Please note: Open Space Gathering will take place during Synod Assembly on Friday, June 2 from 12pm to 2pm. This event listing is here so that you can note your ideas about what you might like to learn about or things you might like to share with others. The February to March dates signify the dates this form is open to receive information
Open Space Gathering
Greater Milwaukee Synod Assembly
June 2, 2017
During the lunch break at Synod Assembly on Friday, June 2, from 12:00-2:00 pm, we will engage in an open space gathering. Lunch food will be available outside the ballroom, and you will be invited to participate in a conversation on a topic of interest to you, moving around as your interest and energy dictate.
What is Open Space?
Lots of people say that when they go to a conference, the best part is the coffee breaks — because that’s when they meet important people who share common interests and passions. We’re going to participate in a really long, very intentional coffee break. You came with very particular contexts, passions, visions and questions. This Open Space time will help you start relationships with others who care about the same things you do. We hope that these relationships will last beyond the synod assembly.
Here’s how it will work:
- Until the end of March, we will invite assembly participants to declare their interest in convening a conversation on a particular topic by completing a simple online survey. Folks can share the story of an exciting ministry that they’re involved in or express the desire to convene a conversation on a particularly burning question:
- Once all the declarations are received, a list of the topics will be distributed to all assembly registrants. They will then have the opportunity to register their interest on a second online survey. If too few people sign up for a topic, it will not happen, and that’s OK. It just means it isn’t time for that issue.
- There will also be a limited number of spaces reserved for people to suggest topics at the assembly for those issues that arise more recently.
- Circles of chairs will be placed around the ballroom, and people are free to move the chairs as needed. Balloons will be placed in the middle of each conversation group with a number written on it, and participants will have a guide indicating where each conversation is taking place.
- What happens next is that people who care about the same things find one another and get to know one another and begin a conversation about it. As the time proceeds, participants are free to move from conversation to conversation as their interest and energy dictate. A key principle of Open Space is the “law of two feet.” You have the freedom and the responsibility to move to whatever place you can contribute and learn. If at any time, you feel you’re not learning or contributing, use your two feet to move to somewhere you can learn and contribute. Or, if your brain is full and you just need to take a walk, go do that. Or go find that one person you’ve been meaning to connect with. This is called creative chaos. And it’s good. It’s very good.
- We will divide our time into two “sessions,” so you can be part of at least two conversations about issues you care about. We will announce the time for the second session to begin.
- Some people will take part in one long conversation this afternoon. Some people will be more like butterflies, flitting from one conversation to the next. That’s OK. This event runs on two things: passion and responsibility. Passion engages the people in the room. Responsibility ensures that something actually happens.