[OSList] Opening space online in times of Covid and Crisis

Phelim McDermott phelim at mac.com
Sat May 30 10:54:59 PDT 2020

Hello Dear Open Space friends. 

Over the last few weeks we at our theater co Improbable have been on a fast track journey of learning how to open space for our communities online. This has involved facilitating events for some of the many communities we are connected to: Arts centres, artists support networks and the wider UK theatre community. As you may know we’ve been opening space for 15 years at our Devoted and Disgruntled gatherings in embodied space… www.devotedanddisgruntled.com

We have so far done a number of pilots and four public events. Each of these have had about 80-100 participants. Our first events filled fast in 48 hours and we are now scaling and scheduling another next Tuesday 2nd to accommodate the waiting list of over 250 people. The theater community here is challenged and needs urgently to have spaces where meaningful conversations can happen in a more hierarchically fluid way as our theatre buildings and freelancers are in crisis  We are just at the beginning of this and there is much more to discover. 

All of this would not be possible without the incredible help and support of this open space community.

I am and always have been in awe of the generosity of spirit that this group of people has. Special thanks to Suzanne Daigle, Tom Brown, Paul Levy and many others on the OS hotline and elsewhere forgive me if i forget.  But most of all Lucas Cioffi who has been incredibly supportive in helping us ratchet this up as the need has been so urgent. Lucas has been ever present often in the background, guiding us to find our way of using QIQO simply and effectively with our own style. 

We are going to do an interview about our events and use of Qiqo for our D&D events for Lucas but I just wanted to mention a few moments in closing circle which have been truly touching. Many of our participants have already been on zoom for hours and in many meetings online in these weeks as we have had to navigate lockdown from our homes. 
Despite this people have reported such things as.. "This has felt like the first time I have been out in a public space since lockdown." "This is the first time where I have felt energised and hopeful rather than drained by an online meeting" and "This is the first time I have been in a truly creative space since all this happened." 

We will be publishing the first three reports from last week at the beginning of next week and will keep people posted as we continue to open space for our theatre community which obviously considers gathering to be at the heart pf their lives and practice and have cruelly had this possibility stolen by circumstance. 

I mention the generosity of the people here and of course I know this all arises from the wellspring of spirit which was Harrison's original gift of letting us know about what he and his fellow conspirators had discovered when they first came upon Open Space Technology. From a tired and energised open space friend

lots of love


www.improbable.co.uk <http://www.improbable.co.uk/> 

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