Dear friends in Open Space
I write to share about an exciting project and to ask to have
feedback/ideas/experiences assisting me to refine/decide on the design I am
The project is in a neighbouring town of about 35 000 inhabitants. They are
inviting everyone living there to explore ways to contribute to enhance the
learning amongst children/youth complementing/supporting what is happening
in the school. The top politician in the town, responsible for
education/schools is my sponsor. During the spring I had a couple of
meetings with the top politicians and managers for the school system. Then
we widened the circles and had some meetings with other interest parties ,
to invite more engagement for this idea.
We have a plan that includes follow up, to support what is emerging, decide
on next steps and make sure there is report back to what is happening and
A couple of days ago we had our final planning meeting getting the theme
etc. Still working on wording but something like For the future of our
children. How do we create conditions for enhanced learning for pupils in
our community? Of practical reasons evenings are considered the best
options. Parents, pupils, teachers, business people, public workers etc etc
are all busy daytime and weekends are not considered a good option.
Everyone will be invited but its hard to say how many will come to each
meeting. I guess between 10-200 :)
Now the plan is to have three 3-hour meetings in three different parts of
the small community. I have suggested a fourth meeting where all are invited
for convergence/action planning. There are of course several challenges. I
am not even sure I will suggest we use OST even though Id love to. I think
a 3-hour meeting is the bare minimum for the simplest form of an OST
meeting. On the other hand I see possibilities for this to be looked at like
an OST meeting consisting of three occasions á 3 hours + convergence in a
fourth meeting for another 3 hours
That looks better, ey?
There are some opportunities with this:
1. More time for the divergent process before converging.
2. People can choose to join several meetings, deepening their
3. People can get access to more ideas/material from the 3 meetings.
4. There can be continued conversations online in between meetings and
approaching meeting nbr 4.
5. There will be opportunities for people to create joint projects
over boundaries in the community (meeting nbr 4 and online)
There are several challenges with this too.
1. There will be different people in all of the meetings
a. There needs to be a proper opening each time
2. 3 hours is very short. My plan: Opening/agenda 45 mts. Session 1
(45 mts). Session 2 (45 mts). Individual reflection/personal commitment (15
mts). Closing 30 mts.
a. For the actionplanning meeting (meeting nbr 4) I will probably use
re-opening, after a brief opening and reading reports/reflecting. A couple
of action planning sessions, 1 minute reportback/group and then closing.
3. How to bind everything together to one whole
So far I lean towards this plan but I would love to hear to your ideas,
thoughts, experiences and/or suggestions!
All the best
Open Space Consulting AB
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