I appreciate these words, offered recently by Kerry Edinburgh on the Open Space listserve.
1. It is all about participatory democracy, because the agenda is created by participants and all the conversation is open and transparent.
This one for the reference to participative democracy, the root choice or premise for why one would want to utilize OS. Also for how it points to democratizing the agenda creation process.
2. There are no talking heads and egos cannot dominate, because of the Law of Two Feet.
Though I find ego can still be a part of OS events, it doesn’t take the same hold for the reason Kerry suggests. Freedom to move mediates the invisible grip of power.
3. There is no hierarchy, top table or controlling influences.
Again, I think there is some of this that shows up. However, the surrounding conditions, including the principles, help to change this dynamic if it does show up.
4. It is driven by passion (care about your burning issue) and responsibility (do something about it.)
This gets right to the heart of it. It’s a key point of the narrative that I use when people ask why to consider OS as a methodology.
5. All voices are heard, because all participants are equal.
Or, there is a better chance that the voices that want to be heard, can be heard. OS is like the difference of a megaphone used by only one and instead, giving everyone present cell phones, texting, and web access.