Open Spaces and the Fish Bowl

Recently I became aware of the concepts used in conference and meeting that I am falling in love with. The Open Spaces conference style and the Fish Bowl Dialog utilized by ALT.NET in their recent conference.

Chris Patterson, a collegue, has posted about his experience at the ALT.NET Open Spaces event, titled Open Spaces In Practice. I was extremely impressed with his description of the Fish Bowl meeting style. He has posted on his blog about the experience. I am going to try this in a few meeting, our user group and some of my team project meetings.

While researching I found the Unconference Blog by Kaliya where she has post regarding Unconference. Methods: The Fish Bowl Dialog. Her blog is focus on unconventional style meetings and conferences as the description of her blog stats:

The name "unconference" arose to describe conferences that step outside of the more traditional model -- that is, presentations selected months beforehand, sponsors buying speaking slots, boring panels of talking heads, and high fees.

So, of course I check out the ALT.NET Open Spaces Conference site. I love the description of the Open Spaces Conference style:

Whoever shows up is the right group. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. Whenever it starts is the right time. When it's over, it's over.

An Open Space conference's agenda is decided upon by the conference participants during the opening of the event.

I have been in contact with Chris and want hope to utilize this style of dialog in my team meetings, and would love to put on an Open Spaces conference in Northwest Arkansas. I have been talking to everyone I know about this and trying to learn more. I will continue to post more info as I learn more.

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