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Issue: Regional Open Space on Open Space Events / Learning Exchange

Convenor: Brian Bainbridge, Michael M Pannwitz

Participants: Ulrika, Kerry, Sheila Isakson, Agneta S., Eva, Martin/Holland?, Antti-Juhani Wihuri, Erich Kolenaty Christa Gescher (responsible for the record)

Summary of the meeting:

Motivations beeing at this workshop:

- Regional OS are more small but more deep

- Is it sustainable? What works, what does not work?

- Listen and learn

- Discuss how to arrange regional meetings, because we need them

- We need this regional meetings

- I want to find out what is similar in regional and global OS and what is different

- I wanted to get out of the sun and wind, like to see European OS parallel to US OS

- I want to see OS in different regions

- I want to listen to different perspectives of doing OS

- Because my favorite workshop does not take place

- I want to tell you about Berlin, why they think it is important to have regional groups

Experiences (in chronological order):

- Regional and local workshops developed out of a global OS, so the development is: Global - Regional - Local

- We had a regional workshop "Berlin OSonOS" = BOSONOS

- The Open Space was developed out of the OT-meetings (Organizational Transformation); the first OT meeting was 1983, then 1985 Goa, OT will be in Scottland

- The reason to start OS is that OT ran out

- OSONOS was global from the beginning (not regional)

- Haiti: 2nd OSONOS in June, 3rd in June 2004, there were 50 people in the first two, the language is Haitian language, most participants are from Haiti, only a few foreign expats and others

- In Australia there have been 5 OSONOSs

- Regional OSONOS so far: In 1) USA, 2) Germany/Berlin?, 3) Haiti, 4) Sweden: First was last year (2002), only a few people, but we try to start (there was a short organiyation meeting yesterday here in Ostense); 5) Mr. Koos has started one in Holland 3 years ago.

- What purpose has a regional one? Who are the right people for an OSONOS?

- Germany: We started 2000 in Vlotho as a OS training, and one part of it was "Me as a facilitator" where the idea was born; the 2nd was in Jan2002 (24 people), the 3rd in Jan2003 (46 people), the 4th will be Jan2004 (18 people has signed up so far)

- Concerning the question about the right people: Joe brought his parents, he said he couldn't explain it to them so they wanted to participate to see; it was a good mix of people

- But the mix has to be balanced; the first OSONOS in Berlin there were too much Wannabe's, there was too much to explain from the side of the faciliators instead of having discussions themselves. So the organizers have to recognize the needs of the participants

- Who is the sponsor of regional OSONOS? In Berlin it was us, so one of us was the faciliator AND the sponsor which was not good, so we decided next time to have someone else be the faciliator

- The purpose of a regional OSONOS: To spread OS, to have more people in it, to write articles, to practice OS

- Ambiguity and openess is fine, but you need the balance

- What happened in the first OSONOS in Berlin was that there were a lot of people who wanted to have a quick OS experience with low budget

- Invitations can contain the participant group

- On you can see how to write an invitation which is a very important skill

- It feels good to be here with 70 people with different experiences from different countries

- How about a design in a sense to have side activities with an OSONOS so to cover the different people who are interested in participation and also to include beginners

- It is important to clarify the purpose and participants to make sure that the work of others is not restricted

- You have to draw a distinction concerning the participants, that means you have to state clearly if the meeting is going to be a training or not; it is about whom you invite

- You can have newcomers, no problem, but if they are more than 50 percent of the group than it is a question of proportion

- What would Harrison say if we talk about certification of faciliators? - We are not talking about this

- In the last OSONOS Berlin there was a lot of energy, 20 projects came up, even plans to set up a new company

- It seems that there is no connection between participation of a local and a global OSONOS, like: Someone attending a global OSONOS is/is not participating in a local one or the other way round; I don't know yet if there is a legality to it

- To assure to provide quality as a faciliator: To do as many OS that I can

- In Vlotho/Germany? January 2004 Michael will ask the question who will be the sponsor for the next OSONOS

- Probably there will be a European OSONOS, and Asian one...

- Why?

- Because of the distance and the language problem of the global OSONOS

- People can use the Software Open Space Online from Gabriella (, and in the future there probably will be the chance that you can type in text in your own language and it will come out in the language you like

- Self-organization of personal development because of high mistrust in education bodies

- Necessity of diversity: This group has an economist, a graphic designer, a historian... maybe more important than the profession is the diversity

- There is a project on bringing parents together with teachers to create a new relationship between parents, teachers and students (Kerry)

- The website has 3 or 4 stories about education

- An essential part of OS is to feel invited

- To contribute to this you can arrange the environment: A nice place, coffee, fruits, vegetables, room temperature according to the needs of the people... )

- It is also about cooperation and competition, and about the connection and personal relationship between the facilitators where you have to figure out your way to go

- My responsibility as an experienced facilitator: To include as many people as I can in my OS, like assistants, trainees and other helping hands

Follow up:

Online Comments:

1. Accepting the division Global - Regional - Local, I would like to clarify that Regional has many meanings - the "Berlin Region", is different from a "German Region" and from an "European Region".

2. I think that the point about Regional OSonOs? is related with Regonal OSIs. If a regional meeting takes place than a regional OSI is at least informally in place - or can become in place soon.

3. The point about Pegional/Local? OSonOS is about geography/distance (that also has an inpact on cost), but also about language. (And probably also about "culture": countries where Catolic religion is dominant are adhering less to OST than the others. As they are normaly Latin speaking countries I don't know exactly what is the cause).

4. Speakink about language (and the Internet), there is today a different emerging way to divide the world, based not on geography but mostly on language. Of course geography still exists. But it can have almost a null impact on OSIs but a greater impact on trans-nacional language-based OSonOS. Tools like Wiki or the OSonline SW would have to be used. But it is not impossible, and it can be an alternative or complement to regional OSonOS.