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Open Space Technology, an inviting guide

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Abstract

Opening Invitation For some years now, I have taught Open Space Technology as the skillful practice of invitation in organization, for the purpose of getting the most important things done, in the easiest possible ways. This is the briefest guide to how to do that. This guide can help you put what is most important for yourself and/or your organization or community into a short statement that invites others to gather. If you do that, then many of those "right" people are very likely to show up at the place and time you designate. Once they gather, with a common passion for the issue(s) you raised, most of the logistics get very simple. People get down to work quickly and naturally, to address the issues at hand, the issues you raised. As their conversations progress, strategic "action" happens. This guide is short. It will get you started. Once you've reviewed it, I'd be glad to discuss it with you. After that, contracting for the facilitation of a meeting or event usually includes (1) preparation time to address the issues identified here, (2) facilitation time for the event itself, and perhaps (3) some training or other follow-up support for keeping the momentum going after the initial event. I'd be glad to discuss such contracting with you, as well. In Open Space, everything starts with the invitation. So here is mine, to you: Have a look at this guide. Think things through. Talk them over. Pencil some notes, maybe even a theme. Scribble a first draft of an invitation, if you can. Make a list of questions. Call me with that list. This guide works equally well with any meeting, retreat, workshop, conference or summit event, regardless of size, people or purpose – with or without Open Space Technology. We've used it for hybrid events, as well, held partially in Open Space, the only difference being that those events don't have as much room for people to work – directly and immediately – on the most important issues.

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