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Open Space Technology: A User's Guide Paperback – 30 Apr 2008

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  • Open Space Technology: A User's Guide
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  • The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
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  • Participatory Workshops: A Sourcebook of 21 Sets of Ideas and Activities
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Product details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 3 edition (30 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576754766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576754764
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Harrison Owen is the president of H.H. Owen and Co. and the author of The Power of Spirit, The Spirit of Leadership, and Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology.


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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book by the originator of the process. It is simply written but dont let that deceive you, the concepts it contains are very important and elegantly expressed. Harrison Owen is a great proponent of 'less is more' and the book will tell you what you need to know without conferring too much importance on your role as the facilitator - let it happen and it will.
This book has been my only trainng and we now run these events regularly and succesfully - Thank you Harrison.
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Open Space Technology is a fantastic way to run gatherings of all sizes. I've been a participant in a number of Open Spaces and they've universally been helpful, fun and productive. I'm running my first one soon, and having read this book I feel like I understand the process well enough to deliver an Open Space gathering myself. Well-written, friendly style, lots of sharing of practical advice but nothing prescriptive.
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If you have a 'significant' problem with no clear way forward, lots of conflicting interests and people caring about the issues; then OST may be a much more useful tool than a conventional conference/meeting. EG Inter-tribal warfare over land access has been proven to be an very suitable subject (the real issues are largely unknown, communication has broken down, no-one knows how to solve and local people care passionately) but rolling-out a new software database across a big corporation would be unsuitable (known solution - just train on it and individuals get on and use!)

Harrison says OST is usable with 5 to 2000+ participants over a 1 to 3 day conference. I have experienced a 60 person event over a half day and it was both 'enjoyable' and 'productive'. Enjoyable because I felt 'heard' and productive because it threw up ideas and concepts from a wide group of participants from many disciplines who were interested/concerned about the subject and gave 'management' some new ideas about how they might move forward (which was the aim.)

I bought the book 'hoping' that it would explain (sell) the concept to leaders who had not come across it before and 'teach' on how to run such an event. I had immediately thought of three totally different areas I was in touch with where OST might be appropriate (but I wasn't the leader so could only suggest the use of OST as an idea!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who is deeply committed to participatory working at all levels this book grabbed me from the minute I started reading it and I am currently planning to put it into practice for the first time. It is clearly written with a good balance of practical information shared experience and the thinking and philosophy behind the approach. I can't understand how it took me so long to find it!
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I found this easy to get into and understand and I was able to design a day for my church Vision Day in c ouple of hours.
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