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The Practice of Peace: A Learning Expedition in Open Space - June 7-9, 2004 - Chicago

The old is falling apart, a new world's emerging. Though nobody knows the moment. Seems everything's in motion, but where are we going? Clearly we could use some Space. And Now. Open Space... to gather and talk, to work and learn, to solve and resolve our most important questions and issues related to:

Please join us!

...for this 3-day Professional Life Development Learning Expedition with Harrison Owen and Michael Herman, at the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park (Chicago) Illinois, from 8:30am to 5:00pm on June 7, 8 and 9. This is the advanced course in the Practice of Open Space Technology -- a unique and powerful three days dedicated to the Practice of Peace and the process of Opening Space within ourselves as leaders, our organizations and communities, our environment and our world.

If you work with people, manage projects, convene meetings, lead changes, organize conferences, or teach essential skills... there is something in this for you. Please join us! And please do share it with colleagues who would want to know that this is happening.

Michael Herman has spent a good chunk of the last few years teaching Open Space Technology and helping to form local practitioner groups around the world. Along the way, in Melbourne Australia, he met up with his friend and mentor Harrison Owen. They agreed to collaborate again in Chicago and are pleased to announce this workshop.

Harrison Owen is the initiator and lead storyteller of the Open Space Technology worldwide practice community. He's worked around the world in all kinds of organizations, from Fortune 500 to African villages. In recent years, through his work with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, together in Open Space, he has come to understand Open Space as The Practice of Peace. His experience and this advanced program is immediately relevent for every leader and every kind of human organization.

Registration, Lodging and Preparation

Early registration deadline is May 7th. Tuition for this Program is $1095. Discount tuition for non-profit and early registrations is $895. Partial scholarships will be available for those who need them, please inquire. Contact MichaelHerman? if you have any questions. We'd be glad to have you join us! [ProgramRegistration] | [HotelReservations]

Please make hotel reservations directly with the Carleton. We have some rooms held at a corporate rate $119 (hotel) or $82 (motor lodge). We've been doing programs at the Carleton for years and we like the place and the neighborhood quite a lot. If the weather is nice, and it should be, then we'll be able to have some sessions outside, if you choose.

More about the Program is explained below. This is an advanced course in the sense that we will assume you know something about OpenSpaceTechnology, what it is and how it works, as noted below. At a minimum, you should be familiar with what's in the OpenSpaceTechnology/UsersGuide. Even better if you have some direct experiences in Open Space. Then we suggest you spend some time with one or more of the other books listed below and the various materials available online here about OpenSpaceTechnology. As always, the fruits of this Journey are a function of what we bring to it.

The Practice of Peace - An Overview

Genuine Peace and Resilient Effectiveness can never be attained with the elimination of chaos, confusion and conflict. In fact all three are essential to the continuance of life. Without chaos, there is no open space for future possibilities. Without confusion, old ideas and ways of thinking stick around well beyond their time. And without conflict, ideas and approaches fail to reach their full potential, never having been sharpened in the intense conversation of critical assessment. Peace of the sort that brings wholeness, harmony and health to our lives only happens when chaos, confusion and conflict are included and transcended.

As a rational project, the creation of peace is an exercise in frustration. Our minds and rational approaches are extraordinarily good at determining the nature and scope of our problems, and profoundly limited when it comes to resolution. The massive, complex inter-relationships of our common life as individuals, communities, corporations and countries boggle the mind, and render detailed plans ineffective. And even when we seem to be "getting it right," the Peace that we seek evaporates as our world changes yet one more time. Truly, this Humpty Dumpty will never be assembled (re-assembled) by all the King's men, or by our rational assessment, analysis and design. We need something with a great deal more horsepower.

Fortunately, the needed horsepower exists in the common mechanism of our continuing existence -- Self Organization. From the moment of the Big Bang until this present instant, self-organizing systems (which includes us, our organizations, the planet, and the entire cosmos) have existed on a steady diet of massive complexity, well laced with chaos, confusion and conflict -- and have typically produced for themselves and their surroundings, wholeness, health, and harmony. Peace. Not always, and not forever, but often enough so that we are here today.

The Practice of Peace is the conscious application of the power of self-organization to the healing of our fragmented world and scattering work. It has nothing to do with "designing self-organizing systems," which is an obvious contradiction in terms. The Practice of Peace is the creation and sustenance of the essential preconditions of self-organization and collective effectiveness. And the core of The Practice of Peace is Open Space Technology.

Open Space Technology works because self-organization works. When we Open Space, we intentionally create the essential preconditions of self organization, and once done, all the rest seems to pretty much take care of itself. Without out prior training, massive facilitation, detailed agendas, management committees, Peace in the deepest sense normally breaks out. Groups and individuals (even hugely conflicted groups and individuals) find themselves productively at work in an environment of mutual respect and genuine community. It is a community where chaos, confusion and conflict abound, but all are transcended in what sometimes becomes a breath taking experience of wholeness, health and harmony.

As the core of the Practice of Peace, Open Space provides the opportunity to both experience and experiment with the natural powers of self organization. Productive work is accomplished, whether that be the design of a complex project, or the resolution of painful community issues. At the same time, the people involved know, as only experience can teach, that useful things can be accomplished in an environment of respect and genuine community. Most importantly, they learn that the creation of respect and community (wholeness, health, and harmony) is not rocket science. It can happen any time we choose, and typically it happens all by itself.

From this central experience comes learning of the very deepest sort: How to repeat, sustain, and enhance such a life giving, life affirming, environment. The Practice of Peace and the use of Open Space Technology may have periodic applications, but in reality both are critical to a meaningful way of life. It is more about being, than doing.

In this Program, we will expect you to start with some understanding of the fundamentals ― all the practicalities involved with conducting an Opening Space event -- a first step on a journey which may become our life. We will take off from there to consider why Open Space works, and how it may be used as a leverage point for The Practice of Peace, the transformation of organizations, and the development of effective leadership.

Getting Ready

This Program (in June) is intended for those who would be consciously engaged in the Practice of Peace, and use Open Space Technology both as an advanced meeting methodology and as an integral part of the transformation process in organizations, and in the lives of those involved.

Participation in the June Program builds on your own extended experience using Open Space Technology or your participation in some previous OST training followed by some actual field experience. In many cases, your work to introduce and explain OST to colleagues and organizations, even when the ultimate decision was not to use OST, is a part of that field experience. In other cases, participants new to OST will benefit from a good review of the materials below. Contact MichaelHerman? about getting up to speed for this Program and/or spend some time studying the materials listed below.

The over all approach may be described as a Learning Expedition. Participants and hosts will jointly explore the world of Open Space and The Practice of Peace, assisted by the collective knowledge of group and a rich environment of learning aids including print, video, and the InterNet?. The majority of each day will be spent in Open Space, introduced by a short storytelling by Harrison Owen.

Before attending this Program (in June), you should be able to:

By the end of this Program you should be able to:

Suggested Reading

Please spend some time reviewing the following before the Program...

All books, with the exception of The Practice of Peace, may be obtained at http://www.Amazon.com.

For details on receiving a copy of The Practice of Peace [Click Here].

Please join us!

[ProgramRegistration] | [HotelReservations] | Contact? MichaelHerman?

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Last edited February 26, 2006 1:47 pm CentralTimeUSA by MichaelHerman
© 1998-2020 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