Conference content
From: Cohousing-L listmgr (
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 16:24:30 -0500
Rob Sandelin floriferous [at] is the author of the message
below but due to msn's new address format it was posted by the Fred the
list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at]
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This year the conference is using open space technology to design the program. 
Zev can give lots of details about this system.

If you have specific information you are looking for, or want to present, 
bring the topic with you and organize a panel at the event itself. For 
example, on Friday morning if you want to know about how to apply for 
affordablilty grants, propose that as a group topic. People who are interested 
will sign up and attend that topic and share what they know.

The Open Space technology lets us tap the people who are there for their 
interests, lets them create the groups, and then people with information can 
filter into it. Having run 9 NICA conferences and having the FIC use this 
process has shown me this method is very effective in getting participants to 
share the information that is the highest priority for them.   What we want to 
do is use a method that allows participants to share their own experiencial 
learnings directly with each other. We have some great resources in the people 
who are attending and our goal is to maximize their value to the group.

Using Open Space,  most of the presentation sessions become panel discussions 
as two or three people will tend to know the most and speak, and others will 
add their wisdom. The difference in using Open Space is that the participants 
choose what panels they want, and  the panelists and participants self select 
themselves. This system works really well to maximize the relevance of the 
material, as well as utiltilizing the resources available for the things the 
participants most want to hear about.


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