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How to organize Open Space?

Posted by Jai on June 4, 2008

Different people come out with different ideas to organize Open Space but the basic idea remain the same letting (mind not making) people get self organized. I am putting few things that might help you to get it started (I believe you are familiar with basic terms, if not please go through my previous blog).

Buildup market place:

  • Put the OST concepts like principles, law, roles etc. on big charts and put it on walls or white boards at common place. ( OpenSpace is very much about atmosphere, and constant reminders help this.)
  • Put a chart with the map of the breakout rooms and assign some number/letter to the same.
  • Put a chart for the discussion topics with breakout room number/letter and time slots.
  • For the subject paper use the template.

Kick-Off in common place:

  • Gather everyone in common place.
  • Introduce OpenSpace mechanisms (you can use some presentation slides if there are too many people otherwise I would suggest not to make it very formal, That might help you tell your own story…)
  • Present the theme.
  • put the forms and pens in the middle of the circle, and just walk away.(Really. Just walk away, out of the room if at all possible. It’s really cool to see the surprise, and the understanding that it’s up to the people themselves, and there’s no better way to make the point.)

Closure:

  • Gather everyone together in the common space.
  • Ask the group to share how they experienced the OpenSpace, then ask if there is something interesting from a session that they would like to share with the group
  • Thank everyone for their participation and declare the OpenSpace closed.

Give it a try and do share your experience.

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