428 seating plan

4 x 2 = 8. A groupwork method that has participants seated eight to a table but mostly working in two groups of four. The two groups come together at certain junctures to pool ideas and viewpoints, identify the salient items, and prepare to announce them to the wider participant group.


A type of user-generated conference, generally focused around technology and the web. The mechanics are very similar to those of Open Space, but the Open Space conferencing principles are absent.

View the Wikipedia entry for BarCamp

See also: Open Space Technology; Unconference

Deep Space

An Open Space / Knowledge Café composite originated by Jack Martin Leith.

Future Search

A ‘whole system in the room’ planning meeting formed of five half-day sessions over three days. The originators of Future Search are Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff.

Future Search principles
by Sandra Janoff
Get the whole system in the room. “If want people to understand and transform the system they are in, they need to experience it. When the same people talk to each other, we only perpetuate the kind of conditions we are trying to get out from under. The biggest frustration and the reason people are cynical about meetings is not because of who is present, but who is missing.” So we get people with authority, resources, expertise, information and need — people who ‘AREIN’. When you get all these people together, you create understanding and then people are capable of action that they were not capable of before. This turns conventional strategic planning upside down.
Blind men and the elephant metaphor: Each of us believes that our part is reflective of the whole v. understanding the complexity of the whole system that can only be understood by hearing all perspectives. This kind of learning takes time and with Future Search we take the time to do the learning before we go into action. If you don’t do this you are just acting on what you already know which is not transformative.
Focus on the future and common ground, and putting the problems and conflicts in the background. We move from asking what went wrong and how do you fix it, to what do you want to do and who wants to work together to make it happen. You don’t have to resolve every difference to work together on those things that you share. in this process, participants who come in polarized often notice that this zone of difference narrows.
Allow the group to take responsibility.

Source: susancoleman.global (with minor edits).
Visit the Future Search Network website

Generative enterprise

1. A way of doing business that emphasizes the generation of maximum value for customers or users, other stakeholders, and wider society. In this way, the enterprise enriches its employees, its shareholders and itself as a natural consequence.

2. A business or non-profit organization that seeks to enrich the world.

Read more about generative enterprise

Groupwork design

Groupwork designers conceive meetings, workshops, conferences and events where diverse participants confront challenges, initiate projects and make plans for effective collaborative action. Groupwork design and groupwork facilitation are distinct disciplines, although both may be practised by the same person.

Gurteen, David

David Gurteen is a professional speaker and conversational facilitator. He is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community, a global learning community of more than 22,000 people in 160 countries; the author of Conversational Leadership, an online book; and the originator of Knowledge Café. Over the course of 15 years, David has facilitated Knowledge Cafés in more than 30 countries.

Visit the Gurteen Knowledge Website | View Conversational Leadership, an online book by David Gurteen

Knowledge Café

A type of meeting in which, by means of proper conversations, people explore a topic of mutual interest, share their knowledge, ideas and insights, and make new connections. The originator of Knowledge Café is David Gurteen.

The Knowledge Café process
Visit the Knowledge Café website

Leith, Jack Martin

Jack Martin Leith is a groupwork designer, a generative enterprise exponent, and the instigator of the MAX4 campaign.

Read more about Jack Martin Leith

Open Space Technology

A method for running a participant-led gathering in which 10, 50, 100, 500 or more people discuss issues of heartfelt concern, share ideas, pool their knowledge, reach agreement on the best way forward, and develop plans for collaborative action.

Participants in an Open Space gathering create their own programme of self-managed sessions (e.g. discussion groups, experiential workshops, ideas sessions, planning meetings) related to an overarching question or theme, such as: What are the issues and opportunities for the future of our company?

The participant group can be of any size, from twelve people to a thousand or more. The duration of the gathering is in the range of half a day to three days, with one day being the norm.

There are no invited speakers, and just one facilitator to explain the procedure and facilitate the plenary sessions.

Open Space gatherings are typically held to create a new vision, consider how to implement a strategy, plan a significant change, solve a complex or persistent problem, invent a new product, or prepare for community action. They are also increasingly used by companies and membership organizations as an alternative or adjunct to their annual conference.

The method was originated by Harrison Owen.

Download Jack Martin Leith’s Introduction to Open Space (13pp)

Download Jack Martin Leith’s Open Space Practice Guide (40pp)

Visit OpenSpaceWorld.ORG

See also: BarCamp; Unconference

Real Time Strategic Change

A principle-based approach to organizational or social change that includes one or more ‘whole system in the room’ gatherings. Originated by Robert “Jake” Jacobs, a former colleague of Kathie Dannemiller.

Origins of Real Time Strategic Change and Whole-Scale™ Change

See also: Whole-Scale™ Change


A type of conference that has an overarching theme but no invited speakers or pre-determined agenda. Instead, the participants create their own programme of self-facilitated discussion groups using Open Space principles and mechanics.

View the Wikipedia entry for Unconference

See also: BarCamp

Whole-Scale™ Change

A principle-based approach to organizational or social change that includes one or more ‘whole system in the room’ gatherings. Originated by Kathie Dannemiller and Paul Tolchinksky at Dannemiller Tyson Associates.

Kathie Dannemiller was the originator of the C = D x V x F > R change formula, where C = change, D = dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, V = vision of a preferred future, F = first steps towards bringing that future into the present, and R = resistance to change. View the Wikipedia entry for Formula for change

Read more about Whole-Scale™ Change

See also: Real Time Strategic Change

The World Café

A conversational discovery process in which people move between tables exploring various aspects of an overarching question or theme, reaching a common understanding, and bringing forth new possibilities for action¹. Originators: Juanita Brown and David Isaacs.

¹ Some text sourced from WorkshopBank.

World Café principles

• Create hospitable space.
• Explore questions that matter.
• Connect diverse people and ideas.
• Encourage each person’s contribution.
• Listen together for patterns, insights and deeper questions
• Make collective knowledge visible.

Visit The World Café website