First open space! & question RE supplies

Barry Owen owengroup at
Sun Jun 20 07:07:20 PDT 2004


Congrats on your recent event - I know some folks in Philly who might be interested in your conference.

I'm a seldom "poster" here (albeit voracious reader), but I am finding myself opening many "small spaces" these days as I gear up for the opening of a new Real Estate firm here in Nashville.

As for supplies, I find that less IS more because I think that to be "organic" I must also be light on my feet.

My practice is to keep my Black Bag (Ballistic Nylon - Looks like a Pilot's flight bag) stocked with the following:

- 4 dozen colored, non-permanent markers (I buy a new dozen after each event and toss it in the bag)
- 4 rolls of blue painter's tape
- A copy of the OST User's guide
- A "Brick" of multi colored Post-its (Buy a new brick every 2-3 events)
- My Tibetan bells

2 - 100 sheet pads of Butcher Block paper (as big and inexpensive as I can find)

I restock all supplies at the end of each event, thus I know I simply need to grab my bag . . . to open space.

Everything else that is needed seems to appear on site.

Of course for larger spaces, there's a little more need for prep . . . but not much.

What moved me to respond to your message is that for the longest time I did NOT choose to open space because I was not "prepared" . . . Now, I live in Open Space because all the tools are in the bag.

And finally . . . I don't always have my bag when the opportunity for opening space arises . . . so I use a pen and note-book paper :-)

Less is more IMHO,

Happy Father's Day to all Fathers :-)


What does your "way" move you towards?

Barry Owen
The Owen Group
Keller Williams Realty
The fastest growing, most innovative real estate firm in North America!
105 Westpark Drive Suite 100
Brentwood, TN 37027

> Hello everyone.  After receiving so much insight from lurking on the list, I
> want to report that I facilitated my first Open Space event today, and it
> sounded like people loved it!  The event was a two-hour planning session for
> a conference in September.  The theme for today's event was "How can we
> create a two-day event to energize the Philadelphia region to revitalize
> urban neighborhoods through good urban design and development?"  We had
> about 30 participants, all working in some area related to the topic, but
> many of whom had never met before.  We were in one room all together, with
> break-out spaces in each corner plus one in the middle.  We had two rounds
> of 45 minutes each, with 15 minutes at the end for reflection all together.
> Like so many stories people have told here before, the group was suspicious
> and puzzled at the beginning, but someone immediately jumped up to post a
> topic.  We then generated more topics than we had space for.  I invited
> people to come up and negotiate with each other about re-arranging topics,
> finding another spot to meet, merging topics, etc.  In no time people had
> re-arranged things to have just 10 topics.  We had non-stop talk, at least
> two people volunteered to work on the conference committee, and the host
> group decided to hold one-day of the conference in Open Space!
> Here are a few things I wished I had:
> --Clipboards for people who wanted to take notes (no one expected to not
> have a table to write on)
> --A one-page bullet list for the conveners, asking them to have people sign
> the attendance sheet, find someone to take notes, and get the sign-in sheet
> and notes back to me
> --better tape
> And on to my question--
> I'm curious if people have favorite supplies they like to use in an OS?
> Favorite markers, tape, paper, anything else?
> Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom and experience-
> Jennifer Hurley
> -------------------------------
> Hurley~Franks and Associates
> Planning & Urban Design
> 1429 Walnut St., Ste. 601
> Philadelphia, PA 19102
> P: 215-988-9440
> JLHurley at
> Association for the New Urbanism in PennsylvaniA (ANUPA)
> *
> *
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