Day 2 Bounce and some elementary matters.

Larry Peterson lpasoc at
Wed Dec 16 10:07:02 PST 1998

Ester: I think your insights are right on. My experience is teaching me how
things do work differently in a voluntary organization with separation
between the events. The internal politics, that are always there, come into
play when the group that gathers is not trusted by others who then want to
get their say (or way).


Larry Peterson
Associates in Transformation
41 Appleton Ave., Toronto, ON,
Canada, M6E 3A4
Tel:/Fax: 416-653-4829

lpasoc at

-----Original Message-----
From:   OSLIST [mailto:OSLIST at] On Behalf Of Esther Ewing
Sent:   Wednesday, December 16, 1998 10:29 AM
To:     OSLIST at
Subject:        Re: Day 2 Bounce and some elementary matters.

My first experience (in our church) with open space as a participant was
with one day (which was all it was supposed to go with) . We posted our
stuff and issued reports (I was actually the partiicpant who pulled
together the reports. Then the congregation decided that it wanted to go
into open space again - there was more to talk about - and so another open
space was convened about a month later. The problem there was that all the
people who had not attended the first open space who didn't like the
reports and suggestions coming from the first session, came out in droves
to oppose what the first session had proposed. At that session there was
hot debate about the authority of the group to make decisions for the
congregation since the open space sessions had not been convened as a
congregation meeting with appropriate notice being given. It was a very
unfortunate process.

My conclusions since:

1. there MUST be clarity about the group's authority either to make
decisions or to make recommendations up front and early so that people
understand the ground rules - probably as part of the invitation.

2. there should be clarity about who comes to the first session and then
who comes to the second. I'm conflicted about this. In the experience
above, if it was clear that the group that came would have the authority to
make decisions for the whole, then if someone had not come and didn't like
what happened that would be just too bad but they would understand ahead of
time and make their decisions about whether to come on that basis.

3. perhaps a rule could be made that if you are going to come, you have to
come to both or at least that you must be at the first in order to come to
the second. I think there is less trouble if one or two people are unable
to come to the second (illness, etc.)

Larry, you facilitated this one. Do you have any other thoughts to add?


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