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

Harrison Owen via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Thu Feb 18 13:45:12 PST 2016

Good Go Thomas....! And if you want to connect with folks who have done what
you are proposing to do, talk to Tova and Avner in Israel and or Carol who
happens to be here in the US. All are on OSLIST... but not regular. I could
wake them up, I think. Bottom line is just open space with whoever cares –
and get out of the way. It does work! J And of course there are lot of
others to consult with around the globe.





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From: OSList [mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org] On Behalf Of
Thomas Herrmann via OSList
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:34 AM
To: 'World wide Open Space Technology email list'; 'GC list'
Subject: [OSList] 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


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


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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