[OSList] New York, New York...indeed the place to be this weekend

Harold Shinsato harold at shinsato.com
Tue Jan 22 02:38:46 PST 2013

Dear Suzanne,

Thanks so much for this heartfelt report. Being privileged to be on the 
Open Space Institute board - I heard a much more comprehensive report 
just some hours ago now - and I felt powerfully the impact of having 
such a diverse group of people and watching stereotypes and 
preconceptions morph and transmute just by opening space and letting it 

If any of you get the chance - it's well worth it hearing the impact and 
the details from Suzanne in person. Or ask Chuni or Karen as well, as 
they're both on the OSI-US board and I heard verbal reports from both of 
them. The event sounded truly profound. But - what else is new with Open 


On 1/21/13 6:43 PM, Suzanne Daigle wrote:
> An International Open Space in New York City with Harrison Owen and 
> Karen Davis (Ralph Copeland there in spirit)
> Sitting on a plane, I am reliving the experience, the sounds, the feel 
> and the memory of an amazing Open Space! Three blissful days with 25 
> to 30 or so colleagues, friends, and strangers who became friends.
> Climbing the well-worn steps to this reverential and familiar place on 
> that first morning, I am greeted by a simple circle of chairs, a few 
> beautiful artifacts and a cascading bouquet of flowers in the middle 
> of the floor with the early morning sunlight dancing into the room 
> signaling the beginning of a brand new day.It feels like I am "coming 
> home!" The Practice of Peace is working its magic already.
> Memories of WOSonOS London, another place in another space, soon 
> tumble in and along with it, the excitement and nervous energy 
> surrounding the upcoming "World Open Space on Open Space" that will be 
> happening in St. Petersburg Florida from May 16^th to May 19^th , 2013.
> Finding the words to summarize what transpired at International House 
> this past weekend is as daunting as creating a work of art, crafting a 
> piece of literature or writing a symphony.How can one capture on a 
> blank canvass, a sheet of paper or a computer screen, the essence of 
> what happened there in all its layers and complexities, the stuff that 
> is "real life" lived?And yet, it is no different than the hundreds of 
> thousands of other times in Open Space when diverse people in 
> different parts of the world came together to share, learn, explore, 
> discover and engage on something that they are "passionate" about and 
> want to "take responsibility" for.
> *Learning about Open Space by experiencing Open Space *was the 
> invitation giving a chance to many to try their hand at "opening the 
> space", "evening news" , "morning news" and "closing circle". And I 
> know you would all have been as inspired as I watching people take to 
> their roles like fish to water. Another indication that facilitating 
> Open Space is something that can easily be learned though its practice 
> is a lifelong journey.
> *Our THEME:*
>       *Opening Space for Peace and High Performance:*
>       **Self-organizing**for Myself, Others and our Planet
> People came from Pittsburg, from Cleveland, from Canada, from Arizona, 
> from Chile, from Oregon, from Maryland, New Jersey and New York City. 
> They came from Newtown Connecticut, from Occupy Wall Street, from 
> business, from education, from privilege and less wealth, from 
> community organizing and community service, pastors, engineers, 
> education, finance, activists, theatre, media, consultants, students 
> and retirees. Different backgrounds and ages, small towns, big cities 
> and worldwide travelers, diverse in ways that were visible and less 
> visible which invited the extreme spectrums of jarring and 
> heartwarming conversations, lots of reflection, human beings finding 
> each other and connecting when we least expected it while living this 
> mix of harmony, confusion, chaos and clarity that is the stuff of real 
> life -- the self-organizing and wave riding that Harrison speaks and 
> writes about. How ironic that we spend so much of our life "organizing 
> self-organizing".
> Yes we were all on a mission to make the world we live in a better 
> place.And in that shared mission, time stood still in a way that made 
> it expand.A spirit of hope, love, purpose and gratitude connected us 
> deeply in closing circle on the third day. Nothing new really... it 
> happens every time when we open some space in our lives, when we take 
> the time to breathe a bit and to notice and appreciate who we are and 
> what we have.And when that happens whether in community, in the 
> workplace, with friends and/or family, something indescribable 
> happens. It happened in New York City at International House between 
> January 18^th and January 20^th .
> Thank you Karen, thank you Harrison and thank everyone for these 
> wonderful three days!
> *On a personal note...*
> A short follow-up to something I wrote this past December, while in 
> the hospital in Maine with my mom. Two years ago, I was in this same 
> place at International House, having lost my dad a month earlier. 
> There, I found peace and healing as I grieved his passing, feeling 
> very connected to him then because dad shared a birthdate with 
> Harrison, loved martinis and admired his book: _Open Space Technology, 
> A User's Guide_
> On January 1^st 2013, my mom passed away.I had a deep longing to 
> return to New York again. It was even more peaceful this time and I 
> was again deeply soothed. And then something else happened on Sunday 
> night and Monday morning when I visited Chuni Li's family -- Chuni, 
> from Taiwan now living in New Jersey who I had met in New York at this 
> event 2 years ago.I was greeted by Chuni's mom and mother-in-law with 
> bountiful hugs and comfort food, lovingly prepared.And then, as if 
> this was not enough, her dad wrote us a poem in Chinese, beautiful 
> words and calligraphy on special paper -- something I could take home 
> with me that spoke of this Open Space event at International House and 
> how special he knew it had been for the two of us, Harrison and 
> others. The tears flowed then feeling the warm embrace of my extended 
> family, the Li family.
> This NEVER would have happened without Open Space in my life, a 
> technology I was drawn to initially to do good in the workplace, which 
> invited me to so much more.It invited me to my life and living it 
> fully as if "coming home" to who I am at the core.
> Now as we prepare our welcome to Florida for all of you, I know the 
> spirit of New York, of London2012, of Chile2011, Berlin2010 and 
> Taiwan2009 will weave themselves into the magical surprise of what 
> will happen at WOSonOS2013 in St. Petersburg.
> Thank you for your patience these past few months as you await 
> information to make your plans for Florida. I promise that we will 
> soon be sending you the detailed information you need to book your 
> tickets to be with us at WOSonOS 2013.
> Suzanne now back in Florida

Harold Shinsato
harold at shinsato.com <mailto:harold at shinsato.com>
twitter: @hajush <http://twitter.com/hajush>
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