Dear People(s) of Open Space,

What is the importance of safety? What, if any, work is needed in the "pre-work" to help ensure safety?

It seems that safety is doomed if the "givens" are that the people in the organization must either be silent or agree with the "powers that be" on everything.

I'm seeing two aspects to this. At one level, systemic oppression (such as explicitly killing, imprisoning, or otherwise effectively punishing dissent) clearly would shut down any opening in an open space.

And at another level, safety is something we can be responsible in ourselves. With enough passion and courage, we can take responsibility for own safety. And also, it can be easy just to stay silent, or not to look beyond the smallness of our comfort zone because of the lenses we look through. And then we won't even try something out of fear, when something powerful could have been a result of us taking a small step (or a small series of steps to the center of the circle).

What do you all think about safety, and helping to encourage people to source their own safety, as well as working with the "powers that be" to help ensure some level of safety?


P.S. I did find one interesting post about this in the archives from the late Father Brian Bainbridge.

Harold Shinsato <>
twitter: @hajush <>
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