Open Space

With the Open Space method, the participants essentially set their own agenda for discussion. A central theme is defined, and participants are asked to write down aspects that are of special interest to them. These are pinned up on a bulletin board in the "open space", and a room and time is assigned for discussion of each aspect. The participants then choose which aspects they wish to discuss with others in small groups. The small groups work independently and keep a record of their discussion. Participants can stay put or move from group to group as and when they like: they are told to ask themselves whether they are learning or contributing, and if not, move on. When the discussions are finished the whole group reconvenes and the results are presented in a plenary session. Open Space discussions take place in an informal atmosphere in which the usual rules and rigid structures are replaced by autonomous, goal-directed action. PlanSinn uses individual elements of the Open Space method to loosen up or supplement classical discussion formats.