At the #EODF18’s open space slots, everyone will be able to propose and lead sessions aligned with the conference topics and hot subjects that concern us – not just a few speakers invited to do so. Also, sessions in any language can be proposed: While English will be the primary conference language, sessions in any other European language are welcome.

Open Space Technology was developed in the early 1980s and quickly became one of the most well-known and most widely practised large-group conference formats in the world, and an organisation design and transformation methodology in its own right.

Open Space is a highly scalable, easy-to-understand interaction format based on a simple set of principles for effective self-organization. It is ideally suited for a conference such as ours. In Open Space, every participant becomes his or her own “conference dean” and as a result, self-directed learning becomes highly likely!

Harrison Owen, the inventor of Open Space, explains the advantage of Open Space like this: “At the usual conference, the best moments are the coffee-breaks. That´s why we asked ourselves: Why not turn the whole conference into an uninterrupted coffee-break?”

Open Space

Open Space has Four Rules and One Law.

The Four Rules state:

  1. Whoever come are the right people.
  2. , Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time.
  4. When it’s over, it’s over.

The “Law of mobility”: If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, go someplace else! In this way, all participants are given both the right and the responsibility to maximize their own learning and contribution, which the Law assumes only they, themselves, can ultimately judge and control.

To learn more about Open Space format, its principles and conceptual underpinnings prior to the conference, visit the Wikipedia entry on Open Space Technology or watch an introductory video by Harrison Owen.