Open Space Leadership Workshop

In this workshop, you'll learn how to plan, organise and facilitate Open Space events that make a real difference. The mechanics and design of Open Space are simple. You might plan to simply copy and paste what you saw in another Open Space, but you'll discover there is so much more to holding effective Open Space. You'll learn how Open Space creates seemingly magical outcomes. In this course you'll develop your Open Space mindset and practice holding space that's inclusive and transforming.

Famous Harold Custard

discover the life-changing magic of holding space

Open Space Leadership

Join the First Cohort of 2022

We are gathering applications for the next cohort now.  We will launch the cohort when we gather 6 participants. Of course, Super Early-Bird options are available.

Past Participants Say

I've been in Open Spaces that Steve held. Don't be fooled by the ease with which he seems to hold the space - there is a serious craft behind the apparent simplicity, a kind of craft that in my opinion creates facilitation magic.

- Kirsten Clacey

Community Leader  / Agile Coach / Author
The Remote Facilitator's Pocket Guide
(South Africa)

I finished this workshop, and then I facilitated my first Open Space Event last week. It went really well. Several people said that they’ve been at other barcamps but this was different in a positive way… You opened a whole new world to me… I’m happy and confident.

- Dina Sierralta

Facilitator and Change Agent

This live virtual course is an opportunity for deep learning about Open Space Technology (OST). ... This course was wonderful preparation for both the 100-person 1-day open space and a 50-person 3-day open space I facilitated a short time later.

- Mark Kilby

Agile Coach / Community Leader / Author
From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver



Calling 6 keen agile leaders, educators, change agents, activists, church folk, friends and colleagues who are ready to spark change with Open Space.

We're inviting you to join our next Open Space Leadership cohort so you can create new Open Space opportunities with the power to shift urgent problems in meaningful ways. You'll learn about the science embedded in the principles of Open Space Technology, and use that to set up the conditions that cultivate self-organisation and effective transformation.

Do you already hold Open Space? This workshop will help you strengthen your approach and refine your practice of holding space that matters.

Open Space is much simpler than you think, and it’s much harder than you imagine.

This Course is for you if ...

You're working together with people who strive to change their world—at work or far beyond. You're facing urgent problems, and find too many conflicting solutions—or no solutions at all. You collaborate with people who have strong views they hold with passion.

You've wanted to be more present and effective holding space for others. You want to lead with mindfulness and grace to actively embrace emergence.

You need to organise or facilitate a crowd-sourced summit, an unconference, barcamp, company offsite, an agile coach camp, or another event powered by Open Space Technology. You want to understand why and how Open Space works because you long to hold an event that will make a real difference, perhaps unlike other "copy/paste" open events you might have attended.

What You'll Learn

  • How to plan, build and hold an Open Space event.
  • Important pre-conditions for effective Open Space (knowing when to offer one).
  • Theory from nature, biology and complexity science to understand intrinsically how and why this really works.
  • Why invitation matters, and how to craft an effective invite.
  • Some essential and surprising aspects of growing an active Open Space mindset.
  • How to mindfully conduct an effective opening.
  • Common pitfalls that reduce the impact of your Open Space event.
  • When to consider an alternative to Open Space (and what to consider).


Ask us how to organise and hold an Agile Coach Camp.


Join the First Cohort of 2022

We are gathering applications for the next cohort now.  We will launch the cohort when we gather 6 participants. Of course, Super Early-Bird options are available.

Your Hosts


Deborah Hartmann Preuss

Deb is a certified life coach working with Open Space for more than 15 years, learning the practice from Larry Peterson. She created the grassroots Agile Coach Camp conference format powered by Open Space in 2008 with Naresh Jain. Deb built this course to share the joy of mindful, deliberately held Open Space around the world.


Steve Holyer

Steve holds a commitment to the power of invitation. He's a workplace transformation consultant and coach, a trainer, and a facilitator who has held inclusive, generative Open Space in places like Germany, Kenya, Romania, South Africa, and the USA. He's also held open space for penguins.

Schedule & Format

We will meet 6 times (for 2-3 hours each time), live over Zoom, for full cohort learning sessions.

We will design the course schedule together (including meeting day and time) so it works for everyone across multiple timezone—seems impossible, but we've always found comfortable times together. (We usually meet weekly, but we can meet daily for a more intense course, or every two weeks to accomodate busy schedules.)

We ask that you commit to invest learning time between cohort meetings for assigned readings and other praxis work. You will also arrange 2-4 calls one to one calls—with a co-learning partner you choose from the cohort—to make new connections by sharing insight and reflection. This is deep learning. Please be ready to invest 2-3 hours in self-study and partner work between each of the 6 cohort sessions.

Famous Harold Custard

Ready to Apply?

Dates are not fixed, and we aim to launch the next cohort for 6 weeks in early 2022  (unless the cohort chooses another meeting tempo).

Live cohort sessions run for 2-3 hours and will be held at the day and time chosen by the cohort.

Prepare to spend 2-3 additional hours between each live cohort session for self-study, co-learning conversations, and other praxis work.

Course Fees

Early Bird: 580 € (while it lasts) | Regular: 680 €
+VAT for residents of Switzerland
Partial Scholarships and Market Adjustments are considered.

When you apply, we will arrange a 30 minute conversation (usually by zoom). We want to get to know you and answer your questions. We also want to align our course and cohort design with your needs and expectations.

When you qualify for Early Bird enrollment payment will be due after our conversation. Regular payment is due after the first cohort session.

Join the next cohort.

You Can Also Explore

Depending on the needs and interests of your cohort, we are also ready and eager to explore some of these current burning questions.

  • How effective is online Open Space? Can it be as real as in the same room?
  • Can Open Space be more inclusive? How can we welcome diversity into our events and also work to create equity?
  • Is an Open Space a safe space? How do you hold space for safety?
  • Can Open Space create actions, or is it only for exploration and ideation?
  • Is Open Space only for extroverts? Can Open Space welcome introverts?
  • How do you approach Space Invaders when they land?

More Ideas

  • Bring this course in-house train your organisation.
  • Gather a private cohort, and we'll schedule a course for you.
  • Hold this course onsite.
  • Engage us to facilitate or even produce your Open Space event.
  • Ask about our online conference "venue" to engage Open Space mobility.
  • Ask about special situation-based pricing and more ...

Contact us with all requests. We are just an email away.

discover the life-changing magic of holding space

Open Space Leadership

Join the First Cohort of 2022

We are gathering applications for the next cohort now.  We will launch the cohort when we gather 6 participants. Of course, Super Early-Bird options are available.

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