Renaissance Business Associates Renaissance Business Associates
Renaissance Business Associates Renaissance Business Associates

Open Space Technology

What is Open Space Technology? (OST)

This is a way to convene a group meeting, retreat or conference that generates communication, collaboration, innovation, and other solutions to challenges and transitions.

ValerieWhen your organization or community has a complex problem, you are completely out of ideas regarding a solution, you have a diverse range of people that you can bring to the process, and the time for resolving this situation was yesterday --- then this is a great time for Open Space! Group members emerge from the process invigorated, refreshed, and proud of their individual and collective accomplishments. Committees, task forces and design teams can take weeks, months and even years to accomplish their goal -- or in some cases simply to define their goal. Much of this same work can be accomplished by holding an OST event.

Read more about the definition of Open Space Technology...

Open Space Technology OSTA one day Open Space can help people to quickly bring forth emerging issues and opportunities and to build mutual understandings and networking.

A two to three day OST includes issues, opportunities and action planning, identification and prioritization of top action items resulting in a comprehensive blue-print for the way ahead.

Open Space is an interactive process where participants meet in concurrent and overlapping mini-discussions around a theme or an issue, across departmental, hierarchal or historically opposite lines.

The cross-pollination engendered by moving from group to group and topic to topic in a non-linear way, allows participants to shift quickly from familiar ways of thinking into innovation and action, going where they feel they are learning or contributing and moving on to another group when they are not.

OST has been effectively used for over 25 years in a diversity of settings, cultures and countries. Some examples of work done by RBA in South Africa Australia and Europe.

  • Four hundred and fifty Gov MPs, Corporate CEO’s, senior Police, Army and Church representative and NPO leaders came together to launch the countrywide Business Against Crime and Corruption initiative, which is still operative today.
  • Six Hundred employees of Gauteng Licensing Department looked at BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE PRACTICE
  • Four hundred and fifty delegates from 30 countries attended a six-day International Environmental Impact Assessment Conference to explore sustainable housing.
  • One hundred and sixty employees of the International Finance Corporation - Africa Division explored new ways to support micro-business in Africa.
  • One hundred and ten delegates attended an OST event entitled "Involving Men in the Struggle Against Violence Against Women" (A Masimanyane Men's Project.)
  • One hundred and fifty Government representatives, Developers, Aboriginal Activists and Conservationists gathered to explore:” Community Consultation: Making it Work“ – hosted by North Queensland Conservation Council, in Australia.
  • One hundred and twenty wilderness guides gathered in Bavaria, Germany. The theme: “Rites of Passage in the Wilderness: Integrating Nature and Humanity"

Open Space Technology OSTThis tool can be utilized by groups of 25 to over 2000 and the dynamics and the results are always the same: input from stakeholders at all levels, new ways of thinking and working, large amounts of work done rapidly, bringing perceived competitors together on issues and projects, organizational flexibility, interdepartmental or intercommunity teamwork, a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of passion and energy for the challenges ahead.

From grass-roots to CEO’s and MD’s, everyone benefits and enjoys this high input and high output approach. And extraordinary work gets done!