[OSList] A short story about Opening Space in Brazil

Diana Larsen diana at futureworksconsulting.com
Fri Jan 25 12:58:54 PST 2013

Hi all,

Yesterday I had a great time with a 1-day Open Space in Florianópolis,
Brazil. It attracted about 100 participants, all involved in software
development. Only two or three had previous experience with OS. The theme
was "Agile in Brazil - from Developers to Executives" and the intent was to
help a local community of Agilists become more coherent and increase their
cognizance of each other's work.

I began the opening walking the circle with my bells--to the consternation
of almost everyone. It got their attention and they knew they were in for
something unexpected. They had four 70-minute sessions in 8 session spaces
with a 2-hour Brazilian lunch break in the middle. All the sessions had
lively participation.

In the closing circle, I asked how many had hosted a session (~ 1/4), how
many had joined a session and stayed for the whole time (nearly everyone),
and how many had become bumblebees or butterflies, using the Law of Two
Feet some time during the day? (I had been told in the beginning that
Brazilian men couldn't possibly relate to butterflies and bumblebees.) Over
half the hands shot into the air...with pride! They understood the value of
cross-fertilizing their ideas, and were excited to exhibit the power of a
bumblebee. :)

Also in closing people also shared about the ways sessions had inspired and
educated them, as well as telling about the ideas and actions they planned
to apply today at work. Someone asked me to explain why I used the bells. I
mentioned that it helped me to focus my energy and brought attention of the
group as a whole on the task at hand.

I didn't say anything about the way the bells so clearly communicated,
"Whoa! Something unexpected is about to happen!" to this group.

They had a great time and gave tremendous value to each other. Several
people asked, "When can we do this for two days?" :)


> --
Diana Larsen
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