open space

Over the weekend I was preparing for the Open Space hui I'm facilitating in a few days. 
I'm excited. 
There are double the people coming that I had initially optimistically expected.
I'm looking forward to the conversations that arise and watching what manifests from these conversations.
(a recent day out tree planting)

I have attended a couple of Open Space hui before and immediately I resonated with the method of engagement and the values that underpin this method. As I have read more in preparation for Saturday I feel excited to have found a form which is organised around the interests and energy of the group, rather than controlled and manipulated by the organising group or facilitator.  

My main role as facilitator is to organise the actual event and then to hold the space for the duration of the gathering. Other than that, the work and energy comes from the people in the room; the power remains in their hands.

The agenda for the gathering is created from the issues and interests people bring - a comfortable fit for interest-led learners:) 
And there is one law- the law of two feet; essentially the law of self-responsibility.
As an example, let's say I'm in a group and I'm bored or disengaged then it is expected that I will get up and move to another group where I am interested and willing to contribute. The other option is to take a break. 
Again, the law of two feet seems a perfect fit for room full of self-directed learners.

On a loose page of scribbled notes and doodles is a quote I scrawled down while reading the book.
It's been blinking at me now and again as I check numbers and tick off tasks.
In the book it is referring to the important reason why participation is totally voluntary in an Open Space event.
Personally, the weight of the words has me thinking of our relationships with children and our modern education system:
"Forcing somebody to enter into an experience for which they are neither ready
nor willing is tantamount to a criminal act." - Harrison Owen.

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