[OSList] Open Space: a Practice of Peace (long)

Brendan McKeague via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Thu Feb 4 07:35:52 PST 2016

Dear friends on the List - and beyond...

I have recently been stirred by memories, current events and conversations. 

The recent passing of one of our Open Space Elders, Florian Fischer, my memories of Fr Brian Bainbridge (moved between spaces on Feb 2, 2012), birthday celebrations of Harrison, many ongoing acts of terror around our planet, community concerns about displaced people, refugees and asylum seekers, and a recent poem on this List (thanks Lucas), have prompted me to release an invitation to conversation.

It always starts like this.
It always starts with someone like you.

And you've got your idea.
And you're wondering what to do next.

This is the way it happens.

-Anonymous, 2016

I have a story to share (not that unusual for an Irishman)....

I have passion for Open Space

I have passion for Peace

I have passion for Nonviolent Conflict Transformation

I have passion for OPEN SPACE as a PRACTICE OF PEACE

In 2003, Harrison wrote The Practice of Peace which was published by the existing OS Institutes in various places and later by the Human Systems Dynamics Institute (2004). This book was, and continues to be, a rich source of sustenance for my soul ( http://openspaceworld.org/wp2/explore/books-videos/ <http://openspaceworld.org/wp2/explore/books-videos/> )

In 2003, there was a Practice of Peace Conference at The Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, Washington and another one two years later in Albuquerque, New Mexico (2005). 

I found a link here:
http://practiceofpeace.com/pub_home.html <http://practiceofpeace.com/pub_home.html>

I was unable to attend either of these although I was deeply inspired from afar by the stories emerging. I have continued to be inspired for over a decade by the stories of those who create space for peace in war-torn landscapes and conflict-crushed countries.  

Last year, I was privileged to visit the Western Cape region of South Africa working with colleagues on 'the spirituality and practice of active nonviolence'. We used a collaborative learning model, designed on the principles of Open Space, to engage and utilise the collective wisdom of those who joined us for a five-day program. Participants particularly loved being part of the OST meeting towards the end of our time together to co-create actions for the future. This experience confirmed my deep longing and commitment to encourage the use of OST as a peace-making practice. 

I would like to issue an invitation to conversation:

to explore the creation of an 'Open Space Practice of Peace' gathering somewhere on our planet in 2016-17 (or whenever the time is right). 

My dream is to be part of a gathering of people who have used, are currently using, or would dearly love to use Open Space in powerful, conflict-energised situations. 

Please let me know if you are interested and I will convene a skype conversation (or something else) in the coming weeks to start the exploration. 


from an ever-warming Western Australia

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