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Books and Videos Related to Open Space

Harrison Owen OST author - Ted Talk video 2013 
Conference in New Jersey USA, Septembre 2013
"Dancing with Shiva"
An exploration of the idea that all systems are inherently self organizing, and that maybe we're working too hard. 
How can we use moments of chaos to increase our own creativity and productivity? 

First Book in French on Open Space Technology - Free download

What if you could identify a critical issue in your organization, bring together many diverse people who have a stake in it and come out of a single meeting with a solid action plan and concrete initiatives to which key players are fully committed?

This is exactly what Open Space Technology invites people to do.  It is a simple and quick methodology that applies in just about any situation as long as there is truly a sense that the issue is important.   This method is also recognized for being effective for complex and urgent problematic situations.

Co-authored by nine experienced facilitators from around the world with a preface by Harrison Owen , creator of Open Space and author of Open Space Technology , this newly published White Book presents a detailed picture of why leaders and organizations may want to host events using this simple, highly engaging and dynamic process.

Christine Koehler of Paris, France, who initiated this e-publication, explains the genesis of this collaborative effort:  “I deplored that there were so few resources available in French despite the fact that Open Space is being used in over 145 countries.

Through real client stories , readers will see the possibility of transformational change in their own organization while gaining an understanding of when to use this process and the steps required in planning an event of their own .”

This 58 page E-book includes articles, testimonials, photos, references, links and author biographies. 

Readers will have an opportunity to download it for free and to also ask questions about the process:

Diane Gibeault is the co-author representing Canada in this book.

Wave Rider - Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

Harrison Owen, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2008

The Practice of Peace

The following book review was written by OSIC Member, Audrey Coward and published by the Human Systems Dynamic Institute.
Also available at OSIC for a reduced price. Members can also distribute this book at OSIC or OS related events. Contact the secretariat.
See Audrey Coward's book review at the bottom of this page. *

Harrison Owen
through Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson is the distributor in Canada To order call 1-800-295-0957, fax 905-473-4219

  • 2000 - The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform

  • 1999 - The Spirit of Leadership: Liberating the Spirit in Each of Us

  • 1997 - Expanding Our Now

  • 1997 - Open Space Technology: A User's Guide

Earlier Harrison Owen books by Abbott Publishing

  • 1995 - Tales from Open Space

  • 1994 - The Millennium Organization

  • 1991 - Riding The Tiger

  • 1987 - Spirit: Transformation and Development in Organizations

The Practice of Peace – A Book Review
©2004. Audrey Briffett Coward. All rights reserved.

The Practice of Peace
by Harrison Owen
Published by Human Systems Dynamics Institute, 2004

Book review by Audrey Briffett Coward, BA (Ed.) CHRP MS (OD)

Harrison defines Peace as "…the dynamic interrelationship of complex forces (including chaos, conflict and confusion) productive of wholeness, health and harmony." He goes on to state that the "practice of peace" is the intentional creation of the requisite conditions under which peace may occur.
According to Harrison , the core mechanism in "The Practice of Peace" is self-organizationa core practice of what we now call Open Space Technology (OST). Self-organization drives toward peace, and, when freely operative, self-organization generates the dynamic interrelationship of complex forces that produce peace—wholeness, health and harmony.
Harrison 's gift as a story teller, his use of informal words like "critters," "snake belly low," and metaphors like "a skunk at a garden party" surprise and delight the reader. The book is filled with easy-to-understand applications of the works of Thomas Kuhn, Ken Wilbur, James Gleick, Stuart Kauffman, and Ira Prigogine, among others.
Harrison and others have used OST more than 40,000 times in 83 countries with groups from 5-2000. The book describes the technology in terms that beginners, as well as experienced practitioners, can understand and apply. Harrison provides an easily understood explanation for learning practitioners along with a more in-depth analysis for experienced practitioners. He explores how the power of self-organizing can support the search for peace both in organizations and in our world.
According to Harrison, anyone and everyone can set the conditions for peace to self organize—governments, NGO'S, multi-national organizations, local communities, teachers, farmers and you.

How does this work contribute to human systems dynamics, as a field of work?

  • Both ask us to continue thinking, talking and being together differently, in ways that understand and encourage self-organization.

  • OST changes our ways of looking at people, systems and processes, and it questions our beliefs about how systems and people grow, change and transform. Indeed, it changes our way of being in the world and the way we do our work.

  • We have an opportunity to open dialogue so practitioners and theorists can pose more questions, look for points of intersection, and share their discoveries.

The Practice of Peace – A Book Review
©2004. Audrey Briffett Coward. All rights reserved.
Harrison Owen, (Open Space Institutes, 2003), spiral bound, 182 pages.

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Last updated: December 11, 2013