PLAN 595 & 597


19th November 2011

Room 150 West Mall Annex

9.30 Brunch and Organize OST Agenda

13.00 Adjourn




Today, in this special joint session of PLAN 595 and PLAN 597, we focus on the use of consensus building principles, processes and techniques in practice. Our goal is to explore how consensus building can be used in differing contexts. We will include all the ideas explored in 595 relating to the use of negotiation, facilitation and mediation and in 597 relating to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

To do this we will draw on all that you have read and discussed so far. There are no new readings. We also will draw on experiences that you have had while working in various contexts. While water is one focal topic, people have indicated their interests in other substantive topics such as mines and other large scale developments, neighbourhood planning, disaster management, US-Canada issues and the Occupy gatherings. There is no limit to the substantive areas of application you can propose as foci for a discussion, you just have to be willing to lead a discussion on it. There is no need to make special preparations for this beyond opening it up when a group convenes to explore it. Once convened it is up to those who come to decide where they want to take the discussion.

To organize and conduct our discussions we will use Open Space Technology which originated with Harrison Owen. Please read about this different approach to process design so that you know what to expect and come prepared to join in the experiment.

First listen to Harrison Owen briefly introduce OST

Then listen to a short video describing what happened when a group of people used OST to work on Transition Town

Then read Harrison Owen's Brief Users Guide to OST

To learn more visit the OpenSpaceWorld website


Question/Theme: "How can consensus building principles, processes and techniques be used advantageously in practice?"

Four Principles:

  1. Whoever comes is the right people.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time.
  4. When it is over, it is over.

One Rule: The Law of Two Feet



9.30 - 10.15 Brunch and create agenda and schedule

10.15 - 11.15 Round One

11.15 - 12.15 Round Two

12.15 - 12.45 Hear reports from groups that convened.

12.45 - 13.00 Discussion of outcomes and OST

13.00 Adjourn