Open Space Technology

Coordinators: Elandria Williams and Thomas Beckett

What is open space technology?

Open Space Technology is a method of self-organizing group activity, engaging inner discipline and the inherent creativity and leadership of the people taking part. By inviting people to take responsibility for what they care about, Open Space establishes a space of inquiry, reflection and learning, bringing out the best in both individuals and the whole group.

How it works

The Law of Two Feet means you take responsibility for what you care about: standing up for that and using your own two feet to move to whatever place in the Open Space setting where you can best contribute and/or learn.

Four principles apply to how you navigate in open space

  1. Whoever comes are the right people.
    Whoever is attracted to the same conversation are the people who can contribute most to that conversation — because they care. So they are exactly the ones — of the whole group — who are capable of taking the necessary action.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
    We are all limited by our own pasts and expectations. This principle acknowledges we’ll all do our best to focus on NOW — the present time and place — and not get bogged down in what could’ve or should’ve happened.
  3. When it starts is the right time.
    The creative spirit has its own time, and our task is to make our best contribution and enter the flow of creativity when it starts.
  4. When it’s over, it’s over.
    Creativity has its own rhythm. So do groups. Pay attention to the flow of creativity — not to the clock. When you think it is over, ask: “Is it over?” And if it is, go on to the next thing you have passion for. If it is not over, make plans for continuing the conversation.

Possible Open Space Technology Topics

  • Horizontal and Vertical Integration of Food or Textiles
  • Housing and Community Land Trust
  • Grassroots Financing

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