FOFO and it's story
louisebrissette at yahoo.ca
Wed Sep 26 11:00:08 PDT 2007
For the story of the FOFO.
In 2006, under the recommendation of Harrison, I contacted Jean-Pierre Beaulieu and we had lunch around How come OST doesnt take off in Québec. Jean-Pierre gave me some precious insights, such as there is no cultural references and french speaking lexicon, no stories too. Following this lunch, I organized the first Stammtisch in Montreal for a starter. There, I met with Marquis Bureau. Later I called him for a breakfast toying around the idea of a forum with business people of all walks and consultants and Osniks in Val-David in the Laurentians. Marquis and I had a theme with a blank sheet. We invited Osniks to join the organization of such a forum. 8 people answered and 2 left early.
Then I moved to Val-David. While I was exploring for a venue, and found a little miracle called Auberge Premashanti (everything you would dream of for Open Space), and negociating and singing the contract, opened a bank account, working hard and sometimes fighting to keep the vision of the original proposal alive ( a fight I lost) and the proper format in the invitation. Uploading the invitation on my web site, answering info requests, communicating with the Canadian Open Space Institute for support and grants, communicating with other international actors, while I was doing all this, some members of the organizing group were hijacking the purpose for their own agenga, being disrespefull and nasty, and mainly playing politics and working in a hierarchical spirit, Out the window the business people of all walks and consultants, the format was getting rigid and not serving the vision anymore, I really worked hard to keep the proper format .
Plainly, no more fun and pretty painfull. So I left. Funny enough, I left my own proposal, my own vision. It had been hijacked..
But anyway, I left for my own sake, but also for the sake of the FOFO. Since we all know that Open Space is deeply about spirit, open spirit, I knew that to make it happen and not jeopardize the climate, it had to be saved. Since I seemed to be the threat to the hijackers and that they would not let go, and were politically supported, I left. And so, my contribution is not mentionned anywhere.
But my spirit was still with the project, silent presence. I am happy that the OS seems to have gathered energy for its take off in French during the FOFO..
I am not writing this to whine, (yes I was very pissed off and I don't like being SO invisible) but to question a few things. While many of us are training or facilitating Open Space Technology, do we really know how to work and behave in Open Space ? Also, how about emphasizing on the Spirit of OS, and the work style it demands ? OST is NOT just another technique. I have worked with American Indians (Mohawks Wendats and Ojibwe), have eperienced sacred rituals and participated in Pow-Wows. I have reckognized the same native Spirit in Open Space Technology.This is what attracted me to it. This is not what I have experienced with the organization of the FOFO. I have experienced the same old narrative, command and control, we find in the hierarchical and politics we know so well in a Polis understanding of the World, while OST is about Cosmos understanding of the World.
Yeah, I know, Im not supposed to hit the fan like this but, is there anything to be learned from this experience ?
And yes, just for you to know, I had something to do with the first FOFO.
louisebrissette at yahoo.ca
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