SESSION TOPIC: Opening Space in Parallel with Traditional Conferences
Scribe/note taker: DianaLarsen
Participants: DianaLewis, BarbaraEmmanuel?, MistyDunn, TedErnst, NancyFranklin, Sheila Isaakson
- Using the jargon of Open Space (including the Name) is not the important part
- "Closing" considered a de-energized term for use in conferences. We brainstormed a list of possible alternatives. (listed below)
- Listen to the need
- When approached to facilitate OS at a traditional conference, clarify assumptions with the conference organizers. Ask a few questions, e.g. " Have you experienced Open Space before? What do you hope or need for outcomes? Why do Open Space now? What has changed since the last conference that makes you want to have Open Space?"
- Rename the "Closing" session if you want people to come.
- Where possible, negotiate for dedicated Open Space toward the end of the conference after the regular conference business...keynotes, award sessions.
- How to deal with conferences where the participants "need" the traditional sessions; e.g. CEU's, academic credit, etc.
- How to carefully word the invitation to frame the idea that this may not be representative of "real" Open Space; e.g. "A Taste of Open Space"
- If using a wiki on the pre-conference website to generate potential Open Space topics, ask that proposers do not add their names. Clarify that these are only ideas of what topics people may propose on site.
- Put the marketplace in a place that is visible to the whole conference, not just the Open Space-ers
- Put a map of the session locations on the wall next to the marketplace
- Blogthink Conference facilitated by MichaelHerman while we are here
- Styles of Blended Conferences:
- 1 days Open Space + 1+ days of traditional
- Keynotes followed by Open Space
- Parallel Open Space and Traditional conferences
- "A Taste of Open Space" How is this different from a "normal" Open Space? - There is no problem to be solved. There may be no need for convergence. Though there may be diversity and complex ideas/situations to discuss.
- ChrisCorrigan and MichaelHerman no longer strive for convergence on the third day of Open Space. Follow the energy. Who wants to work on what topics? Third day has new theme, "what needs to happen now?" DianaLarsen uses a similar approach. No need to prioritize. The topics with energy are the only ones anyone will work on anyway.
- The above idea could feed the conference closing, "What needs to happen now?"
- Open Space at a conference may not work, or be more difficult in some industries. For instance, where people need CEU's or academic credit for papers to gain advancement in their careers or funding to attend the conferences.
- Possible to encourage traditional conferences to be more open by allowing conference organizers to experience "real" Open Space. Open space by opening minds. Discover from them what standards/requirements are needed in their industries. Explore how Open Space can satisfy them where possible. Write descriptions that satisfy accrediting agencies.
- We learn more about many topics by talking to people, rather than listening to lectures.
- Invitation is critical. Hooks/ignites passions.
- New Names for the Wrap-Up or Closing at a conference (brainstormed list, not filtered)
- The Commencement
- The Beginning/New? Beginnings
- Next Generation
- On the Road Again
- Saddle Up
- Feet in the Stirrups (and ready to ride)
- Lanch Pad/ The Launching
- Back to the Future
- The Day Before Tomorrow
- The Future
- Recent Changes
- Not Open Space but "A Taste of Open Space" Call it what it is...
- Too often when asked to facilitate Open Space at a conference, facilitator is faced with organizers chipping away at the Open space needs
- For the Marketplace -- new 8.5 x 5.5 blank brightly colored Super Sticky notes, Use a Sticky Wall (rip stop nylon with repositionable spray) or 2 or 3 together
- Story -- SheilaIsaakson? and MichaelHerman were asked to open space for a medical clinic managers association with an outcome of learning more about retaining/recruiting members.
The new members loved it. The existing members hated it; it wasn't a "real" meeting.
- The Organization Transformation conference starts with a World Cafe on the conference theme for the first two hours, so that everyone becomes acquainted; then moves into Open Space for the remainder of the conference.
- Advice--Know who you are working with; i.e., the organizers, the conference planners, facilitites people. Be firm and reiterate. Ask for what you need. Over and over again.
- It's not about the method. Everything that matters to people will be discussed. The name (Open Space) doesn't matter. Avoid the jargon.