large OS

owen owen at
Mon Feb 22 05:26:50 PST 1999

At 06:43 PM 2/20/99 -0800, you wrote:
>I will soon be opening the space at a large conference of professionals in
>the hospitality industry, and am asking for your thoughts and support.
>First, can someone remind me how to get software or templates for the
>purpose of inputting deliberations to be printed out?
You will find the details of all this set out pretty well in the 2nd edition of
the User's Guide (Berrett-Koehler/1997) But basically the easiest way is to
make a template in Word or WordPerfect.
>The conference brochure looks good, and a special letter has been
>distributed to invite participants into the open space. The theme is issues
>and opportunities for the industry in the new millenium. We expect 350-450
>people. The facilities, main room, breakouts, etc. are terrific. I know
>that we'll have to close the space formally, and remind folks that the Law
>is not in effect for the next two days.
I am not sure that I would remind them to do anything. After all the law of two
feet says nothing more than they would do anyhow -- if not with their two feet,
then for sure with their wandering minds and hearts. It is only that when you
connect the feet to the heart and mind something like honest seems to happen.
Which might not be a bad thing.
>Anything in particular to which you think I should pay attention? What
>differences do you notice between annual conferences and organizational
>planning events?
It is all pretty much the same thing as far as I can tell, except that annual
conferences sometimes lack the focus and therefore passion. If the meeting is
done only as a social event (which sometimes happens) people don't care about
too much except having a good time.
>I'm committed to having a good time, sharing open space with them, and if
>thirty people stay through the day I'm fine with that. However, I would
>like to extend the possibility that the day will be the best they have ever
Good luck!!!

Harrison Owen
7808 River Falls Drive
Potomac, MD 20854   USA
301-469-9269 (phone)
301-983-9314 (fax)
email owen at
Open Space Institute website
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