Opening Space for No Mind

No Mind Festival, that is. Last week we put together a nice little design for a series of Spaces to be opened as part of the No Mind Festival in Angsbacka, Sweden next month, for 600-1000 participants. Registration is open to all!

The first week of the Festival, July 7-13, is the tenth annual, with a theme of “Celebrating Life”. This year they’ve asked me to run the second week mostly in Open Space, July 15-21. The theme for the week is “Living Our Gifts.”

The (rough draft) design is rather unique and runs like this…

On the evening of the first full day of the conference, we’ll do the first of four openings, setting the agenda for each of three breakout sessions the following day. The first three rounds of this will be on three sub-themes that are still being crafted, each articulated along the lines of “Inviting _____ “.

The last of the four sessions, will be a sort of Open Space on Open Space, the theme of which will be “Inviting Leadership”. This theme will let us do some brief teaching and noticing about what Open Space is, how it works, and invite people to consider the implications and possibilities for using it elsewhere, after the Festival. The nature of Inviting Leadership also generalizes away from Open Space, so to include all the other methods and views and approaches that will percolate around the Open Space sessions all week.

In making the distinction between the Open Space sessions and the pre-determined sessions, we thought about it in terms of viscosity. The pre-planned sessions are a little bit thicker, more viscous. The OS sessions, a bit more fluid. This helped us find the edges of each, with the pre-planned structures ultimately containing the OS sessions, like oil caps the water underneath it in a bottle.

Because the whole of the Festival runs on the contributions of 150 volunteers, willing invitees, we articulated the edge between the OS and other sessions in terms of time: the Invited festival is everything already invited and established, the Inviting festval is the OS part, the fresh, growing, edge of the invitation, where the structure is still taking shape.

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