Renowned Asian motivational speaker David Lim facilitated an Open Space Technology (OST) discussion session after his keynote at a leadership conference recently. Though it is the first time the audience participated in an OST discussion, everybody participated actively, and have generated many great ideas with this new method.
Below are the basics of OST:
What is OST?
Open Space Technology (OST) is a term first attributed to Harrison Owen in 1986. It is a process, tool or method used to convene at a conference, retreat or meeting. In OST, attendees are asked to generate the meeting agenda as well as participate by leading small group break-out sessions during the meeting time. There is usually a facilitator, but no official meeting leader who demands compliance.
How does OST work?
OST is a simple way to self-organize and it operates under similar principles as The Law of Two Feet (Law of Mobility) which expresses the core idea of taking responsibility for what you love. Open Space Technology invites peoplw who care about the subject to come together. Some of the steps in OST are:
- Facilitator explains the process and invites participants to co-create the agenda and host discussion groups
- Discussions are held in ‘breakout spaces’ where participants are free to move amongst the discussion groups
- Each group records the conversations in a form which can be used to distribute or broadcast the proceedings of the meeting (in hard copy, blog, podcast, video, etc)
- Online networking can occur both before and following the actual face-to-face meetings so discussions can continue seamlessly
Where is OST applicable?
OST has been used in over 100 countries and in diverse settings, industries, cultures and situations – for program and product design, knowledge exchange, interdisciplinary thinking, conflict resolution and conferences. This method has been used all over the world by thousands of practitioners for groups of people from 4 to over 2000. OST has been used in the Arab-Israeli negotiations, and other applications. EMT has used this successfully as part of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT)’s leadership development programme, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and with Sanofi-aventis.
David Lim has a B.A. in Law from Cambridge University but he is best known for leading the landmark 1st Singapore Everest Expedition in 1998 (as well as the second in 2001). Partially disabled from a devastating rare nerve disorder since 1998, his comeback story of overcoming the odds made the cover of the Readers Digest magazine in 2001, and has since been translated into eight languages. He was in management at a publishing house for nearly a decade until 1998.
Because of his expertise in negotiation, facilitating change and creating experiential learning programs, David has been a sought-after leadership coach since 1999. He has delivered presentations and workshops across 43 cities, and 22 countries.
David is also an Associate Meta-Coach, certified practitioner in Neuro-Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming. His coaching practice has been widely profiled in The Wall Street Journal and Singapore’s The Straits Times newspaper.
A past President of the Asia Professional Speakers ( 2007-8), his work included being an adjunct lecturer for INSEAD Business School (2000-2009).
Additionally, David is a CSP(Certified Speaking Professional), the first and only Singaporean to be conferred the highest designation for professionalism and consistent quality by the National Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Federation (GSF). He joins a group of fewer than 10% of 5000 professional members of the GSF who have this accreditation.
David’s most popular presentation “Lessons From Mt. Everest” has been described as “world-class” and raved about by many. David Lim’s clients include IBM, INSEAD Business School, Prudential, ABN AMro, Citibank, Actis, Novartis, sanofi aventis. Pfizer, Boston Consulting Group, Maersk, Amadeus, Maruti, TATA Steel, Singapore Telecommunications, Bvlgari South Asia, Ministries of Manpower, Defence and Education ( in Singapore ) Media Development Authority ( Singapore ) and many more.
Outside of his work, David hasn’t given up climbing, and is a veteran of over 60 alpine and expedition ascents around the world, and most recently returned from the Tien Shan ranges in Kyrgyzstan, having climbed three virgin peaks.