Open Space and Dialogue

Uwe Weissflog uwe.weissflog at
Thu Dec 23 07:56:53 PST 1999

I have used dialogue as a way to close an Open Space event several times.
One of the challenges in Open Space is that, after the groups disperse and
do their work, the possibility for fragmentation arises. Dialogue in the
closing session allows to bring the fragments together again. The
participants leave the event with a sense for the "whole", which, in our
experience, ties the  work of the groups naturally back to the initiating

My approach has been fairly simple:
- all participants sit in the circle
- the basics principles, based on Dialogue by David Bohm are explained
(suspending assumptions, meaning flowing through, meaning taking 'Gestalt'
in the center of the circle, etc.)
- use of a talking stick
- use of the principle that one speaks only when one is "called" to speak
(based on the way the Quakers do it).
- silence is part of the conversation

We have also experimented with dedicating the task of online recording to
one of the participants (e.g. by typing directly into a laptop the essence
of each participant's contribution). It worked well but requires some
practice on the part of the person who does the writing (to prevent this
person to be seen separate from the group).

PS: The way described above is, as I recall, the way Harrison proposes the
closing to be done anyway

Chris Corrigan wrote:

> Has anyone done any work with integrating Open Space with David Bohm
> thoughts on Dialogue?
> I'm referring specifically to the idea contained here:
> I'm thinking of finding a way to integrate Dialogue into an Open Space
> I'm doing in January, and would be interested if others had any
> experience here.
> Happy holidays,
> Chris
> --
> 108-1035 Pacific Street
> Vancouver BC
> V6E 4G7
> Phone: 604.683.3080
> Fax: 604.683-3036

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