Self-organizing systems

Peg Holman pholman at
Sat Aug 21 09:38:44 PDT 1999

Thank you all for this GREAT conversation on self-organizing systems, spirit
and Open Space.  It is nice to know that we created an evocative web site!
Michael Herman, who wrote the text that we're discussing, is out of town
until August 31, so will be returning to this conversation.

Based upon this discussion, I, for one, do see value in revising the text on
the site to reflect what a number of you have stated: OS is about
self-organizing systems (SOS) AND about spirit.
If anyone would like to work with us on revising the text, please contact me
(since Michael's out of town) at osi at

For me, spirit and SOS are different languaging of the the same experience.
This may be sacrilege, but what I find is in some conversations, I talk
about what happens in OS as manifestation of spirit.  In other conversations
(often in corporate settings), I am more likely to talk about conscious
self-organizing (conscious because, to something Harrison said, by
definition, we're always self-organizing).  Whether identified as spirit or
self-organization it is the emergent quality of Open Space that is magic to

Peg Holman

P.S.  To a query from Birgitt about the role of the listserv now that there
is conversation space on the web site.  To me, the existence of both
provides another chance to notice what emerges.  Which place attracts what
conversations?  Does the web site have the bounds it needs to create safe
space?  (We have some evidence that the listserve does.)  Who comes?  What
are their passions?  As far as I'm concerned it is all a wonderful
experiment for us to learn about ourselves and our community.

With love...

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