I met Prabu Naidu in Singapore in 2002, when I responded to 9/11 by going literally around the world teaching Open Space. Prabu was host as well as participant in the Singapore workshop. Now he’s teaching for himself and sent this report on his latest work in Tehran:
On 4th February 2008 some forty producers and managers from the radio division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) converged in one of the studios that was the venue of an Open Space Technology (OST) session to discuss on the theme “Radio Management in Iran”.
The participants who came to the session – based on open invitations announced on banners throughout the studios – had a desire to contribute to the future of Radio in Iran, they came, enjoyed the collegial networking and contributed ideas and thoughts.
The Open Space was facilitated by me. The event was co-sponsored by the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung and IRIB.
In the full day session, six concurrent market place discussions were held over two time slots of one hour each. There was deep conversations and many ideas generated on the theme. During the action planning; six key ideas were voted to be worked on next and six leaders accepted the responsibility to take the ideas to the next step.
The next day on 5th February 2008, a smaller group of ten participants in the morning and another ten in the afternoon attended a training session on Open Space so that they will be equipped to conduct Open Space sessions on their own in the future. These participants had also attended the full day session the day before. The participants intend to use Open Space to engage their own staff as well as their listeners in improving their programmes and services.
The two-day proceedings were beamed live on the Internet for IRIB staff outside Tehran to follow.
This is the most amazing thing about the practice of Open Space. We never really know where it will lead, or turn up, next. Good to see such fruits still ripening, five years beyond the first plantings. Way to go, Prabu! And may the Iranian harvest be bountiful, as well!