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The invitations on this page were created for school and community organizations. The theme of each event is bold. None of the language here is "right," but some of it may be useful.

Thanks to Liz Ennis, Chuck Jones, Les Luka, Brian Reilly, Anne Stadler, Chris Weaver, Mike Lenich, Lisa Kemp and their colleagues for these invitations.


Youth and Sustainability

This invitation went out by hand and by bulletin board postings at schools and youth centers. It's the beginning of one of my favorite Open Space stories. The full story is part of the OpenSpaceTechnology/InvitingOrganization collection and posted separately as YouthActionRacineStory.

Sustainable Racine - Community Renewal Project - Racine Wisconsin

What Would the Racine Region Look Like If Young People Helped Shape a Sustainable Future?

Sustainable Racine is an initiative to create a better future for the Racine region. Young people, like all others, have significant roles to play, many of which are still to be created. Many civicly active adults know youth involvement and participation are important. However, few are very successful in inviting it.

Sustainable Racine has begun with a committed group of volunteers, mostly adults. It is time to grow the circle. How can you help Sustainable Racine be successful in involving all kinds of young people in building a more sustainable Racine?

Please join a group of young leaders to help them design a strategy. We'll meet at The Johnson Foundation's Wingspread conference center, 33 East Four Mile Road on Thursday, December 11, 1997. We'll start at 4pm and end promptly at 8pm. Dinner will be served.

Because space is limited to the first 50 who respond, please call Brian Reilly at The Johnson Foundation at... to reserve your space before December 5th.

Co-sponsored by: Racine Community Coalition for Youth - Sustainable Racine - Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside's Center for Community Partnerships - Youth as Resources - The Johnson Foundation

Gang Curtailment

This is invitation went out by mail from this local coalition group, a simple letter to a very diverse group of experts, all somehow connected to the issue of quality of life for youth.

North Suburban (Chicago) RAPP - Regional Action Planning Project

"Curtailing gang activity through shared community action"

A Special Invitation from the Northwest Suburban Regional Action Planning Project

You have been identified as a person who understands gang-related issues and who is making a significant contribution to the welfare of youth in our community.

We are inviting you to attend a special forum in which people who share your concerns and commitmentwill gather to exchange information and explore the resolution of important issues.

This event is being organized by the Regional Action Planning Project (RAPP) for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the issues related to gang-involved youth in our communities and becoming better prepared to address them. Attending this meeting will afford you the opportunity to share your perspectives and expertise. You will network with like-minded colleagues and compare ways to improve life for kids.

Date: Friday, November 13, 1998
Time: 9:00am to 3:00pm
Place: Forest View Educational Center (address)
Note: Luncheon included in registration of $15.00.

The following Youth Committee members of RAPP look forward to your attendance: (names, titles, organizations)...

Superintendent, High School District
Director, High School District
Chief of Police
Director, Youth Service Organization
Coordinator, RAPP
Principal, Local Grade School
Administrative Director, Mental Health Network

Watershed Community Forum

This is invitation came to me by email, from friend and master open space facilitator Anne Stadler. Made me wish I lived there.

Please join us November 6th-8th, 1998 on the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation for a Watershed Forum on "Opening space for crafting local solutions for healthy watersheds and strong economies: Issues and Opportunities."

We will self-organize using Open Space Technology for creating our learning exchange. Open Space, developed by Harrison Owen, is grounded in each participantís commitment to contribute by taking responsibility for what he/she cares about. As we learn from each other, we will create a record of our proceedings for future networking and reference. As we practice Open Space Technology, we will also learn about its value as a means for increasing public participation in our watersheds.

Our intention in bringing together this Watershed Forum is to increase our individual and collective capacity and gaining nourishment by connecting with the well-springs of our passion for this work and creating new knowledge and relationships.

Place: The Lodge at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort on the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation

Date: Friday, November 6th - Sunday, November 8th

Time: Dinner Friday at 5:30 pm to Sunday at 4:00 pm

Co-Facilitated by: Anne Stadler, a co-founder of the Open Space Institute, Jack Donaldson and Merry Wingfield of The Watershed Forum, and Peter Donaldson, Learning Consultant/Performance? Artist

Lodging: Call 800-554-4786 to make reservations at the Lodge. We have a special group rate of $75.00/room (single or double occupancy). Let them know you are with the Watershed Forum group.

Cost: We will share costs: including conference room, plus cost of printing and mailing a record of the event, plus snack foods during the gathering. (Approx. $10.00)

Note: We will eat at the Lodge CafČ or Dining Room. There are no other restaurants in close range. If you would like to share a room with someone, let Merry know and she will try to arrange it for you. Bring a bathing suit for the hot springs pool, if you wish.

RSVP: Please let Merry Wingfield know if you are coming by October 23rd. Call her at (503) 245-1527 or write her at watrshed@pacifier.com

Directions: Kah-Nee-Ta Resort is 11 miles north of Warm Springs, Oregon, near Highway 26. There are signs along the way that are easy to follow. Reference Points: 119 miles from Portland; 286 from Seattle. Commercial flights land at Redmond Airport, 52 miles from the resort.

High School Strategic Planning

This is invitation was broadcast widely in the local newspaper and mailed directly to students, parents, and local business people. A truly community-wide invitation in a very diverse community. A great example of how simple the invitation can be, even when the group, the issues, and the stakes are very large.

J. Sterling Morton High Schools - Berwyn and Cicero, Illinois USA


A MORTON GRADUATE SHOULD HAVE...??? How would you finish this statement? How can WE make it happen? There are many possible answers to these questions...

...the Illinois State Standards give us some answers...
...for others we need your ideas and insights...

If you believe these are the most important questions facing the Morton Community AND you are willing to help build the answers to them, please join us for three days of LEARNING, PLANNING and DOING:

Friday, April 30th - 5:00pm to 9:30pm (dinnner provided)
Saturday, May 1st - 8:00am to 6:00pm (lunch provided)
Thursday, May 6th - 5:00pm to 9:00pm (dinner provided)

All participants must plan to attend all three sessions, which will take place at Morton West High School, 2400 South Home Avenue, Berwyn. The attached response form should be returned to... NO LATER THAN FRIDAY APRIL 16TH. If you have any questions...

Teacher Mentoring Program

This is invitation was put together by Chris Weaver and shared on the OSLIST worldwide open space practitioners' website. So I'm not sure about its distribution or history, but I really like how it positions Open Space within a the formal structures of the local education system.



New teachers are working in highly complex environments and have multiple layers of needs. They are constructing their own practice in individual ways based on their diverse professional strengths and the diverse environments in which they work. The mentoring they receive should be driven by each teacher's priorities, rather than by the agenda of an individual mentor or support program. The new teachers should have effective access to a wide variety of mentoring expertise.


At the end of the Formation Meeting, each new teacher will have chosen a number of mentors whom they can easily contact for different types of advice. Each mentor will have identified a number of new teachers whose needs match their area of expertise. In the ongoing contact and meetings, these multiple mentor-mentee relationships will deepen, and new relationships will be easily formed based on the needs of the new teachers.


When? - Mid-August
Where? - NCTeach University Host Sites
Who? All New NCTeach Teachers AND All available mentors (LEA, Coach-to-Coach, NCTeach Master Teachers, Available NCTeach Faculty)
How Long? 3 1/2 hours (in this example, 6:00 to 9:30 pm)
Process? Open Space Technology

6:00 to 6:45 - All teachers and mentors meet. Each participant is given a list of all participants, with individual contact information (particularly email addresses) and room for note-taking below each name. Instructions are also included for ongoing listserv and/or web-based communication. Open Space process is introduced. Participants are invited to convene focus groups on a particular topic reflecting the needs of the teachers (e.g. High School Biology, classroom management, Standard Course of Study and Projects, homework expectations, Inclusion, EOG 7th grade reading Benchmarks...) The convenor of each focus group (could be a teacher or a mentor) selects a time and location for their conversation. Schedule is posted on the agenda wall. Participants know that they may move freely between focus groups at any time, to find the place where they can learn or contribute to the highest degree possible.

6:45 to 7:30 - Focus Groups, session I

7:30 to 8:15 - Focus Groups, session II

8:15 to 9:00 - Focus Groups, session III

The convenor of each focus group is responsible for facilitating that group, and for ensuring that a simple report is compiled.

9:00 to 9:30 - Whole Group Closing Meeting

FOLLOW-UP - All focus group reports will be compiled and distributed, electronically and/or hard copies, to all participants within 24 hours.

II. SUSTAINING MEETINGS Sustaining meetings will be held monthly throughout the school year, following the same Open Space Process. Focus groups will continue to be convened around specific teacher needs. New teachers will thus deepen their relationships with established mentors while maintaining access to new mentors. New teachers will also learn collaboratively from one another, and mentors will learn from all participants. Focus group reports will be compiled and distributed following each Open Space meeting.

III. SUPPORT BETWEEN MEETINGS New teacher support between meetings will be driven by teacher needs and requests. Communication will occur on-line, as well as by phone and in person as requested. A fund will be established to pay for substitutes so that mentors can make classroom visits to new teachers when requested whenever possible.

IV. MENTOR ROLES AND COMPENSATION In this structure, mentors are compensated for their participation in the monthly Open Space meetings and for being available to the new teachers between meetings. Mentors will be compensated by their sponsoring organizations (NCTeach, Coach-to-Coach, local District/LEA). In this learner-based structure, the actual hours spent in mentoring work will be impossible to precisely predict. Data on this will be collected as the program unfolds, and adjustments in compensation/workload will be negotiated as needed.

Youth and Government

This is invitation was distributed through the local high school's civics, politcal science, government and social studies classes.

Village of Hoffman Estates - Annual Youth and Government Symposium Day

This is a personal invitation for you to attend an extraordinary event. For more than twenty years, Youth in Government Day has provided students an opportunity to learn from and work with government representatives -- employees and elected officials. This year we will conduct a forum to provide youth AND government time to work together in shaping the future of our community.

We will meet on April 28, 2000. The day will begin as usual with participants meeting at the Hoffman Estates Police Department for pictures and greetings. From that point on, the day will be anything but usual. Each one of you being invited will directly shape the outcome of the day. Your absence will also shape the outcome, so please do join us.

The Hoffman Estates Youth Commission proposes a day of conversations about:

How can youth and government initiate a strong and flexible community in a "wired" world?

Our conversations will lead to new learning, deeper understanding and for many, action. If you care about the partnership of youth AND government, we hope you will be there. You will participate in discussions designed to empower our community. What follows are some thoughts generated by our central question...

Please dress in comfortable clothes. Some of the breakout groups may happen outside in the grass or inside on the floor. You will want to be free move and be comfortable in any group.

Voluntary Simplicity

This is invitation went out by email, when this local community group and resource network was just beginning to take shape. It was to be the first of more than four years (and counting) of monthly meetings held exclusively in open space. They've also captured their entire open space meeting history on a simple website, open to all.

Voluntary Simplicity Network - Chicago, Illinois USA

SIMPLY LIVING: Issues and Opportunities for Discovering Abundance in a World of Scarcity

Saturday, January 11th, 1997 - YMCA Offices, 101 North Wacker Drive, 13th floor - 9:00 am until 12:00 Noon

In our first several meetings, an expanding group of kindred spirits have begun the formation of a new community in the Chicago area. What has brought us together is a common interest in exploring and connecting our personal interests in happy productive lifetimes, a healthy environment, spiritual development, financial independence, helping others, community living and learning, and personal responsibility and action.

The intention is to grow a community that supports individual exploration and learning in the questions, rather than determining and advancing "answers" to which all members must commit. This intention led us, at the last meeting, to a search for meeting formats that can honor the abundance of ideas, experiences, questions and insights that we all bring to our gatherings.

So at our January 11th gathering, we're going to try an exciting new format -- called Open Space -- that will provide an abundance of discussion topics/questions, conversation, energy and fun. You'll have a wealth of opportunities to ask questions, meet people who share your interests, listen to their stories, share your own important stories, and tap into the collective wisdom of this emerging community. Be prepared for good conversation, thoughtful reflection, genuine community, rapid learning and real fun.

Lisa Kemp is welcoming us, once again, to her office space, free of charge -- but please take responsibility for providing for your own morning snack needs, whatever those might be.

Finally, feel free to invite other people who you know will appreciate and add to this kind of learning community. All we need is their names by January 8th in order to get them on the list at the building's security desk.

(followed by a page of general information about the reasons for and benefits of voluntary simplicity.)

Peace Consortium

This went out through the formal network and mailing lists of the Chicago Center for Peace Studies, and was posted on bulletin boards around the campus of each member college or university.

The Chicago Center for Peace Studies:

Barat College - Catholic Theological Union - DePaul? University - Loyola University Chicago - Rosary College - University of St. Mary of the Lake–Mundelein Seminary - St. Xavier University and growing...

Making Peace: Issues and Opportunities for Growing a Chicago Peace Studies Community

(graphic) social justice - non-governmental organizations - connecting the local with the global - coping with modernity - sustainable development - conflict resolution - transportation, food, energy, ethics - distribution of wealth - service learning - seeing beyond pieces to systems and the whole - images of 'the other' - religious traditions - security - gender issues - human rights - cross-cultural understanding - social movements - transparent governance - violence - the university WITHIN the community...

The interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary field of Peace Studies has been likened to the medical field--"in that particular blend of intellectual activity (medicine), distinct disciplines may still be discernible, but there is also a medical way of seeing things that cannot be found in the original disciplines of chemistry physics, anatomy, physiology, or even pathology"–Johan Galtung Many of us are working in our various ways for peace, thus broadly defined, though without the benefit of the support, community and shared perspectives of others. Join us as we undertake a process to make such connections among faculty, staff, religious people, activists and advocacy professionals from the Chicagoland and Midwest areas and make plans for continued interactions at and between our institutions and organizations.

During this highly participative program, you'll direct your own learning and exploration of questions like:

The program starts with a short introduction to some simple principles that you'll use to create and manage our own agenda for the day. Next, we'll open it up to allow you, the participants, to write your own specific discussion questions that focus on the things you care about and most want to talk about. We'll post all of the topics on a giant bulletin board and assign each one its own time and location so you can find what you want. You'll choose the topics of most interest to you and go there to meet with others who share your interest. There will be three rounds of topics and discussions, but you will be able to participate in as many different discussions as you choose. A closing plenary will follow.

Co-Conveners: (list of names, titles and organizations of those organizing the event and issuing the invitation)


Making Peace: Issues and Opportunities for Growing a Chicago Peace Studies Community

Complete this form and mail it along with $10 to: Chicago Center for Peace Studies, 203 Stebler, Loyola University Chicago, 625 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago IL 60626


work phone:____________________________________________________


fax: __________________________________________________________



mailing address: ______________________________________________


May we have your permission to share this information with making Peace participants for networking purposes? yes:_______ no:_______

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Last edited February 26, 2006 1:58 pm CentralTimeUSA by MichaelHerman
© 1998-2019 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael