Jo Toepfer jotoepfer at
Mon Dec 13 12:24:07 PST 2004

Hi Mikk,

sounds interesting, maybe we can meet one day elsewhere on the coast
between Riga and Tallin to hear the sounds of that place. This regional
development initiative sounds very interesting. I know of some people who
start a similar thing now in Latvia. Cross border connection makes very
much sense and brings more of the 'whole system' into the room.

greetings from Berlin, where I just arrived.

I forward this message also to my colleagues in Riga.
At 11:15 13.12.2004, you wrote:
>It might be true, but possibly there have been some OS events also in
>Latvia. Last year, when HO conducted Practice of Peace training in Tartu,
>Estonia there was later in May OS training conducted by one Lithuanian
>trainer. So I guess something might have happened also between Estonia and
>Lithuania, it is in Latvia. At least, there was  young lady from Latvia
>attending Michael Pannwitz OS training in Weimar last year, and she intended
>to get started.
>In Estonia OS is widening step-by-step. In March I conducted my first OS
>training and one third of attendants have started to open space themselves.
>Last week I opened space for regional development plan in South Estonia and
>it was a real outburst of enthusiasm by attendants. One local municipal
>director admitted in final circle, that he cannot understand how it
>happened, that he stayed at the event until end. Usually they leave in first
>two hours. But the law of two feets made him to stay - until there is
>something to learn or contribute, don't leave!
>Yesterday I got through two days OS about learning outdoors the whole
>curriculum from kindergartens to universities.
>Most radical action plan, which was proposed, was to end the compulsory
>education at all and to give the responsibility back to people themselves.
>My experience has been, that my flute is an excellent helper to open more
>space, when I feel that it is needed. It is marvellous experience to play
>flute in the way that you are perfectly present and totally invisible. Has
>anybody tried out opening more space with making music?
>With best greetings from Estonia,
>Mikk Sarv
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Jo Toepfer" <jotoepfer at>
>Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 11:36 AM
>Subject: Latvia
> > Dear colleagues,
> >
> > I have just finished an open space meeting in Riga / Latvia. The
> > context  was urban planning for one district of the city of Riga. Where a
> > lot of architectural heritage (old wooden houses) is located. It worked
> > very well. The sponsor claims that this was the first open space ever in
> > Latvia. Is that true? Does nobody of you ever facilitated an open space
> > meeting in Latvia before?
> >
> > greetings
> > Jo
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Jo Toepfer, boscop eG i.G.
> > Dolziger Str. 40, 10247 Berlin
> > ++49-30-42018000
> >
> >
> > *
> > *
> > ==========================================================
> > ------------------------------
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Jo Toepfer, boscop eG i.G.
Dolziger Str. 40, 10247 Berlin

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>From  Mon Dec 13 14:56:36 2004
Message-Id: <MON.13.DEC.2004.145636.0800.>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:56:36 -0800
Reply-To: chris at
From: Chris Corrigan <chris.corrigan at>
Subject: Re: Practice of Peace in Sweden--A reflection on the Issue
In-Reply-To: <00d901c4dd4f$6a820fc0$49bae30a at DSDICO.local>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Judy wrote::
> I wholeheartedly agree with Paul's thoughts at the end of his message.  I do
> not think peace is possible (realistically).  Whenver there are humans
> involved, there will be personality differences and when those differences
> become so vastly opposite, war breaks out.  I believe that with a deeper
> understanding of our personality differences and acknowledging that no
> 'personality type' is truly 'right' will move us towards peacefulness.  I
> completely agree with Paul's statement - "we'd best be focusing on raising
> our own individual consciousness, tolerance level and inner beingness and
> forget about peace as a target."  If/when everyone begins focusing on their
> own choices in life instead of looking to blame others, we might get
> somewhere........but unfortunately, I doubt that will ever happen.

I think peace is possible.  I know it because I see it.  I live in a
peaceful community, I am at peace in my family and in myself.  Do we
have squabbles and conflicts?  Of course.  Do these things create
vicious cycles of conflict and violence?  No.

I think perhaps that peace is not the absence of conflict, but the
presence of constructive ways of dealing with conflict.  In Canada for
example, we certainly have no shortage of potential causes for civil
war: the occasional separatist referendum in a province containing
30% of the population of the country, unresolved indigenous land
rights, ethnic and cultural diversity.  In many other places in the
world, these things trigger widespread violence, but not here.  I like
to think it is because we are blessed with an overabundance of space.
Somehow we exist peacefully together in a sparsely populated land with
a broad political spectrum and an open democracy that embraces
opposition rather than demonizing it.  Conflict, although it gets
nerve racking at times, never seems to escalate out of this mushy hug
of space.

And I agree with Alex.  Peace is an inner art.  To see the Dalai Lama
and many others who have sustained this art in oppressive conditions
tells me that's it's not only possible, but highly achievable.  But I
think that Harrison's point in the Practice of Peace is key: space and
time need to be opened if conflict is to dissipate.  Whatever that
means to you, it should be understood that it IS possible.  We can
choose to be opening or closing.  We can choose our systems and our
cultures.  Once in a while something like what is happening in the
Ukraine takes place.  What is emerging on the streets of Kiev is not
peace (in fact it might result in more conflict in the country, I
don't know) but it IS an opening.  It is hundreds of thousands of
people calling for opening.  And in that space, the tolerance for
conflict wanes and peace grows.  Not tonight or even next year, but in
the long term, on the scale of human change.

Holding space is having peace.  Not easy, but possible.


Consultation - Facilitation
Open Space Technology


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