“In west Africa when the people have some difficulty they need to work on in a village, they just sit in a circle. Nobody yells and screams at them, there isn’t an agenda there are personages who have roles that they play, but you wouldn’t notice that unless you knew the village very well. So I thought, well, that would be a good place to start.”
“What are we going to talk about? The image that came to mind was a bulletin board”
“Then you are left with the logistics, who what when where why: the image that came to mind was a marketplace.”
If at any time during our time together you find yourself in a place where you are neither learning nor contributing use your two feet, put one foot ahead of the other and go somewhere more fun.
“The notion of control is not only illegal, immoral, and fattening, it is delusional. There is a very simple reason for that. We live in a world that is so complex, interconnected, fast moving and just ungraspable, we can’t even think at that level, I mean everything interacts with everything else which means that nothing can be predicted. What you can’t think, you can’t control.”
“If life is fundamentally a self-organizing system; one thing you know is that organizing a self-organizing system is not only an oxymoron it is stupid, because you can’t do it. The only thing you can ever guarantee to achieve is to screw it up, which we do with abandon.”
“Peace does not mean lay back in the hammock, peace for me is that marvelous dynamic harmony where potentially conflicting choices bounce off each other and amplify each other.”
“It isn’t about the process. Everybody keeps trying to make open space into a process. You don’t do the process, it does you.”
“Why is it not being used? Because people are afraid to succeed. Think of how many tenured professors would be out of a job. Think of how many consultants would be out of a job. What do managers do? They try to get rid of an informal system, when the informal system is the only thing that is working. This is disruptive”
“The condition for entry in any open space is that you care I would much rather have 5 people who seriously care than 50 of the right people who could care less… We get so stuck on the notion that you have to have the right people, and what you get is a whole bunch of people who don’t care.”
“open space for me is a natural act, we do it all the time. If I did anything, it was to give it a name. The one thing we have learned is that it works.”
You can reach Harrison via his website.