Open Space is a democratic way to facilitate and organize meetings, conferences, and organizational work involving a large number of people with diverse backgrounds and interest.
Participants opt in to create and manage the agenda of discussions as it emerges to achieve strategic and complex objectives.
Harrison Owen an Open Space Evangelist describes the Four Principles and One Law which guide behavior of participants in Open space.
**The principles are: **
- Whoever comes is the right people, which reminds people in the small groups that getting something done is not a matter of having 100,000 people and the chairman of the board. The fundamental requirement is people who care to do something. And by showing up, that essential care is demonstrated.
- Whatever happens is the only thing that could have, keeps people focused on the here and now, and eliminates all of the could-have-beens, should-have-beens or might-have-beens. What is is the only thing there is at the moment.
- Whenever it starts is the right time, alerts people to the fact that inspired performance and genuine creativity rarely, if ever, pay attention to the clock. They happen (or not) when they happen.
- Lastly When it’s over it’s over. In a word, don’t waste time. Do what you have to do, and when its done, move on to something more useful.
The Law of Two Feet, which states simply, if at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing – use you two feet and move to some place more to you liking. Such a place might be another group, or even outside into the sunshine. No matter what, don’t sit there feeling miserable