Open Space Workshop

Workshop Summary:

You are ready to try it!  |o/

You’ve attended an UnConference, BarCamp or Open Space self-organising event, and would love to bring it to your own business or community...

Can it really be as simple as it looks?

The answer is both Yes and No!

Yes: Open Space events operate by simply creating containers for self-organisation and then letting go. Then the people who have gathered will create the event they need. I.e. “Whoever comes is the right people” and “whatever happens is the only thing that could!”

And No: Open Space does not begin where most people think it does: in a circle of chairs. It begins long before, with the discipline of Opening Space with the event sponsors, creating a strong and welcoming invitation, getting the word out, and preparing a supportive space. This is the secret of getting ” the right people” into the opening circle. And then, the magic always follows!

download workshop details + pricing .pdf in A4  and letter formats


Training in English, German, French.
Student e-workbook in English and German.


Open Space training commonly takes the form of multi-day workshops, and yet the basics of the method are freely available in books and online. This 1-day course combines the best of these two learning approaches, in two different formats:

In-Person: An intimate live workshop
6 participants sharing questions, conversation and meals for one day in a location you choose.

Online: A private workshop spread over several weeks
6 participants meet online for 3 workshop segments, and work in pairs for self-study segments.
Students decide together when the workshops will be held. Online workshops use Zoom conferencing for tele-presence, chat and small group breakouts.

Common to both workshop formats are these elements:

  • participants study the basics at home: 4 assigned readings followed by reflection and writing exercises. The smartphone-friendly self-study guide is here in english and german.
  • an emphasis on "holding space" as a key facilitator practice for planning and executing vibrant events.
  • together we co-design a workshop agenda that meet the needs of your specific group.
  • I bring in my own experiences, when this enhances topics participants have prioritised.
  • individual phone mentoring is offered free of charge, to help you apply what you've learned when you prepare for your next event.

Find the next live or online workshop that suits you, in the right bar.


I believe that diversity is energizing and helpful when people work together. So, while this course is priced in line with typical business offerings, at or under 600€, I also encourage people with limited income or restricted budget to register with a discount.

If you are passionate about this topic but find the price out-of-reach, please contact me to discuss a price reduction that makes this event accessible to you. Yes, it may feel awkward, but don’t wait! I want to meet you and help you make your event successful!

YOUR TRAINER – Deborah Hartmann Preuss

My passion is bringing joy back to work. I do this all over Europe as a coach, facilitator, and trainer, living in south-western Germany. I was privileged to learn the practice of Holding Space from Larry Peterson in Canada, and in the past 10 years I have hosted, attended and facilitated many Open Space events, in three languages, in Canada, the US, Germany, France and Switzerland. With Naresh Jain, I co-created the AgileCoachCamp viral conference format, which has run over 50 times worldwide since 2008. I rarely attend “traditional” conferences any more! Still curious? There’s more about my work on my website,


Join a live or online class

on the right side of this page


Read on if you want more specific workshop details:


I assume you enjoy interactive learning, and you are highly motivated, having a particular event already in mind. I also ask you to commit to do 4 assigned reading and writing exercises before arriving for the workshop.  The student e-workbook will be sent to your email address in advance of the workshop so you can prepare for calls.

This design allows us all to be up-to-speed on the basics when we meet, so we can get to what’s really interesting: applying Open Space specifically where you need it.

In all workshops, I incorporate “training from the back of the room” teaching elements that keep participants actively engaged to increase presence, learning and retention.


This workshop is a fit for you if:

  1. you have attended an OpenSpace or BarCamp unconference (if you have not, ask Google to help you find one, and go, quickly!) ... and
  2. you already have a particular group and event in mind, to use in the exercises.
    (alternately, make up a realitic scenario to roleplay with). Without this, the value of the class is greatly diminished for you ... and
  3. you commit to doing the reading/writing preparation exercises, before arriving at each call.


Every class is different: topics will be covered in more or less depth depending on your level of preparation and the interests of the group. Participants are often experienced facilitators, and have a lot to offer, so I create structures that help us us learn from one another. 

When we meet, we’ll cover at least:

  • What have you learned so far?Open Space concept map
  • What is this “space” we speak of?
  • Holding Space: the role of the facilitator.
  • The importance of the invitation
  • Preparing the “container” – physically and culturally
  • Preparing your own script (Law, Principles, Process…)

Depending on participant interest, other likely topics include:

  • When to use Open Space, and when not?
  • Roleplay: is your organisation ready for Open Space?
  • To document or not to document the sessions?
  • How do you resist the request to intervene?
  • Design a theme that attracts “the right people”
  • Practice your opening (particularly for those with real projects coming up).
  • Convergence: the Moving to Action step that usually gets left out.


You will leave with

  • a deepened understanding of the powerful "holding space" stance modeled by the OS facilitator,
  • a first draft of your own facilitation script,
  • a personal “next step,”
  • a resource list, and
  • a small network of passionate peers to collaborate with and call upon!

Sign up now to hold your place! Links are in the right-bar.

Online Workshop

Starting in June
(we'll decide dates together)

  • 8 hours over several weeks
  • Join us to set call dates
  • e-workbook
  • 650€ +VAT where applicable
  • Discount available:
    Let's talk!

Let me know you're interested!

Can't make it?
Get updates

Live Workshop

Got something specific in mind?

Tell me what you need, and where! I'll run a workshop wherever you bring a group together. As co-organizer you'll receive a 50% discount.

Or join our OS community to hear about the next live event.

Add a Dojo!

  • a one-day in-person "dojo" to practice & get feedback
  • right after an online or live workshop, or weeks later

What participants have said…

"This virtual course is an opportunity for deep learning about open space technology. The workbook walks you through key concepts and ways of thinking of 'holding the space' for a group. This is amplified by the format, which allows participants to collaboratively work through how they would prep, open, hold and close an open space. This course was wonderful preparation for both a 100-person 1-day open space and a 50-person 3-day open space I facilitated later in 2015."
- Mark Kilby, agile coach & community leader, USA

“I participated in Deborah’s OpenSpace Workshop in 2014. The workshop truly broadened my horizon on this topic. Deborah is a natural fit for this kind of education. She does not teach OpenSpace. She is OpenSpace!”
Fabian Schiller, agile and scrum coach at, Germany

“I facilitated my first OpenSpace Event last week and it went really well. Several people said that they’ve been at other barcamps but that 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, Germany

"Deb was instrumental in helping me deepen my understanding of opening a space (for discussion) and holding the space. Her training gave me the confidence to facilitate two AgileCoachCamps and a corporate Open Space."

Glenn Waters, Enterprise Agility Coach and Trainer, Canada

“Deb’s workshop on open space helped me a lot, in tackling some tricky questions. I got a lot of valuable input from my discussions with fellow facilitators and we also benefited from Deb’s extensive experience. She suggested a well-defined agenda as a starting point, but let us decide what we wanted to work on, and to work on in depth. Finally, what I liked a lot was that she masterfully connected OST techniques with the principles and values that make OST successful.”
Rolf F. Katzenberger, coach, facilitator and mentor at Pragmatic Teams, Germany