Halifax, Canada, août 2005

Durant la rencontre OSonOS (Forum Ouvert sur le Forum Ouvert) à Halifax en août 2005, des praticiens du Forum Ouvert et d'autres gens intéressés au Forum Ouvert ont échangé sur ce qui se passe au Canada autour de cette approche. Larry Peterson et Diane Gibeault ont lancés l'invitation et plusieurs nouveaux visages canadiens se sont pointés lorsque le sujet a été affiché à la Place du marché.

Des idées pour de futurs événements ont été proposées dont une est déjà en marche pour l'automne, c.à.d, un format expérimental, nouveau pour plusieurs d'entre nous, pour tenir les rencontres de l'OSIC. Pour en savoir davantage, voyez çi-bas, le rapport de cette discussion sur le FO au Canada (en anglais seulement).

Diane Gibeault



Rapport no. 34

Forum Ouvert au Canada. Qu’est-ce qui se passe?



Diane Gibeault, Larry Peterson



Allison Hewlett, Michelle Cooper, Becky Peterson, Joe Szostak, Evan Throop Robinson, Barbara Schnerder, Michelle Dunphy, Tracy Boyer, Andre Chiasson, Daniel Gingras, Larry Peterson, Karen Fish, Rosemary Nichols, Donna Clark, Karen Davis, Audrey Coward, Fremy Cesar, Christopher Comeau, Diane Gibeault.


Highlights of Brilliant Discussion:

A brief presentation and exchange on the history of Open Space Institute of Canada (OSIC) and how it operates. Each was invited to talk about what is happening around them with OST and what they wished for in the future regarding OST:

  • Offers OST to international partners and soon internally to own organization.
  • Sensing a readiness from organizations to try OST, e.g. in health. More people are “getting it”, have a greater consciousness of OS helping them. Ontario
  • government is integrating OST as its participatory structure. Wish: more OS on Line and more training and collaboration opportunities to work on larger projects together.
  • Facilitates with OST and is committed to continue to work on integrating it in the university despite the resistance at the higher levels.
  • Facilitates using OST.
  • Brings OST in classroom and wants to research how to bring it even more in schools.
  • Uses principles of OST in her teaching.
  • Uses OST for structural change in the corporation at work.
  • Works with a community group that uses OST on different themes, e.g. youth. Used not just for process but for culture change. Wish: have a regular OS event, e.g. every 3 months.
  • Facilitates OST as a consultant. Wish: make OS known to the community and organizations.
  • Consultant using OST for e.g. in strategic planning.
  • More people see the value of OST for change and for project acceleration. The Ontario government has a better understanding of OST now but younger managers don’t know about it and want to micro manage, especially in an environment that is very filled with fear. Teachers, non-profit groups and others are using OS. There are centres of excellence developing in various parts of Canada: Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary. Wish: opportunities to continue to grow, ie, people want to go beyond the event, see how OS can inform how to operate in their organization.
  • Doing many little OS events. Integrated OS in a conference of 350 people – it was wonderfully exciting! Wish: More work with OS. Just love how the agenda arises from the group.
  • Am a mediator-facilitator. So many people in Halifax are using OST in different ways.
  • Took training, facilitated about 40 events (federal gvt & non-profit). Working with OS in education, business and unions, on a big project with an employment equity federal program and with the Neighborhood Work Program which is training internal facilitators to use OS in the workplace. Is documenting organizational transformation. Training facilitators on OST in Halifax – next workshop in September. Wish: develop local practice community with the 100 (approximately) trained facilitators in Nova Scotia and area
  • Teaching OS in university. Lives in US and in Quebec. Sees OS used in communities in Canada and on national vision work. Wish: see more done in communities on community, regional and national issues.
  • Trained in OS many years ago. Enjoys participating in OSIC meetings and in the virtual leadership. Wish: More opportunities to work together. Work on a collective vision for the OS Canada Institute- see where’ve been and where we want to go.
  • Is from Haiti where works using OST. Is happy and grateful to be part of the discussions to learn more about OST and to learn about how we share ideas and function together.
  • Been doing facilitation and training on OST in English and French for many years and sees an increased demand for it and from varied types of organizations and from new places (e.g. France). Wish: an On Line OS for next OSIC meeting in the fall. A face to face Canada OSonOS in 06 somewhere in Canada. More new Canadian OST practitioners and supporters connecting and being active in the Canada OST community.
  • Facilitates in a private sector corporation which has adopted OST as its preferred method. Focus is result oriented, not cultural change. Opening space is what people do. OST is a set of instructions to help people do that. Interested in research – finding ways to open space with other tools/instructions, how OST can be used in various circumstances, after the event.



Other discussions:

  • Appreciate the openness and collaboration of the OS community-OSIC (versus competitiveness like in some other professional org.s)
  • This network is an opportunity for mentoring. We can just call each other.
  • Need to find ways to connect more regularly.
  • Our next topic of discussion could be the future of OSIC.
  • Organizations go in life cycles: flourish, decline and flourish again.
  • We should hold the next OSonOS Canada in Calgary to bring together geographical extremities of the country.
  • Use that opportunity to do outreach to former members.
  • Consider using Civic Space, a free software to include people who can’t travel. Search for it with Google.



Where from here?

  • Michelle and Larry, with the help of Raymonde Lemire who does part-time work for OSIC, will organize an OSonLine for the fall OSIC meeting.
  • Everyone is invited to see the OSIC website: and to hopefully join this OST community that offers among other things mutual support.
  • Diane will ensure that notes of this meeting will be shared with other OSIC members asap.