“Open Space – Leaving Traditional Tracks

Do you or does your organization have to

  • solve complex problems quickly?
  • resolve difficult conflicts by mutual agreement?
  • think fundamentally new – and implement the outcomes?

Open Space ist a method that has proven itself a thousand times worldwide in a variety of contexts.“1 „The method is particularly well suited, if no one knows the answer and when the examination of the upcoming problem requires the involvement of a larger group of people.“2  It is especially useful when a group wants to work on several topics in parallel.3

Although Open Space is considered a large group method, it works from groups of 12-15 participants on. The method is based on the absolute voluntary nature of participation and a high level of self-organization of the group.

„Open Space begins in plenary with the entire group in a circle. The moderator briefly presents the key questions, rules and principles. Participants are invited to write down a subject for which they feel a particular interest, to announce it inside the circle and to hang it on a pre-structured information wall. After everything has been collected, the marketplace is opened. Now the participants decide which of the offered topics they want to contribute. In this way, every person is potentially initiator or speaker. There must be enough rooms available for each topic.

The following 40 to 90 minute working groups are not moderated from the outside Each group is responsible for their process. It is important that a short protocol is kept.“4 A prepared structuring on flipcharts or prepared templates on laptops have  proven successful for saveguarding the results.

Was ist wichtig?

  • Der Planungsphase kommt beim Open Space besondere Bedeutung zu
  •  Logistik der Veranstaltung: genaue Raum –, Zeit- und Ressourcenplanung
  •  genaue Beschreibung des Rahmenthemas: „Es sollte sich um ein wirklich relevantes – „am Herzen liegendes“ Thema der jeweiligen Institution oder der Zielgruppe handeln.“5
  • absolut freiwillige Teilnahme
  • hohe Eigeninitiative der Teilnehmenden
  • vorstrukturierte Ergebnissicherung

  1. Owen, H. (2011) Open Space Technologie – Ein Leitfaden für die Praxis. 2.Auflage. Stuttgart, Schäffer-Poeschel Verlag. Umschlagseite.
  2. Owen (2011) S. 15.
  3. SPES Zukunftsakademie (2014) Art of Hosting Handbuch zum Training 23.-25. Juni 2014. Schlierbach,
    SPES GmbH. S. 66-69.
  4. SPES (2014) S. 67.
  5. SPES (2014) S. 67.