Open Space Resources

These are some of the resources I often share with colleagues who start to facilitate Open Space events. I strongly suggest to start with the items marked with ** below: the book “Open Space Guide” or “A Brief User’s Guide” online, both by the creator of Open Space. Beyond that – wander, and use what fits!

My Open Space concept map (see thumbnail at the right) – I use this to think through an engagement

Open Space practitioners’ discussion forum (mailing list)

** A Brief User’s Guide to Open Space Technology (online) – by Harrison Owen

** Open Space Guide (book) – by Harrison Owen (also available in German)

The Art of Powerful Questions (Article, originally from the World Café site) is useful for finding a great theme for your event.

Open Space Inviting Guide (online) – by Michael Herman

Facilitator Resources – on the Open Space World site
includes a spreadsheet for calculating circle size based on room size, chair size.

Resources from experienced members of the OST facilitator community:
Michael Herman, Chris Corrigan, Michael M. Pannwitz (in german), and Lisa Heft
And a weekly Skype open call from the US Open Space Institute:

Task Cards for setting up an Open Space – by Michael Pannwitz Sr.
In English and in German

The Tao of Holding Space (lovely, free e-book in various formats) – by Chris Corrigan. Also: purchase online as a card deck at

Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World (book) – by Harrison Owen
Owen applies the lessons of self-organisation and Open Space to the world of work.


And, not directly about Open Space, but useful frameworks for preparing to Open Space:

The Art of Convening: Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings, and Conversations (book) by Craig Neal, Patricia Neal
Poster: electronic version / print version

The Art of Powerful Questions (article) by Juanita Brown et al.

Deb’s Blog: Notes on how to plan a not-for-profit Open Space unconference:
(It can be easier than you think!)

The Magic of Opening Space – and some unconference hacks that close the space.

And if you like to learn interactively, whether in-person or online, have a look at my Open Space Facilitator workshop for people who’ve been in Open Space and are ready to facilitate it for their own group or business. The workshop combines self-study and small-group workshop. Here is the workshop participant self-study guide (pdf).

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