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

Christine Whitney Sanchez via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Sat Nov 15 16:55:30 PST 2014

Fantastic, Christine!  Thanks for sharing the story.  Sounds like the ripples are moving out from the center of open space.



Christine Whitney Sanchez, M.C.
Phoenix, AZ, USA • +1.480.759.0262
www.innovationpartners.com <http://www.innovationpartners.com/> 
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On Nov 15, 2014, at 10:37 AM, christine koehler via OSList <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:

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 proud. 
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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