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London Continuous Delivery Message Board General #londoncd Discussion Forum › Open Space format for discussions

Open Space format for discussions

Matthew S.
Leeds, GB
Post #: 39
tl;dr: Essentially, with Open Space sessions we have two or more discussions happening simultaneously in different rooms or areas. Topics are chosen by people voting on the suggestions, but people are free to discuss other topics too, and to move between sessions.

Open Spaces

The Open Space format encourages flexibility and greater participation compared to many ‘sit and listen’ talk formats, and we encourage everyone to get involved and help to shape the discussions.

Please use the hashtag #londoncd or email info @ londoncd . org . uk to tweet suggestions for Open Space sessions!

Law of Two Feet

Open Space provides a simple means to self-organise your time at the conference so that you get the most out of it. Open Space’ Law of Two Feet says that if you’re neither contributing nor getting value in the session you are in, slip away and go in search of a session where you can.

From that Law flow four principles:

  • Whoever comes to your session are the right people
  • Whatever happens in the session is the only thing that could have happened
  • Sessions can start as soon as the facilitator is ready
  • Session can end as soon as there’s no value prolonging it

Open Space Schedule

Opening Circle

Attendees gather alongside the agenda wall to hear the proposals for sessions.

One by one, those with a desire to host a session announce the title of the topic and a explanation of their session’s purpose. Sessions can be on anything participants want to share experience of, hold a discussion on or gain fresh insights on from other attendees.

They then select a free slot in the schedule and pin a card with the title of their session to the agenda wall.

Hosts may shuffle sessions around, or merge sessions with the agreement of other hosts.


Hosts chair the session, keep time and if useful record salient points of any discussion on the flip charts provided.

The Law of Two Feet means attendees can choose, if the wish, to adopt the role of bumblebees or butterflies.

Bumblebees flit from session to session, taking the salients points of the discussions with them pollinating, and cross-fertilising the threads of other discussion.

Butterflies float at the edges of the sessions picking up on the tone of conversations both in the rooms and in the hallway tracks.

Closing Plenary

Attendees gather back in the circle and discuss an aspect of the discussions they participated in.

(Taken and adapted from http://web.pipelineco...­)
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