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Immortal since Apr 23, 2010
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Emergent day to you. 2010-04-22 is my knowmad birthday. Think I understood the word. More to emerge.
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    Opening Space for Emerging Order. AKA barcamp, unconference.

    In the words of Harrison Owen:

    OST, as a definable approach to organizing meetings has been in existence for somewhat more than a dozen years. Truthfully, I suspect it has been around as long as Homo sapiens has gathered for one purpose or another, from the days of the campfire circle onward. It is only that our modern wisdom has obfuscated what we already knew and have experienced from the beginning. But that is getting somewhat ahead of our story.

    ...

    The mere thought of inviting 500 relative strangers, united by little more than their conflict around a particular issue to join together for a three day gathering, without a shred of agenda preparation, a small army of facilitators...should be sufficient to raise eyebrows. The suggestion that something productive might occur obviously contravenes most of what we have taught and/or learned about meeting management and the care and feeding of hostile groups, and definitely qualifies as outrageous. And yet productive outcomes from unlikely quarters has been the continuing experience of groups gathered in Open Space all over the planet. The outrageous is now common place. Somehow incipient (or actual chaos) is productive of order. Regularly.

    What’s the secret? Some have suggested that the Four Principles and One Law which guide behavior in Open space provide the clues. The principles are:

    1) 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.

    2) 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.

    3) 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.

    4) 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 is the so called 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. The law, as stated, may sound like rank hedonism, but even hedonism has its place, reminding us that unhappy people are unlikely to be productive people.

    Actually the Law of Two Feet goes rather beyond hedonistic pandering to personal desires. One of the most profound impacts of the law is to make it exquisitely clear precisely who is responsible for the quality of a participant’s learning. If any situation is not learning rich, it is incumbent upon the individual participant to make it so. There is no point in blaming the conference committee, for none exists. Responsibility resides with the individual.

    One of the more surprising gifts of the Law of Two Feet is the apparent contribution to conflict resolution. I say "apparent" because I have no direct evidence connecting the Law to the resolution of conflict, but it is true that intensely conflicted groups of people find effective and amicable solutions in Open Space without benefit of formal conflict resolution procedure, or even any intermediary facilitators. Apparently they do it all by themselves.


    Preserved 2011-11-06. More...

    Even more... Opening Space for Peace and High Performance

    Image: Aaron Hockley
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