Open Space Technology

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Identification
Howto
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Learn and trust in this process, however, and by the end of a 2-½ day session you'll find that... • all issues of major importance will have been discussed • everyone who wants to speak will be heard • if appropriate, priorities and next steps will have been identified • at the end of the process each participant will hold in their hand a complete record of the proceedings, including key discussion points, recommendations and action items
Level of participation: 
high
Potential Pitfalls: 
Unavailable
Examples of successes and failures: 
Open Space Technology can be used for strategic planning, needs analysis, conferences, product design, visioning, focus groups, systems analysis, architectural or ecological projects, race and ethnicity discussions, community partnerships, new directions for laboratory research, and much more.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Setting and Materials: 
Large sheets of paper, recoding and reproducton equipment, space for small groups to meet i.
Procedures: 

Participants convene in a circle with a basic theme to focus their efforts. The facilitator explains a few short rules to guide the process. Members of the circle are invited to identify any issue connected to the theme for which they have genuine interest and are prepared to take some personal responsibility such as convening a discussion group. Participants write their issue on a piece of paper, announce it to the group, pick a session time and place, and post the paper on the wall. Eventually the wall fills up with issues and ideas, everyone signs up for sessions important to them and off they go. Each session records its discussion and this creates a record of the proceedings. If appropriate, issues are prioritized and groups convene to discuss next steps, timelines, and point-persons before the end of the event.

How flexible is the process?: 
very
Background
Developer: 
Harrison Owen
License Model: 
Open
Suppliers
Creators: 
Trainers: 
Consultants: 
Online: 
Supporters: