Open Space

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Open Space Technology is a lightweight structure and set of principles for hosting highly participatory meetings. Wiki creator Ward Cunningham has often described it as wiki-in-a-room.

In October 2005, several people all along the West Coast (from Seattle down south) rented a van and drove to the first WikiSym conference in San Diego. They called themselves the WikiVan. Many people in that group first learned about Open Space on that van ride, and in fact, they practiced it as they traveled. It seemed to be a process that aligned strongly with the values of the wiki community.

Upon arriving at the conference, which had a traditional academic format, they tried to spread the lore and convince the organizers to adopt Open Space. Dismayed by the lack of traction, they decided to organize their own self-organized Open Space conference in Portland, loosely modeled after Bar Camp. Thus was born the first RecentChangesCamp in 2006.

As you can imagine, Open Space is an important part of the lore and values of RecentChangesCamp. At the same time, there is a broad range of opinions about what is considered "true" Open Space even within the Open Space community! Since do-acracy is also a strong value in the wiki community, we'd encourage those who are motivated to organize a RecentChangesCamp to spend time understanding the values and the processes of Open Space, to both honor the norms of the community but also to be bold in experimenting.

Your Stories

Please share your stories about Open Space and RecentChangesCamp!

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