June 12, 2020

Virtual Open Space and Experience Report

The simplicity and power of Open Space is stunning for most first-time participants. The opening the circle, 4 common sense principles and of course the law of mobility that brings two additional roles in an Open Space to life; the butterfly and the bumblebee. 

Many facilitators and organizers feel nervous in the days, hours and minutes leading up to an Open Space because they are thinking about the pressing question:

What should I do if nobody proposes a topic? 

Of course everyone who has participated in an Open Space knows that this is not really a concern, as the marketplace of ideas fills up quickly and self-organization will kick in. In this rare event that things are slow in the beginning, the theme might not express a real concern to the group. 

Now take the simplicity and concerns of an Open Space and try it in a virtual environment? New questions come up? 

  • What technology imposes the least technical burden on the facilitator and the group?
  • How can we truly implement the law of mobility and have participants become not only conveners and groups but also allow for bumblebees and butterflies? 
  • How does the energy of an in-person marketplace translate into a virtual setting? 
  • Which tools can generate proceedings? 

On JUN 19th, you can experience a Virtual Open Space live in action from 10.30am - 3pm EDT. This will be the very first and fully Virtual Open Space organized by www.agilenyc.org. This event might be of interest to any Scrum Master and change agent because: 

  • See tools and techniques to run your own virtual open space. A skill that will become more and more interesting in the world that is becoming more virtual.
  • Learn about how agile and Scrum could be impacted by COVID-19, which is the theme of the Open Space. So the sessions in the Open Space are all related to agile work during and post corona virus.
  • Mingle with fellow agile colleagues and make new friends in the butterfly lounge or during sessions. 

After the Open Space event, please feel free to join the Open Space Experience session, where I will reflect on the event, tools and techniques. Of course the feedback from the attendees will feed into this experience report as well. 

Last but not least, to kick off the event, a 30 Minute keynote will set the tone and energy of the Open Space and a graphic recorder will demonstrate live (virtual) graphic recording. Participants will walk away with proceedings and an additional swag bag. Here is video if you like to get familiar with the concept of Open Space first:


This poster illustrates the idea of Open Space, which is great tool for facilitators. 

Open Space Poster
Complimentary Open Space Poster