A Conference built by you for you

A strong undercurrent in the future of work is enabling employees to self-organize to achieve the highest value they can.   Why not use a conferencing technology that is based on the same principle of self-organization to enable the highest value conversations and experience for attendees!

Open Space Technology was created back in 1983 by Harrison Owen.  Like you may have experienced at past conferences, he discovered that the most valuable discussions and interactions happened not in the program sessions but in coffee breaks.   He went on to bravely ignore the status quo and create Open Space Technology that continues to be used with much success by conferences all over the world.

We’re honored to have Maria Grzanka as the facilitator of our open space on October 13th. Maria is a principal consultant with Lean Portland and Quantum Leaders. She has 20 years’ experience in process improvement leadership and techniques. After earning a degree in Integrated Supply Chain Management, she worked with Tektronix in various supply chain roles, ultimately managing the production planning process in Shanghai, China. She earned her black belt in Lean Sigma in 2006 and has led dozens of kaizens since. These experiences led her to Con-way Freight where she was part of a team launching Lean in over 200 facilities of an integrated transportation network. Following the acquisition of Con-way, she created the first change management program at XPO Logistics for financial shared services applications. Her commitment as a teacher is to guide you toward a deeper understanding of your capacity for improvement and to support you as you step into that capacity, one change at a time.

Opening space

The conference kicks off with an opening circle introducing how the conference will be structured and how attendees can get the best out of the day.   Next, all attendees are invited to co-create the conference agenda by suggesting topics they are interested in exploring.   How great is that?!   Passionate about a new way of working that you want to share with others?  Confused on how exactly to go about changing the work environment to better support people?  Eager to learn more about the similarities and differences between Lean and Agile?  This is your chance to share and learn!  You create the best conference based on the topics in which you are most interested.  Even better, there will be many other attendees that will hold sessions on topics you didn’t even know you wanted to learn more about!

Because there is SO MUCH to talk about in the future of work theme, there will be several tracks of sessions happening in parallel.  This gives you, the attendee, a lot of freedom to choose the sessions that most resonate with you.

There are five principles and one law of Open Space Technology that will be shared and which help to facilitate an effective conference.  They are:

The five principles

  • Whoever comes is the right people.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • Whenever it’s over, it’s over.
  • Wherever it happens is the right place.

The law of personal mobility

If you find yourself where you can’t learn or contribute, move yourself to a place where you can.

Creating a session

Those that are interested in holding a session will be invited to share their idea with the rest of the conference attendees.  No need to prepare flip-charts or handouts (unless you want to!).  Simply step forward and in a few sentences describe your session.  It’s just enough information to help others decide whether or not they want to attend.

After briefly describing your proposed session, you will select a time and place and post your session name on our Marketplace wall.   All other wanting to hold the session will do the same and so our agenda will be born!

We ask that everyone attending our conference show up for the opening.  Trust us, it’s important.  In the opening you will hear about each session and will want to take note of what you’d like to attend.  You may also be inspired to hold a session yourself!

Attending sessions

At the closing of the opening session, you will go and browse the Marketplace wall with all the sessions, times, and locations.  Feel free to add your name and let others know you’re going!  This is optional and you are not committed to attending any session.  As stated above in The Law, you are encouraged to attend any session you like and even move between sessions.

Feeling inspired?  Add a session!

You may add a session to the schedule at any time during the event by posting information about it in an available slot on the Marketplace Wall.   We’ll do our best to announce new or changed sessions, but it’s a good idea to check back periodically for schedule changes.