The general assumption about OpenSpaceTechnology meetings is usually that they are totally unstructured. Well, that may be true in the very beginning, but through the preparation and meeting opening processes, a detailed agenda is developed by many many people, including and beginning with the sponsors. This agenda is not so much created as it is surfaced from the minds and hearts of those involved. That is why the agenda always fits the people and the situation so precisely.
In a discussion today on the OpenSpaceTechnology/OSLIST about preparations, expectations, "givens," and boundaries, Elwin Gould, who does a lot of work internationally in developing countries and conflict situations, offered a beautiful bit on preparation and opening space:
I'm not sure it gets much better than that, if we dare be so mutual and put our money where everybody's mouth -- and mind -- really is. I think if I were to put my fee on the line like Elwin does, I would want to hedge a bit... and ask them to watch very carefully! I'm sure the discussions afterward are fantastic, too.