Open Space/World Café online - discussions that matter

Open Space and World Cafe have become synonyms of processes for discussions that matter, empowering participants to take care of their business and creating as a post effect new relationships between participants. In entities with global reach and the drive for cost reduction travelling to one location has been reduced. To begin this discussion regarding its relevance in Online Dispute Resolution processes, please respond to the following questions: 


  • Will Open Space and World Cafe work online?

  • What are the preconditions for an effective online Open Space or World Café event?

  • What other questions will arise?

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Moderator Bios:

J. ARTHUR VASCONCELOS Master of Science in Management, Sloan, MIT. He is an organization and business Mediator. President of MEDIARCOM European Mediation Association. Open Space training with Boscop in Berlin. E-mail: vasconcelos@alum.mit.edu

 

KATIAN CARIA Master in European Studies. She is a Mediator in civil and family matters, a behavioral trainer and business coach. International experience in several fields as a manager. Open Space training with Boscop in Berlin.  E-mail: katian@caria.com.pt

 

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Greetings All!

We have experienced the power of self organization and fluid discussion on OST and World Cafe events. In a more connected world with budget constraints and travel limitations how can we have powerful and empowering dicussions online?

Can we "get the whole system" into the discussion?

We will be here, online, tomorrow to discuss this and other issues you would like to bring.

Remember: we are on London time (GMT), 5 hours later than NYC, NY, and 8 hours later than LA, CA, and 12 hours earlier than Auckland, New Zealand.

See you tomorrow in the cloud!

Hi! I would like to jump into the discussion!

I was talking to a friend today and she said: "Ridiculous your idea of having OS online! It is contradictory to the concept itself"

Weel and think she may be right!

Hello everyone :-)

It would be good to understand her position better...

 

How can Open Space (be it online or presencial) be considered an enlightment management practice? HOw much are managers willing to let go of control in your country/culture?

This article is not about Open Space, but it is an interesting recent article on GE's implementation of ODR.

 

"I can't get my arms around the lack of a human element," says Sanford Ring, general counsel of Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc., a Toyota Motor Corp. truck subsidiary. Without testimony or face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to evaluate the credibility of either side of a business dispute, he says. "The credibility aspect is very important."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576620902874...

Hello,

So does that mean one can only trust what one can see? Is credibility only possible through physical presence?



Jillian Marullo said:

This article is not about Open Space, but it is an interesting recent article on GE's implementation of ODR.

 

"I can't get my arms around the lack of a human element," says Sanford Ring, general counsel of Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc., a Toyota Motor Corp. truck subsidiary. Without testimony or face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to evaluate the credibility of either side of a business dispute, he says. "The credibility aspect is very important."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576620902874...

Interesting. I don't think Ring things credibility is impossible without face-to-face contact, only more difficult to evaluate.

 

I think the computer can provide parties with essentially a really good poker face, something to hide behind. People may find it harder to trust when they are solely interacting with a computer screen, without the element of human interaction. It may be harder to evaluate the truthfulness of a statement when the person typing it has time to alter their words and phrasing, rather than a person who blurts out a statement in the presence of others. We instinctively read faces to interpret the intent and meaning of one's words, and this ability is lost in online communication.

 

Additionally, the emotional aspect may be lost through online communications, as the opposing side is unable to see the anguish the other side may be going through, instead viewing them as just another username or number in a series of mundane complaints.

I agree! What do the others think?
Hi! The face to face component in negotiation - and every meeting is a negotiation - is very important as the body signals convey very rich info. Online one may miss, for instance, the contradiction between what is conveyed by a written post and the physical info. Example - if I say "I agree" here you do not know if my body is closed and tense - conveying the meaning that in fact I do not agree at all. One would miss that sort of meening in a online OS ...
I think it could definitely work online, however I don't know how effective it would be.  Most parties tend to react and respond to parties more so when they are face to face instead of via a computer screen.  There is something so impersonal with it that some people, I would guess especially the older generation, will be hesitant with the approach of moving online.  Many more issues will arise.  Yes it would be cheaper by saving on traveling expenses, but what about the price of having the sufficient technology to communicate?  Also, internet connections can sometime cause a head ache.  If the internet goes in and out of connection that would interrupt the process and communication and could lead to less effective and efficient discussions.

Hi Kali! Thank you for your post. It may be that we would need to link with the video conferencing sw. The syncronous versus assyncronous aspect may be also something to consider. I have lead "brain storm" sessions online on an assyncronous basis and they have been very successful. People would comment saying that they had better ideas to contribute without the immediate response pressure.

It may also be the case that we could conduct "blended" OS meetings - part online and part on a face to face basis.

Any experience with these tools?

I was involved with an open cafe (years ago) - I think that is what it was called, at Simon Fraser University.  Margaret Wheatley was a leader there if I recall correctly.  I've always been fascinated since then about bringing this concept online.  Though I practiced law for over 30 years, when I set up a bar organization on the internet, I had the specific intention of moving common face to face interactions online.  Over the first five years of the organization, I increasingly got younger folks involved because my generation wouldn't or couldn't get the need to figure out how we could work and play (bring emotions) online.  Younger folks seem to get it. It seems that where we are today are hybrid models:  a combination of face to face and online interaction.

 One day I'll compare my early versions of the websites I created with what we use today (created and managed by people in their 20s)  - the current versions are very interactive, allow people to share ideas, creativity, emotions - and I just don't see how this phenomenon can be ignored by ODR proponents.

 

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