discover the life-changing magic of holding space

Open Space Leadership

photo © 2018 Gerhard Van Deventer/Venture Photography, Cape Town South Africa
Open Space, Hopper, Famous Harold, and Me

In this course, you'll learn how to organise and facilitate Open Space Events that make a real difference. The mechanics and graphics of open space are simple. You may have simply copied them from the last Open Space you saw. You'll discover there is 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 the art of holding space that's inclusive and truly transformative.

Starting October 25

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 facilitated my first Open Space Event last week and 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 a 100-person 1-day open space and a 50-person 3-day open space I facilitated later.

- Mark Kilby

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


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

You're invited to join our next Open Space Leadership cohort to examine and deepen your own stance for leadership and coaching. 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 stance 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.

Starting October 25

Cohort Based Virtual Training

Open Space Leadership
for Remote Leaders

Course Start

We are still gathering 6 keen leaders who will join the cohort starting October 24.

Signup now to join the cohort (or to receive info about future cohorts).

6 Course Sessions

Over the 6 weeks, the full group will meet 6 times for 2 and a half to 3 hours each time.

Plan to meet on the same date and time for each session. We’ll select days & times for the remaining sessions together. We want days and times that work and our comfortable for everyone in the cohort (this might seem a bit impractical or haphazard, but it’s never been a problem and we’ve always found the perfect time for everyone to meet.)

We will hold course sessions over Zoom using the social wrapper QiQoChat.

Duration and time Commitment

This is a powerful transformative workshop which requires a time investment from everyone.  The outcomes are life-changing.

  • 6 weeks x 6 live interactive sessions (max 3 hrs each)
  • You will also meet 5 times between with your workshop partner (you decide how long, but plan to meet for 30 minutes to 1 hour).
  • Plus plan to spend 1-3 hours of individual learning time before each session.
  • 1 hour 1-on-1 mentoring call at the end of the course.
In this Course You Will
  • Learn to sponsor and facilitate life-changing Open Space events (for new and experienced facilitators).
  • Examine and refine your own stance for leadership and coaching using the practice and principles of Open Space to cultivate self-organisation and transformation daily.
  • Have participated in an Open Space event (virtual or on-location).
  • Planning to sponsor or faciltitate an Open Space Event. See the FAQ for more details.

684 (or €584 with early bird)

Famous Harold Custard

Have we sparked your curiosity or your passion? Are you eager to explore and learn more?


When you signup you're only committing to curiosity.

We'll only ask you to pay if you choose to opt-in for the rest of the worshop after the first full session.


Join a cohort.
Join the mailing list and stay informed.


Frequently Asked

— questions and answers —

Have more questions?
Let's talk.

Conversations are best. Please contact us by email, ask for a slack invite, or signup to start the conversation.

Starting October 25


Our Story

We've found the life-changing magic of holding space. We relish it. We keep it at the center of the work we do.

We were chatting one day after a Coaching Cocktails meetup. At the same time, we both realised what we were doing with our virtual  coaching meetups. We were holding space by invitation. No more. No less.

It's what we do as leaders in our work.

We know that Open Space almost always "works". But in the last several years we've seen many Open Spaces that were just merely "working." We weren’t finding the powerful creativity, and we didn't feel that spark of passion that comes from knowing that whoever came were the the right people.

We’ve seen Open Space treated like just an agenda-less meeting.

What were we missing?

You can read  our individual stories below.

Starting October 25

Read More

— related stories from our blog —

On Pace and Open Space Training In December

30th November 2021

It’s the busy time. Why are we launching a new Open Space Leadership cohort now?

It’s because we’ve re-structured this workshop for a more natural pace which even works in December.

We’ve moved from a packed-full 3-week workshop to a this new more organic 6-week format. Since it’s December, we’ll build in a break for the holidays this time as well.


Should I do X (for my Open Space Event)?

26th November 2021

This flowchart will get me “in trouble”. It’s really hard to capture the organic complexity of Open Space in a decision tree flowchart. This flowchart as graphical thinking tool is really not fit for purpose when it comes to capturing Open Space.

We practice and teach “classic” Open Space what does that mean? This flowchart helped me think about what it means to ‘add’, ‘subtract’ and ‘copy/paste’ when holding an event with Open Space Technology.


People, Place & Time

12th April 2021

How do we schedule our course sessions around messy schedules?

“Something will happen with the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”

You’ll practice holding space for whatever happens in this workshop. This post is about how we connect the learners in our cohorts, and how we find the right time to meet …



7th April 2021

Would it surprise you to learn that penguins can fly?

This is my story of what it means to hold space for penguins to fly.

Let me tell you a magical secret …


Big Pharma Transformation

6th April 2021

How can open space be effective inside mega-corporations operating in a critical and highly regulated industry?

This is my story of holding space for drug development teams working inside one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

The “CEO of the molecule” invited everyone to gather offsite to figure out how they would safely get a breast cancer “cure” to the oncologists and patients who desperately needed it.

photo of toadstools - a fairy circle

Fairy Circles

6th August 2020

How do you hold space meaningfully when people aren’t in the same space?

When the gobal pandemic hit people reached instinctively for Open Space Technology—because it’s a natural fit. Here are some thoughts from my experience holding remote open space in a time of incredible dispruption. Like all open space: it’s far easier than it looks and much harder than you ever imagined.


photo ©2018 Josef Dabernig (@dasjo) Zürich Switzerland
ALE Open Space Unconference

discover the life-changing magic of holding space

Open Space Leadership