[OSList] Whistleblower and Transparency Conference… How Open Space could not be broken.
arturfsilva at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 27 09:35:56 PST 2012
Very interesting report and podcast, Kas. Thanks for sharing.
From: Kas Neteler <kasneteler at gmail.com>
To: oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 4:19 PM
Subject: [OSList] Whistleblower and Transparency Conference… How Open Space could not be broken.
Hi OS Listers,
Recently I had the opportunity to facilitate an
Open Space on whistleblowers and government transparency – a benefit for
Bradley Manning – at University of California at Berkeley.
The event began with a Friday night panel discussion followed by a sermon by Rev. Billy Talen (performance artist Rev./Church of Stop
Shopping). The Open Space took place all day Saturday and Sunday. It was a mixed crowd of about 200 participants including many long-time
activists & prominent whistleblowers like Daniel Elsberg (1971
Pentagon Papers), Ray McGovern (ex-CIA), Ann Wright (retired Army
Colonel) ...and a whole bunch of young Occupy folks from the university. My favorite was a young man with a gas mask attached to his belt who
wore an Anonymous mask throughout the day.
At one point on Saturday the conference was
threatened to be shut-down by the police. Apparently the Occupy Cal
folks wanted to set up their tents on the front steps of the building in
support of the conference -- not realizing this would impact and
possibly shut down the conference. Long story short, the Open Space was
"occupied" and a (Occupy-style) General
Assembly broke out to discuss and find consensus. Yes as the facilitator I was breathing and holding space (without a paper bag -- thank you
:-)... eventually everyone came to a consensus that the tents would be
set up on the building's front lawn and not in front of the doors. We
missed Session 3 of the day... but we were able to reconfigure the final time slots to accommodate all the topics.
In addition to being "Occupied" there were O.S. Space Invaders -- luckily
they invaded the session right before lunch, so I did nothing and let
them go all the way through the lunch break. Half of the conference was
meeting in this circle and from my perspective they just needed to keep
going. They came to a natural conclusion and went onto the next
For me it was an exhausting Day 1 and I went to bed
that night at 8pm. I needed to rest, dream and reflect on facilitating
Day 2. Sunday I woke up to my radio alarm clock (tuned to my local public radio
station) announcing that "Last night Occupy Oakland marched to UC
Berkeley to join Occupy Cal in support of a conference happening on the
campus." ...yep, that would be "my" conference. I thought to myself (in
the words of Harrison): What is one less thing I can do today to make
And that is what I practiced throughout the day -- in my humble opinion Sunday was one of the best OS days I have experienced.
Here's the thing, no matter how whacky things got, I kept seeing Open Space working... participants were connecting, telling
their stories, supporting each other and so on and so forth. Individuals were constantly coming up to me and confiding that they were getting a
lot out of the conference. In the opening circle we share the
principle of "Whatever happens is the only thing that could" -- on this
occasion I would amend it to "Whatever happens needs to happen."
If you would like to hear more about the conference, my client
included me on a group interview about the event. You can listen to the
podcast here: http://occupodcast.squarespace.com/episodes/2012/2/22/a-conversation-with-occupy-the-truth-un-conference-hosts-fro.html At some point in this podcast I go into Open Space and try to do it justice :-)
Well, that is the story for now. I look forward to what continues to come my way via OS. Next stop facilitating the OS on OS
(San Fransisco) in March -- join us if you can.
MBA, Sustainable Enterprise
kasneteler at gmail.com
I'm cycling from SF to LA June 3 - 9, 2012 to help end AIDS. Click to donate and learn more about my journey.
OSList mailing list
To post send emails to OSList at lists.openspacetech.org
To unsubscribe send an email to OSList-leave at lists.openspacetech.org
To subscribe or manage your subscription click below:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the OSList