Virtual Organization 

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Open Space Technology


  Open Space Technology (OST) is a strategy for organizing meetings of between 5 and 1000 participants. It has been documented by Harrison Owen -- See References for two of his books on the subject.

OST enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with complex problems in short periods of time.  

OST works in both face-to-face and virtual or electronic modes.  Conferencing technology such as Microsoft's NetMeeting or Live Meeting or Groove's Virtual Office among others can be used for a virtual organization open space discussion.  While I haven't tried it, it would seem that OST could be accomplished in an asynchronous environment using email.

The following elements of OST are described further in Harrison Owen's book, Expanding Our Now.


Four Principles

  • Whoever comes is the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it's over, it's over

One Law

  • If at any time during our time together you discover that you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet and move on.
Date last revised
December 27, 2005
David Gould, Ed.D.
1999-2006 All Rights Reserved