[OSList] Opening space with people with mental health disabilities (among many others)

christine koehler via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Sat Nov 15 09:37:38 PST 2014

Today I have a few moments to write some news about the event I asked you
advices for.

It went all wonderfully well. It was a 2 days OST event, plenary sessions
were held in a circus, breakout sessions in tents nearby and newsroom was
in a big truck . There were between 120 and 140 participants altogether.
Some came for the opening, attended a session, then came back the next day
for a few hours or sent someone from their team for next day.

The sponsor was very happy because after a very difficult start, it turned
out as a success : original event had been planned a few months before and
was supposed to be co-organized by local government and non-profits, then
they experienced disagreements and decided to organized one event each.
This one was the one organized by the non-profit organizations, and in a
very short time frame. It turned out that many more people from local
government attended the open space than expected. This made them very
One anecdote caused by the come and go of people : one elected
representative tried to offer 3 sessions at the same time. Obviously he had
missed the opening. When he realized tha he had to be there, he manage to
merge one session with another one and delegate the third to another
person. And he did take care that there were reports for all. He came back
for the closing circle and had everybody laugh by telling the story.

Today is the day of the local government event, where a statement from the
report of the OST was prepared for.  The statement says the the event was
much richer than the report can describe, but obviously, it was a very
useful time that will have a significative impact on their future

My previous fear (that was completely gone thanks to you)  regarding people
with mental health disabilities was totally useless. There was a team of 4
taking care of the newsrooms, among them 2 guys with disabilities, and
their helper. I knew it, because she was there.  They were very helpful and
we got everything right for final report.
I had absolutely no clue about who had mental health disabilities among the
participants, even if there were any. It all went perfectly well. After the
event, we had a debrief with the team and I learned 9 of them participated
to the event. Several of them, I heard, posted topics.

Although this was an event with very few butterflies and bumblebees, I
believe we all had a lot of fun.
I was funny for me although because of the unexpected people I met :
One of the facilitators the local government  had appointed for its event
came. He was used to OST and much more used to working with non-profit than
with local government. we laughed.
I met although one young guy that recently came back from Cairo. He was
amazed something like this could happen in France, as he told me, he didn't
expect it. He has met there Art of hosting and knew Claudia. This gave him
lots of hope for developing all the projects he had, that suddenly he saw
much wider.

We live in a small world with wide space open.

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