Learning that Transforms Hearts and Minds

Rethinking How We See Our World Changes Everything

In the 30 years since Harrison Owen introduced Open Space Technology (OST), it has been used hundreds of thousands of times by three-quarters of the world’s countries. Whether a few people gather in a circle to share ideas and brainstorm personal issues or thousands discuss a bulletin board of topics around tables, OST is a safe, informal venue for transformative learning.

Guided by purpose-based, shared leadership, it allows individuals focused on a specific task to freely speak their thoughts and be heard. It also encourages breakout groups to mine for more information—learning individually, as well as collectively, and self-organizing in order to concentrate on more complex topics. “Boeing engineers used OST to learn how to redesign airplane doors and young Egyptians used it to strategize for their Arab Spring,” as examples, comments Owen.

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