Fw: Fw: Re: Tri-Lingual Open Space Facilitation

Fr Brian S Bainbridge briansb at mira.net
Fri Sep 11 09:03:14 PDT 1998

Dear Debbie,
One advantage I have in using Open Space is that I am an Australian in
culture - and that means I have the wonderful advantage of not having the
US proclivity of having to have everything organised before it happens -
hence my special affinity for Open Space.
My amazement is that an open-ended process like Open Space can originate
from the US, of all places.  And thank God for that.
I did two major Open Spaces in China a little time ago - and I have no
idea how many languages were actually present in the room - Mandarin,
Cantonese, Tagalog, English, (American!), Urdu, and whatever other range
of dialects that I cannot name.
We worked in English, but all the sessions/workshops/breakouts were in
whatever language seemed suitable to the participants, and there was
instant translation when it was need.  I had suggested I should have an
interpreter when setting the programs in place, and it became very
obvious that such a development would mean loss of face for those present
- "they can all handle English, Father Brian, thank you!"
I used the Talking Stick and the Medicine Wheel in the closure session -
and an interpreter volunteered to match my English - and suddenly I had
40 interpreters because all of them were checking the interpretation into
their own language.  It was just a miracle.
If we hold to the rules of Open Space, then "Whatever happens......" is a
fine way to go - but it is sometimes hard for us as facilitators to
believe and live the rules we "preach", I guess.
I think Harison's comment in this discussion is utterly on target.
Cheers and blessings.   BRIAN

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