Results tagged “Open Space” from LTG Blog

On August 16th, LTG partner Liz Laboy co-hosted with consultant and trainer Kelly McGowan an exciting "Pro Action Café" workshop at Hunter College School of Social Work. This workshop is another example of LTG's growth and involvement in the newly emerging, democratic, and horizontal approaches to problem solving and team building that is at the heart of "communities of practice" created by Meg Wheatley, Harrison Owen, and others that places an emphasis on probing questions and the creativity of all workshop members rather than a few "talking heads" at the front of the room.

On June 16-18, 2010 in New York City, I participated in a training/co-learning retreat called ‘The Art of Participatory Leadership” which was called and hosted by Martin Siesta, Toke Paludan Moller, Tuesday Ryan Hart, Nancy Fritsche Eagan and Kelly McGowan.

The intention of this interactive training/co-learning retreat was to expand and deepen the understanding of what is possible when we create structures and practices that keep our primary purpose and passion in the center of our work.

This training was an opportunity for me to enter a learning journey that I have been going through for 2 years, with worldly hosts/trainers who have deep practices of participatory leadership. I began my journey practicing circle meetings with my business partners and then extending it to dream circle and congress of women circle meetings.

The business strategic and healing circle meetings are held every other week where our collective wisdom and intelligence are engaged to find best solutions on any issues we are having. We practice speaking and listening with intention and always tend to the well being of each other. There are principles and practices to the circle and four agreements that are kept. These agreements are:

  1. Listen without judgment
  2. Whatever is said in circle stays in circle
  3. Offer what you can and ask for what you need
  4. silence is also part of the conversation.

We are having the best business meeting we have ever had and we have been together for over 16 years.

I remember, when I was a teenager, in my village, when there were problems or new rules for the village, my uncle whose name is SAMBA used to call all the elders to attend a meeting; we can call it "a get-together" in order to gather people to discuss problems, to find solutions or settle new rules. We used to gather for Open Space sitting on the dirt around a Baobab tree or else.

Open Space is attended very often in African rural areas and it is a good traditional useful way to solve most problems without having recourse to city authorities or governments.

Here is a picture to show what it looks like in Africa.
Fode Sanokho from Dakar


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