Hi Harold,
I believe that the greatest issues about safety come about when a
facilitator attempts to reassure people that 'this is safe space'. We can
never know if the space for conversations is actually safe, despite the
safeguards built in by the four principles and the one law of OST. Those
who choose to enact their leadership into the unknown, taking risks, being
vulnerable, will do so....maybe now, maybe at a subsequent meeting. Those
who for whatever reason need to hold back will do so.

Even to assure people that they have some responsibility for safety in
themselves assumes too much. People take risks, they may know or not know
the consequences that might come about, the collateral damage that might
ensue. People cannot be responsible for even personal safety as it is not
within their control.

And so I agree with what Peggy has offered as an alternative. The concept
of welcoming space. This takes me to my concept that the facilitator
doesn't open the welcoming space for the meeting....it must be the sponsor
who does so.

Great question Harold!
Birgitt

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 2:32 PM Peggy Holman via OSList <
oslist@lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:

> Great question Harold! I always wince when people say the space needs to
> be safe. If you make space so safe that it leaves the opportunity for
> messiness out, nothing happens. Sometimes I’ve said "safe enough”.
> Ultimately, as you said, a sense of safety comes from within.
>
> Rather than safety, I have come to focus on welcoming space. (With a nod
> to Juanita Brown, who helped me to understand the value of welcoming.) A
> spirit of welcome creates conditions for who and what shows up. And if you
> start cultivating a culture of welcome, then there’s room for all voices —
> and those who come discover they belong.
>
> Peggy
>
>
>
>
> _________________________________
> Peggy Holman
> Executive Director
> Journalism that Matters
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>
> Enjoy the award winning Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into
> Opportunity <http://www.engagingemergence.com>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Sep 21, 2016, at 11:16 AM, Harold Shinsato via OSList <
> oslist@lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:
>
> 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?
>
>     Thanks!
>     Harold
>
> P.S. I did find one interesting post about this in the archives from the
> late Father Brian Bainbridge.
> http://www.mail-archive.com/oslist@lists.openspacetech.org/msg01333.html
>
>
> --
> Harold Shinsato
> har...@shinsato.com
> http://shinsato.com
> twitter: @hajush <http://twitter.com/hajush>
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