We’ll be launching UUCA’s new active Earth and Social Justice movement this month, September 24-25, with a forum entitled JUST CHANGE using Open Space Technology.
If you’ve registered for JUST CHANGE and are familiar with Open Space Technology, you can skip the rest of this. If not, please read on.
Open Space Technology is not the latest coffee shop for geeks (in fact, it has nothing to do with electronic gadgets) but a way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to hold meetings that get stuff done. Participants create and manage their own agenda in parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance.
The result is effective connecting and strengthening of what’s already happening in the organization: planning and action, learning and doing, passion and responsibility, participation and performance.
Open Space Technology has been around for over 30 years and has been proven successful with groups as small as 5 and as large as 3,000 and with organizations of all types and structures.
How does it work?
The facilitator opens the space by inviting people to post agenda topics. These people become the conveners of those topics.
Participants pick from among the posted agenda items and join small group working groups led by the conveners.
- All the issues that are most important to those attending are raised and included in the agenda.
- All of the issues raised are addressed by the participants best capable of getting something done about them, although you don’t need to be an expert to join in. All you need is interest or passion.
- All the most important ideas, recommendations, discussions, and next steps are documented in a report.
Everyone’s focus is on what speaks to their heart and from that comes the future. Its power lies in the simplicity of drawing on the passions of the participants and opening the space.
This is what we will be doing at JUST CHANGE – opening the space to include you and me and all at UUCA in creating the future of our Earth and Social Justice movement. The future belongs to those who show up.
Kay Aler-Maida, President, UUCA Board of Trustees