Dear Nigel,

Thank you for your amazing, inspiring story.  What powerful and important work 
you are doing!  
I am touched that you think I played a role in this!  Please keep us posted as 
your journey with street kids continues to unfold.

with deep respect,

Peggy Holman
The Open Circle Company
15347 SE 49th Place
Bellevue, WA  98006
(425) 746-6274

For pre-orders with a 20% discount on the new edition of The Change Handbook, 
go to: 

"An angel told me that the only way to step into the fire and not get burnt, is 
to become 
the fire".
  -- Drew Dellinger

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: NigelSeys-Phillips 
  Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 12:08 AM
  Subject: [OSLIST] Raising the Open Space flag in Mongolia - longish

  With due thanks again to Peggy Holman and her Columbian adventure (2000 DID you do that??) the World Bank initiative in South East Asia 
has taken a couple of further steps - and as so many people asked me for an 
update I am delighted to provide one.


  I have been hugely privileged to "Open Space" in the past month for street 
children in Laos and Mongolia - in both countries focusing on the questions of 
vital importance to them from their perspective. I am sure somebody has done 
work in Laos before (if not, please let's add this also to the countries where 
we have raised a flag and that counts as two in a month!!) but not too sure 
about Mongolia so maybe I have managed to plant another flag for the world of 
Open Space??


  We held the meeting at a Children's Centre some thirty kilometers outside 
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. For those geographically challenged among 
us, I suggest a large scale atlas where you will find Mongolia nestled totally 
landlocked between Russia and China - and if you wanted two larger neighbours I 
have no idea where you would look, when you have a total population of a mere 
2.5 million. With it's Soviet past (although now independent and with an 
elected Parliament) the Centre has a wonderful "soviet" look - solid, old 
fashioned, lots of crumbling concrete, stone cold corridors and a splendid 
statue of the founder in bronze at the entrance. Strangely (well, to me at 
least) the countryside was beautiful around the Centre with fir trees and many 
others slowly changing from green to brown, clear blue skies and a vast area 
with the most unusual collection of guest houses - each clustered together in a 
"style" that apparently resembled Mongolian / Japanese / Swiss..well so they 
told me!


  The meeting was held in the sports hall - probably the only one with a 
yellow, blue and green painted floor with the NBA logo in Mongolia I suspect - 
with fantastic steel radiators lining the walls installed when radiators were 
meant to give off heat not act as interior design accessories and when pipes 
were just that.stuck all over the place.


  In Laos and Cambodia signs came off the wall because it was too hot and humid 
- here because, despite the weather being at least clement, the walls were too 
cold, and just a little crumbly in places!!


  Open Space produced its magic - even if I have no clue what was said for the 
entire two days! We had well over 100 topics raised, some 70 with written notes 
which went into the Proceedings Book and ten which we prioritized for action 


  This helps the World Bank, Unicef, National Association of Children, Save the 
Children, World Vision and others focus their efforts, both for themselves and 
for the demands they can make of the host government who will be clearly shown 
the priorities from the mouths of those they expect, and we hope want, to help


  BUT it also produced two days of wonderful magic for the children themselves, 
released for that time from their daily grind to achieve something in their 
lives, which for many means actually surviving for another day - and when 
winter comes here it hits Minus 40c which means survival is a darned tough ask. 
The stories you may have read about street children living in manholes is 
totally true - because the heating pipes need to be buried underground to 
withstand the cold this is often the only warm place they can find.


  They worked with all the sessions of a two day Open Space (sitting on chairs 
in meetings for a couple of hours could not have been further from their daily 
life if we had tried) although given the age range of 6 to 22 we did have a few 
drop outs.oh and one small dog who contributed beautifully, but unknowingly, as 
a "butterfly".but then reveled in the outside. Meetings disappeared under trees 
on the edge of the forest, they sat by an empty swimming pool, they climbed the 
tower of the Japanese village, they ran everywhere. They were fed great meals, 
scoffed cake and sweets in their farewell party, and after dinner the staff of 
the Centre and the children ran, played games, sang songs, and soaked in the 
freedom, the safety, the clean air and the warmth of the countryside.


  To add to the magic we had our own brass band.battered though the instruments 
were (and in several cases bigger than the children themselves) and a little 
dubious the notes, the stirring sound of martial music welcomed us all back 
after lunch and enlivened a few tired spirits at the end of the day - 
contrasted splendidly with the disco synchronized arm waving that followed 
seconds later! 


  Oh yes - we were on Mongolian Television as well last night..I didn't watch 
it but then how would I have known which was the news anyway?


  And a final touch of Open Space magic to end a memorable event. Before 
leaving Ulaanbaatar I had a chance to walk around the town and heard my adopted 
name called out - "Scotch"..not the drink but the tape we struggled to fix, and 
refix, to the wall !!!!  - and two of "my" children came running up to say 
hello, still dressed in the orange t-shirts we had all worn for the previous 
two days and still smiling from ear to ear. It's a great feeling to make 197 
new young friends in just two days, and they all know your name in a foreign 


  Thank you Peggy - thank you Open Space - and welcome to Mongolia!






  Nigel Seys-Phillips

  Fulcrum Business Management Solutions

  30 Mount Elizabeth

  #04-34 Highpoint

  Singapore 228519

  Tel: +65 9639 2510





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