Open Space Exercise for National Urban Mission Network Conference

Wednesday afternoon Workshop:  Asset Based Community Development and Open Space Methodology

Open Space conversations

An Open Space conversation

I was invited by Dean Eland provided to host community development tools in two of the three afternoon sessions.  My aim was to

  • provide practitioners with an enjoyable Open Space experience
  • provide practitioners with an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of open space technology
  • provide practitioners with a discussion about the principles which lie beneath the Open Space tool and which make for good community development practice.

I began with an interview of Joanna Hubbard regarding experience at Marion LIFE Church of Christ.  I decided we could launch the open space by using a question which asked conference participants to apply the conference into their own setting.  So I pitched the following;

What is the most important that we do now?

Joanna and I facilitated the time together.  The open space market place received six ideas which we split into two rounds of three groups.


Participants were really positive response to the open space process.  Participants enjoyed the time they spent discussing the topics with those they felt drawn too.  Participants observed the way that people could sit out of the conversations if it didn’t interest them.  We discussed the place of decision making the way open space works well with complex problems by providing multiple solutions.

This workshop was part of the  National Urban Mission Conference Adelaide Sept 24-26th 2013,  The Post Secular City – Implications for congregations and their community.  Here is their link

Joanna has described her experience of this at

Open Space conversations with Joanna and Mark

Open Space conversations with Joanna and Mark