“Becoming me,” an open space practice video?

Marty Boroson has developed a video companion to his book, Becoming Me, inspired in part by open space. Acclaimed by spiritual leaders of different faiths, the clip has been posted to YouTube. Becoming Me is a simple, daring, and moving story of your/my creation.

This resource might be considered as another video to inspire one’s open space practice. An addition, perhaps, to this collection?

Opening Space Across Geographic Space?

This question just in from Menlo Park, California…

I am doing a bit of reasearch on if it would be possible to conduct an open space type meeting with the participants not located in the same room, but geographically distributed and connected via the Internet through instant messaging and other communication tools.

In your experience, have you seen anything like that in the past and/or do you have any thoughts on the viability of doing that?

Any thoughts that you could share would be appreciated.

Please use the comments link to offer your views and experience.

Note to email subscribers: This message will publish while I’m in the middle of a loooooong airplane flight. Would one of you alert the OSLIST and invite comments on this? Many thanks, Michael

OST changing form in the Russian-speaking world?

On Runet (the Russian language Internet) Various online forums also report having experiences with OST as people run meetings called OST, but not really run on OST principles.

Might this be a familiar refrain which brings us back to the age-old question of how do we guarantee quality of OST meetings run around the world?

In one example, in an OST meeting, a “training: Our children: child-rearing issues” one participants writes that she “didn’t like” OST.

Others on the forum share other, more positive experiences of OST and invite her to further explore the method.

In another intriguing development, a Moscow coaching program offers training in the “Open Space model,” listing Harrison Owen and Birgitt Williams as co-authors. The material further refers to the role of the Creative Person in this model. Some might wonder, are Harrison Owen and Birgitt Williams teaching something in Russia that the rest of the OST community is not aware of?!

OST in Russia and the near-abroad: some recent developments

Gabdulla Hamitov facilitates meeting on youth development

Youth development OST meeting. Ufa, Russia. September 2006

Gabdulla Hamitov facilitates conference on youth leadership development, “Path to the Future”
Ufa, Bashkortostan (Russia)
photos courtesy of Bashtorg, a major regional wholesaler in Russia

Since the 14th annual international Open Space on Open Space conference in Moscow in August 2006, OST has continued to be applied in many different kinds of organizations, especially in companies.

Recent applications include a meeting on personal safety and responsibility with RusAl, one of the largest aluminum producers in the world.

The sponsor, Elena Sochkina, responsible for corporate culture, noted “my most pleasant discoveries with the Open Space method were:

*the number of participants is limited only by the size of the physical meeting space.

*the conditions are created where formal boundaries are erased (status, hierarchical, and professional)

* the participants create the agenda (which is the guarantee of success).”

(Direktor po Personalu magazine)

OST has also been used recently with major Russian political parties, at marketing conferences, training conferences, at a coaching conference (co-sponsored by Open Space Institute-Russia), with Russia’s Central Bank, with cellular phone service provider Beeline, and with a major pharmaceutical company.

Note: PROMT offers a free and relatively good quality Russian to English webpage translation service.

Open Space Research?

Dennis Embry sent this question from PAXIS Institute in Tuscon, Arizona…

I am looking for peer-reviewed, published studies on Open Space procedures. I am looking for either randomized control group studies or high-quality interrupted time series studies showing actual impact on outcomes of organizations or communities. What I have found so far are discussions of processes and proximal outcomes. I see for example Open Space is often used for community problems, and I am curious if there is evidence that it actually leads to reductions of those problems or increase in related positive outcomes.

The only research I know of is posted in the ResearchActivities page of our ResourcesCollection… but maybe we can shake out some other responses for Dennis? Please comment here for Dennis and others interested in this sort of research. We’ll be glad to add any new materials to our Research page, as well.

Structured or Unstructured?

This question from Rene in the Netherlands…

Thanks for sharing your experiences with Open Space on your web site and in your publications. I’m a consultant in the creative industry in the Netherlands and I have facilitated a lot of workshops over the years. I bumped into your approach and want to use Open Space for a
workshop next week.

After reading your work (and other resources on Open Space), one question remains for me: How do the principles “it starts when it starts” and “it’s over when it’s over” relate to the agenda making process, where subject owners plan a room and a time spot where they will discuss their topic?

Click the comments link (immediately below) here to read my answer, or to offer an answer of your own.

Have a question, too? Send it along. We’ll post and invite answers as we’re able to get to them. Thanks!