Open Space Technology (OST) is an event format used in meetings of 5 to 2,000 people, invented by Harrison Owen in 1985. Participants create the agenda for themselves and facilitators lead and record the resulting discussions. There’s a twist in this version with the inclusion of a process that gives the organizers a little more control over the agenda.
The objective of the Methodology:
- To tackle a large number of the most important/difficult issues facing a large group of people.
- To achieve shared ownership of not only the outcomes but also the process and the event itself.
- All the most important issues to those attending are included in the agenda.
- All the issues raised and worked on are addressed by the participants best capable of getting something done about them.
- All the most important ideas, recommendations, discussions, and next steps are documented in a resulting report.
- When the purpose requires, and time allows for it, the group can prioritize the issues addressed in the report.
- When the purpose requires, and time allows for it, the group can draft action plans for the highest priority issues.