Open Spaces Unconferences

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Open Spaces Learning
Lessons (2011 . 2012 . 2013)
Reflecting Forward

In essence, the event will be as great as we make it.

  • Whoever shows up are the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it's over, it's over.

Be prepared to be surprised! :-)

Engage with the process. We can practice asynchronously on this wiki as a pre-event activity.

Pre-event Open Spaces Wiki

Some topics may be sufficiently similar to merge, or become unwieldy and be split.

As topics consolidate, post them on a schedule and invite people to "sign up". Whoever posted the topic is the "convener" who might like to lead the discussion, though groups may self-organise and optionally assign various roles (e.g. scribe, rapporteur, ...).

e.g. see sample (illustrative) "Space-time Matrix"

The wiki will give us some idea of the topics of most interest to the participants.

During the Event

During the event, everything may change as we repeat the process face-to-face, perhaps with postits, white boards and flipcharts. Proposed topics from the wiki might re-emerge but expect new ideas as the collective creative energy flows.

One approach is to have each proposer do a 2 minute pitch for their topic to attract participants. We could also do "speed geeking" for the same purpose, or a simple sign-up approach with hands/feet.

Speaking of feet, Open Spaces has one "law":

The Law of Two Feet:
"If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing: use your two feet and go someplace else".

i.e. don't waste time, move around, cross-pollinate groups, and be open to chance encounters which often bring out the most creative of discussions.

If you want to go to two discussions in the same time slot, try negotiating a change to the schedule (preferably during its composition).

The schedule may include an opportunity for people to report back on their discussions.

ConCrete Outputs?

Open spaces are open spaces with no pre-set agendas, tracks, outputs or outcomes. The participants self-organise and

  • take responsibility to raise issues of concern
  • discuss issues to the full extent desired
  • produce reports (on-the-fly)
    • feel free to record (photo, audio, video) and post to or link from this wiki, blog, tweet, etc.
    • the 'dis-organisers' will help facilitate this happening but the responsibility for doing it lies with each group.
  • and, where applicable and desired, create spaces for setting priorities and developing action plans.

Further Information

For more background see the following and associated links:

  • Wikipedia on Open Space Technology.
  • Owen, Harrison (2008). Open Space Technology: A User's Guide (3rd ed.). Berrett-Koehler. ISBN 978-1576754764.
  • Some great videos and other resources may be found on the web.