Open Space Technology: What is it?

Open Space Technology Conference Technique

There must be a clear and compelling theme, an interested and committed group, time and a place, and a leader. Detailed advance agendas, plans, and materials are not only un-needed, they are usually counterproductive. - openspaceworld.com

There are many ways to participate in API-Craft. Typically, people end up falling into one of two patterns at any given time (and often they switch between paradigms on a regular basis):

  • Bumblebees: Attendees who constantly bounce between sessions. Great for cross-pollination.
  • Butterflies: Attendees who don't attach to any session. They create areas of silence and reflection. Sometimes great conversations can start between butterflies.
  • Facilitators: Attendees who run specific sessions. The job of facilitator is to create space and time… and then give it all away.

 



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

 


 

How We Do It

Here's how we implement Open Space Technology concepts at API-Craft:

  • Opening Session: Attendees volunteer topics and place them on the Community Bulletin board in a certain matrix cell defining the place and time.
  • Community Bulletin Board: A matrix of meeting spaces and time slots. Attendees will place their sessions on this board at the Opening Session.
  • Village Marketplace: "Opening the Village Marketplace" refers to letting attendees sign up for sessions after the Opening Session. Sessions can be moved or merged as necessary.
  • Morning Announcements: An opportunity to announce changes in meetings (additions, cancellations, and mergers).
  • Evening News: Similar to Morning Announcements, except we also reflect on the day and discuss experiences. (Both Morning Announcements and Evening News are an excuse to group together. This is important.)
  • Proceedings: A record of the sessions.  For us, this will be on GitHub. Proceedings will be printed out and placed on wall.

The Law of Mobility

If, during our time together, you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet and go to some more productive place.