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


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

Open Space fits times of chaos and disruption because these times call for self-organisation. When you cultivate self-organisation by Open Space Leadership you hold the most powerful keys of transformation to create action in times of chaos.

In this workshop you'll learn to sponsor and facilitate Open Space Events simply, powerfully and effectively—both online and in the same room. You'll also examine and deepen your own stance for leadership and coaching using Open Space and the principles of holding space to cultivate self-organisation and transformation every day.

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.


For the next cohort, we're asking these powerful questions to answer together during the workshop.

  • How can we be most effective with Open Space Leadership as Remote Leaders with remote and virtual teams?
  • How can we hold virtual Open Space as effectively as Open Space in one room?

Sign-up now to learn about the May cohort.

Cohort Based Virtual Training

Open Space Leadership
for Remote Leaders

Course Start

This cohort-based training takes place when we've gathered 6 cohort members. We are still gathering.

Signup for more information about the June cohort (or to receive info about future cohorts).

4 Course Sessions

Launch - Session 1
Waves - Session 2
Space - Session 3
Paradox - Session 4

We will hold course sessions over Zoom using QiQoChat.

We are forming the next cohort. We'd like to launch the workshop for this cohort in June. When will you be ready to launch?

  • 4 weeks x 4 live interactive sessions (3 hrs each)
  • Plan to spend 1-3 hours prep time each week for 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)

It starts when it starts.
When it's over, it's over.

We're doing something different for the next cohort. Signup now if you intend to join the next cohort. We'll invite you to a series of free, private (and optional) OSL Dojos just for your cohort. You'll meet your cohort, and already answer your most burning questions about holding space.

When you've scheduled the date and time that's right for you with the full cohort of 6 keen leaders, we'll  hold the 1st of 4 workshop sessions and launch the workshop. We'll only ask you to pay the workshop fees and commit to the training after that first full session.

open Space Leaders 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 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

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.

The Workshop Includes

  • 12+ hous of online training and group work with Steve or Deb
    (4 "weekly" interactive, remote, sessions 2-3 hours each—intensive cohorts meet daily).
  • Individual preparation work that includes: reading, listening, watching, drawing, card work, and more (you chose the activities that resonate with your mode of learning).
  • 4 or more personal reflections using our Open Space workbook written by Deb.
  • 3 or more pair calls with your workshop partner
  • a 1-on-1 mentoring call before you hold your first open space

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.


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 invittion. 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.

Read More

— related stories from our blog —

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