Peggy Holman spoke about OST at the OD World Summit in Budapest last week. When asked “What are the three most important ways that our practice has influenced the field? she responded:

Open Space Technology made explicit the notion that everything is self-organizing. OST offers a pathway for productively working with the dynamics of self-organization.

OST re-defines the role of the facilitator.  No longer the expert in the front of the room, but “totally present and completely invisible”.  Rather than a facilitator who intervenes, the OST practitioner opens a welcoming space for self-organization to emerge.

OST provides a profound invitation to people to work from passion and responsibility.  Or, as I usually say it, to take responsibility for what they love.  Not just during an OS event, but as a life practice, when we pay attention to passion and responsibility, the good of the individual and the good of the collective are both served.  This seems a contradiction.  Some have told me that they thought this behavior was selfish. Just the opposite is true.  It takes people to a deeper place.  When we operate by taking responsibility for what we love, we touch the part of us that connects to a deeper stream from which we all draw. In practice, when we each bring our full-voiced selves, a differentiation occurs from which novel patterns that draw from all facets of a system emerge. In the process, individual passion helps us discover our fit as a greater whole.