche de la Defense Facilitators, organizations, sponsors, colleagues who use Open Space Technology as a wonderful way to help groups self-organize and solve their most important problems with passion and responsibility were welcome.

We explored how we can best assist sponsors, organizations and ourselves to expand space and time for self-organization

Thirty-four participants coming from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, USA, speaking and holding sessions in English or French or in both langages, a facilitator from Germany, a team speaking 3 langages, gathered together at La Grande Arche . There was great ayurvedic food with spicy tastes, great energy, passionate discussions, interesting topics.

Twenty-three topics were posted as well as 18 action plans :

* open space film
* Quelles conditions idéales pour une efficience optimale ?
* Situation of Open Space in France and in Europe
* Follow-up of interventions : experience, practice
* Open Space in the Balkan Countries
* OsT et IT
* prepare participants to prepare to be surprised
* How to measure the ROI of collaborative facilitation designs ?
* How and where can we use OS ‘facilitation methods in France ?
* How do l calculate my fee for OST-facilitation
* WOSonOS 2010 Berlin
* Sustain cross pollination (follow-up)
* Cercles de reconnaissances
* How can we use collaborative approaches to support Eco-responsive initiatives ?
* comment aider les entreprises à créer un environnement favorable à l’épanouissement des salariés, quête de sens et valeurs partagées ?
* Open Space in participatory planning and public deliberation processes
* What is unique about OST ?
* Learning Exchange : reloaded, continued, deepen
* OST as ldentity building process
* What could a community of OSniks do in France ?
* A network of practitioners of collaborative approaches
* Talking alternatives processes into the French organizations
* La décroissance
* Comment créer une culture collaborative en entreprise ?
* Next steps (18 )

To have a better feeling about this event, look at our pictures and videos: Invitation on slides, Photos on are here and here. Watch the Video of closing circle. You can also download the Book of proceedings ( pdf file ).

See you next time in Berlin in may 2010 for World Open Space on Open Space. We expect to have passionnate discussion about the future of Open Space events in Europe. Come and join us there !

An Open Space Learning Community

Anne Stadler posted this bit in a comment a little while back. It deserves more attention than that! So here you go…

This is a link to an article about spirited work a seven year experiment in an open space learning community of practice.
“Self-Organizing Systems – Self-Organizing? Emergent Community”
— The Spirited Work Learning Community: 1999 – 2005 —
(Living in Open Space)
by Anne M. Stadler © 2009

Thought Open Spacers might be interested in this article!!! Would love to engage you in dialogue about the learnings reported here.
Here is the link to the production site where the article is now public.

Open Space Explodes at Ning

from Holger Nauheimer, reporting in from the new Ning site for Open Space

…summarizing what has happened in
the last 24 hours on the new OS community space

1. Growth:
Since yesterday, the Ning community grew by more than 100%. It has now 94

2. Groups
There are now 15 groups at the Ning platforms, specifically;

* The Power of Pre-Work
Thoughtful pre-work can support the success of an Open Space event. Share
your insights and questions about invitation, outreach, theme, logistics, ma…

* Documenting Dialogue
Explore and share ideas and experiences of documentation (text, graphics,
oral, photo, movement and other means) and how documentation can be used bot…

* Svenska Open Space Institutet
Välkommen till en mötesplats om lärande och erfa-utbyte för Svenska “Open

* Caring for this online community
A thematic group for dialogue on what is happening or should be happening in
this community and what can be done to nurture it

* Espaço Aberto – OST em língua portuguesa
Discussão sobre Espaço Aberto (OST) em língua portuguesa. Open Space
Technology discussed in Portuguese.

* Open Space Deutsch
9 members Die Regionalgruppe für A, CH und D. Come join us!

* Open Space Canada
A place to explore

* Why don’t we create an e-book?
I am involved in another ‘ning’ on employee engagement (see and…

* Open Space UK
For those in the UK interested in Open Space

* Open Space in the corporate world
For those interested in the application of OST in commerical organizations

* open space around Taiwan
Welcome to share what’s happening around ost community of Taiwan.

* Open Space California
Welcome to this gathering space for California facilitators, learners, hosts
and other appreciators of Open Space Technology.

* Espacio Abierto
Un grupo amplio y hospitalario para conversar en castellano respecto a la
práctica de la Tecnología de Espacio Abierto

* Open Space Nederland
Open Space Nederland has its own group on Je ben
welkom om je ervaringen en…

* Open Space South-East Asia
Open Space Community for South-East Asian Communities

3. Activities
There haven’t been much substantial activities in terms of content
generation. In the moment people pop in and send personal messages to people
they have met sometime. It is currently a kind of great hang out for
spaceniks. Groups are forming and I expect some more activities in the next
days. What is most striking for today is the multi-lingual discussions that
are happening.

4. Worldmap
A worldmap of group members is being generated.

5. Blog Posts
Unleashing leadership in Toronto

Open Space Video

Report from 2009 Wosonos

5. Forum Discussions
Improving the look and feel of this community

Introduction to Open Space

Pancho sez: “…possibly the best learning I came away with from WikiSym (conference) was being exposed to Open Space.”

A nice write-up about his first experience as a participant in Open Space.

Open Space in Healthcare is “…working to change the ‘old order of things’, the one which rewards the privileged few who have the time and money to attend conferences, pay for journal articles and subscription knowledge by making all healthcare knowledge accessible and available to all healthcare professionals, anytime, anywhere, FREE of charge.”

They recently posted an article on Open Space in Healthcare by Larry Peterson, a long-time leader in Canada’s community of OST practitioners. The case he makes is based on Canadian stories, but the lessons and language would be relevant for ongoing transformation in any healthcare system.

New STORIES Newsletter Posted

Joelle Lyons-Everett and Peggy Holman have delivered the latest issue STORIES, the newsletter of the OSI-USA. The purpose of the newsletter is to make our stories available so that we continue to learn and grow. We hope they will serve you for education, examples, connection and pleasure.

This newsletter is intended for the use of friends and members of the Open Space Institute (US). It may be reproduced in any useful way with acknowledgment. When copying, please include the author/contact/ publication information at the end of each story.

In This Issue:
1—Notes from the Editor
2—The Green Forum
3—At the Center of the Journey
4—Virtual Global Communication
5—Inviting Leadership
6—Coming Events
7—Footprints in the Wind: I have no call to be reasonable

Past issues were published in a different format, archived here.

Another Successful OSonOS in Haiti

John Engle reports more success from Haiti…

I’m delighted to share photos from 8th Annual Haiti OSonOS, which convened for three days 70 Haitians, many of whom are educators and community leaders from around the country. These photos taken by Haitian pro photographer, Eric Graham:

A special thanks to Open Space Institute, USA for providing scholarships for 16 participants.

With deep gratitude, John

PS Here’s an unprofessionally done video, created by me ; ) I made it especially for folks who were there but I’ll share it here in case some of you want to get a better feel for the meeting.

Sustainability Summit in Harrisonburg, Virginia

from Bruce Lundeen at Shenandoah Valley Pure Water Forum

May 30th (Saturday) Harrisonburg Mayor Kai Degner convened a Sustainability Summit with an Open Invitation for all to participate. See link to summit website and watch local media WHSV-TV video coverage:

The meeting was run using Open Space Technology as a conference methodology. Latest Reports and Announcements from the Saturday event, already posted at the summit website. See report on water as a sample of one of the many reports from the Summit. Attendees came from all over (including Washington, DC) with a majority from the local Harrisonburg, Rockingham County area –there are 60 partner organizations listed.

Real-Time (Global) Virtual Collaboration

Lucy Garrick reports from The North Shore Group, Seattle WA on a synthesis of Open Space and a number of other change facilitation and virtual collaboration tools…

The Time For Global Collaboration Has Come. In the last month I helped design and facilitated the world’s first real-time global collaboration on the subject of positive change. This work excites me because as technology is providing new ways to connect and work together, RTVC provides an opportunity to reconfigure the way people collaborate in organizations as well as across organizations, communities, institutions and governments.

What is real-time global virtual collaboration (RTVC)?

RTVC is a group of change consultants and facilitators who adapt and integrate traditional collaborative change tools and facilitated techniques, such as inquiry, dialog and other group processes, for positive change.

The concept of the world’s first Real-time Virtual Collaboration Conference was to hatched about four weeks ago. It demonstrates what is possible when integrating facilitative change tools such as Open Space, World Cafe, Three Lens Conversation, etc. with real-time social media, such as VOIP, wikis, online collaborative tools and social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or facebook.

Conference participants prepared for the conference through a Mind Map portal created especially for this event.

The 1/2 day conference was designed and organized by the RTVC Team, itself a self-organizing group of consultants and facilitators living in seven countries: Germany, S.Africa, Brazil, United Kingdom, Ontario, USA, and Canada – most of us have not yet met face-to-face.

Conference participants from 30 countries convened on Skype Chat for the opening plenary session, posting topics for break-out sessions on positive change. Break-out sessions were held on the a variety of social media chosen by conveners of the break-out sessions. Think of a sort of virtual, conference hotel. 
Over 50 participants from around the globe signed on to the opening session using Skype Chat. 
Opening and closing sessions were facilitated by members of the RTVC organization.

Reactions To The Conference Taken from the Closing Session Transcript







like riding a roller coaster
technically challenging


falling off the cliff 


crossing boundaries




just starting 

difficult connections


What’s next? 

calls for more 


Click on the RTVC Mind Map to see facts, key learnings, session topics and more. Note instructions on how to navigate the mind map in the lower right corner of the page.

To learn more about RTVC join us at the RTVC Forum on the Change Management Toolbook.
Click to see how countries were represented at the Conference.

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, 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

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.