Open Space Guidelines


What Is Open Space?

Open Space is a time for people to gather in small groups at Presbytery meetings around an interested topic. You pick the topic.

Open Space Guidelines:

  • Whoever comes is the right person.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • When it’s over, it’s over.
  • The Law of Mobility: if you are neither learning nor contributing, join another session where you will be inspired.
  • Be prepared to be surprised.
Conversation Guidelines: Please practice and encourage these conversation guidelines.
  • Open-mindedness: Listen to and respect all points of view.
  • Acceptance: Suspend judgment as best you can.
  • Curiosity: Seek to understand rather than persuade.
  • Discovery: Question assumptions, look for new insights.
  • Sincerity: Speak what has personal heart and meaning.
  • Brevity: Go for honesty and depth but don’t go on and on.
  • Use Law of Mobility: Take responsibility for your participation. If you feel you are neither contributing nor learning where you are, join another session where you will be inspired.
Conversation Host Guidelines: 
Thank you for being willing to host an Open Space conversation at a presbytery meeting. The process is simple. Email the Meetings Working Group your topic and a brief paragraph describing the topic. The Meetings Working Group will be in contact with you. Topics are considered depending on the presbytery meeting schedule. Open Space time is usually one hour long.

During Your Conversation: 
Remember the six guidelines of Open Space.
Remember you are the host! This is not a workshop but a place to host good conversation around your idea or topic. Trust that what the Spirit wants to say will emerge in the space of open and honest conversation.
When you are ready to begin, read the Conversation Guidelines to your group, briefly introduce yourself and the topic, encourage visual harvesting and begin.
Harvest your conversation by taking notes on the Harvesting Sheet or providing some type of visual. Take a picture of the harvested notes or turn them into a presbytery staff person so that they can be shared on the website.
With 5 minutes left, make connections and discern any important insights that can also be harvested for future partnerships or networking.

Harvesting Sheet:
Name of Host:
Email Address:
Conversation Topic:
Insights, Connections, & Threads: (What do you think happened in your conversation that would be helpful to share with the presbytery?)
Any Intentions to Move Conversation Forward:
(Please return to the Presbytery Office or Meetings Working Group)

Categories Celebrate | Tags: | Posted on March 1, 2012

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