What I Learned From Facilitating an Open Space Session

Here's something I've noticed about my students: If I decide where the class will go my students will follow. If I offer choice to my students then they will lead.

Facilitating an Open Space (un-conference) session is one of the most deeply frightening and satisfying things I've done. It requires two things that every teacher / facilitator / conference organizer should be willing to do, but often isn't:

  • Total faith in participants / students
  • Willingness to get out of the way and let the magic happen
After a frightening moment (probably only 4 seconds long, but much longer in my mind) when I thought the sessions would only half fill the WhippleHill Open Space session was a complete success thanks to the passionate, creative, and dynamic participants.

If you are interested in finding out more about open space sessions check out these resources and also watch this great video from Mark Christensen over at the WhippleHill blog. Or if you have a question about open space please let me know in the comments below!