[OSList] [GC] How to shift a destructive "information-meeting" to a constructive dialogue meeting?

Birgitt Williams via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Thu Feb 18 13:36:00 PST 2016

Dear Thomas,

I would very much like to hear the ideas that you and your colleagues have come up with. I believe you, who live there and are deep in your cultural reality, have probably already found the best ideas.


None of the issues you mention are new…fear, hostility, mistrust to politicians and municipality, and people being hurt. All of these are coming to the forefront instead of being buried behind illusion, including the effects of prejudice and racism. These same issues come up in just about any country I have been in, with the catalysts to bring them to the forefront different in different circumstances. I don’t think any of us can forget the extreme of genocide in various countries like Rwanda and Tasmania. And so you, in Sweden, are contending with what is always under the surface. Fear, fear of loss, fear of the unknown…and all of the faces that such fear takes.


Thomas, you have stood here at our Harmony Circle, in which those of us who gather commit to holding space for our whole lifetime for opportunities for harmony in the world. Before anyone makes that commitment, we caution you not to do so unless you can do what every really good facilitator of OS must do…to be completely neutral to outcome, no attachment to outcome, no taking of sides, no judging anyone as good or bad. We talked about how it is possible to hold this stance of being what I refer to as a ‘resonant energy field generator’, holding a frequency of love….for a lifetime, in times of war, in times of fear, pain, challenge and how to hold this stance even when it might be more ‘natural’ to want to take action to fix something. And thus, my only suggestion is rooted in this. If the facilitators can do their inner work and stay in genuine contact with their self and with Spirit, it is possible to be helpful. If the foundation for acting comes from panic, or judgment, or inner conflict of any kind, it is likely to make a mess.


Blessings to you all,



Birgitt Williams


President & Senior Consultant of Dalar International Consultancy, Inc. 

 <http://www.dalarinternational.com/> http://www.dalarinternational.com 

Co-founder of the Extraordinary Leadership Network  <http://www.extraordinaryleadershipnetwork.com/> http://www.extraordinaryleadershipnetwork.com

Co-founder of the Genuine Contact™program and author of The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership   <http://www.genuinecontactway.com/> http://www.genuinecontactway.com                   

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From: genuine-contact at googlegroups.com [mailto:genuine-contact at googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Thomas Herrmann
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:34 AM
To: 'World wide Open Space Technology email list'; 'GC list'
Subject: [GC] How to shift a destructive "information-meeting" to a constructive dialogue meeting?


Dear friends in Open Space/GC-list

I have decided to focus my time and energy, as much as possible, to contributing in a critical area here in Sweden. Last year we received 160 000 asylum seekers. Of course this means some challenges but also lots of fantastic opportunities. Many many people are engaging as volunteers, villages who have “been sleeping” for decades wake up etc etc 


One of the challenges is that neighbours often become afraid when new asylum camps are opened near where they live. Or homes for lonely refugee children (35 000 came last year). There are so many rumours going on, and shit is spread on social media – so many “normal” people are very much afraid from stories they heard – often false ones but also that single events create pictures in people’s heads.


In my hometown one school which was being rebuilt to house lonely refugee children was burnt down L and we had many fires like that all over the country L


What the authorities usually do when a new housing is to open is to invite the public to a “information-meeting” where they put some politicians, the CEO of the company running the camp, some officials from the municipality in front of a crowd of people who are worried and some are even outright hostile with racist ideas. You can imagine what usually happens… I was in one of those meetings a couple of weeks ago, it was horrible. 

I think the usual impact is: 

·       Increased fear and hostility towards people coming to our country from war zones. 

·       Increased mistrust to the politicians and municipality. 

·       People at the front get more or less badly hurt. 


Not a very good result. In fact it’s outright dangerous to arrange these kind of meetings. But mostly they don’t know better. Which is quite surprising to me as there are thousands of trained facilitators in our country.


Since some time I have been working with colleagues in our Open Space and Genuine Contact communities to create alternative ways to have such meetings. We have some good ideas but would also like to hear what comes up for you? Normally these meetings are conducted in the evening, length of 2-3 hours. Normally they are not well planned and not facilitated other than trying to control them. They are called “information meetings” which says a lot.


So I’d love to hear your experiences, ideas, suggestions…


Thomas Herrmann

Open Space Consulting AB

 <http://www.openspaceconsulting.com/> www.openspaceconsulting.com

Ni når oss per telefon: +46 (0)709 98 97 81 eller Epost:  <mailto:thomas at openspaceconsulting.com> thomas at openspaceconsulting.com 


Open Space Consulting AB är ett företag med STORA ambitioner att guida ledare, organisationer men även lokalsamhällen att nå sin fulla kraft för att infria sina drömmar. Vi bidrar med kunskaper och praktiska verktyg för att stödja er att finna er bästa väg.  


Mer information

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasherrmannopenspaceconsult

Facebook Företagssida: https://www.facebook.com/OpenSpaceConsulting 



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