thomas, we did something like this in peoria, illinois.  once on the future
of peoria's neighborhoods.  once on the future of education in peoria.  i
facilitated the second one.

the format was the same for both - tues/wed/thurs evenings.  tues: gather
for box meal at 5:30, open at 6-7, sessions from 7-8 and 8-9, one-word
closing.  wed: same box meal, quick news session, and three one-hour
sessions.  in we were 300 people.  in the second one, we were in a middle
school gymnasium and used the school's computer room to type the notes.
 the books were distributed at 530 thurs evening, eating and voting
proceeded.  action planning per the user's guide format.  and a closing
circle, ending by nine.  the local news people covered it each night, with
10pm tv news leading off with interviews with participants taped in the
9-10pm slot and morning paper carrying the story for three days.  the
invitation went home in every school kid's pocket and was in full-page ads
in the newspaper.  new schools superintendent took the top ten issues and
action plans and made that the agenda for the next school year.  most
interesting, the event had been convened by the school board, welcome by
the president of the board, and some real concern about conflicts and
dissatisfaction in the community -- and plenty of concern about people
standing at microphones like at other public meetings, making angry
speeches, demanding action and so on.  in the end "parental responsibility"
was the top issue in the voting.  this typified the sense of shared
responsibility that emerged.

proceedings with the invite, schedule, and such are at


Michael Herman
Michael Herman Associates
312-280-7838 (mobile)

On Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 9:38 AM, Mikael Källman - Gmail via OSList <> wrote:

> Great idea Thomas! I see that there could be a great use for this kind of
> design that you are now inventing. I will try to contribute with some
> thoughts and ideas and follow this thread with great interest. Have a nice
> weekend :0)
> 16 sep. 2016 kl. 09:36 skrev Thomas Herrmann via OSList <
> 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
> working on.
> 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 not.
> 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 it’s hard to say how many will come to each
> meeting. I guess between 10-200 J
> 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 I’d
> 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
> thinking
> 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
> Thomas Herrmann
> Open Space Consulting AB
> You reach us via phone: +46 (0)709 98 97 81 or email: thomas@
> Open Space Consulting is a small company with BIG ambitions to assist
> leaders and organizations as well as local communities to tap into their
> full power to achieve their dreams. We bring practical tools and knowhow to
> empower you to find your way forward.
> *More info*
> LinkedIn profile:
> thomasherrmannopenspaceconsult
> Facebook Company page:
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