Blog > P is for passion

July 23, 2008

At tonight’s launch of Harrison Owen’s latest version of the Open Space User’s Guide, here in San Francisco, I was reminded of the power of passion.

Harrison spoke for about 20 minutes, to about 150 or so people gathered in (how else?) a circle. He challenged us to take open space and make it better. I’m wondering how something as simple and elegant as open space can be improved – something I may explore over the next few days. Harrison has never claimed ‘ownership’ of open space – he calls it a world process, an ancient approach at being that we rediscovered after all the false starts of managerialism and attempts to control self-organising systems.

I was struck by his comments about being in ‘open space’ – the experience of participating in an open space event and then returning to the ‘real world’. If we acknowledge that the whole world is self-organising, and open space is self-organising in action, then we are always in ‘open space’, 365 days a year – even if we don’t acknowledge it to ourselves.

And I was delighted with his wave metaphor – even though he talked about some local surfing break obviously inferior to the Bells Beach and Winkipop break! His comments about surfers understanding self-organising and knowing that you can only ride a wave, not control it, resonates with WinkiPod.

I was struck – yet again – by Harrison’s passion and enthusiasm. I hope some of it rubs off.

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