OpenForumOpenSpace    - a contribution towards "reinventing democracy"

some "participant views" - perspectives with other "eyes"  from events which combined the OPEN SPACE and OPEN FORUM method more - we update outcomes most freqently here

a surprise space for
listening and empowering

And the Joy of Giving Voice or better having Voices heard, 
empowering or better "re"powering or re"charging" 
and co-creation.

In an open forum - space which invites the magic.

Procedural steps
Impressions: a selection of events

Open-Forum - 'Magic Round Table' "Rules":

Each person is given an equal number of beads, stones, or any tokens representing equal units of time. The total meeting time is divided into units matching the distributed tokens, thus valuing them. Each member then introduces her/himself, and if so desired, offers a topic for dialogue. Members then give tokens to others whose proposal or offer the group wants to enlarge from the selection offered in order to empower voices and joint interests, enlarge the flow in dialogue. This "voting or encouraging" continues as topics generate more or less "empathy" or concern; and as others join in the conversation can receive tokens as encouragement to continue with their line of thought. This open, transparent format can encourage inhibited people to participate and minimize domination by authoritarian types. In case of unexpected changes in meeting duration, the tokens can be re-/de-valued inflated/deflated to match the remaining available time. This method is one approach being highlighted in this paper: which might provide some general orientation.


The difference:
The unique difference to other "time credit" methods (See is that tokens represent not primarily speaking time, something you use up to the very end, everybody his personal budget or allotment, but to delegate and focus attention and interest by giving time to encourage and empower individual offers to the group in a dynamic fashion, so that the interest is higher as the values or quality of attention increases by "floating" embodied tokens which are given as presents or signs of encouragement during the process.

The procedure:
All participants sit or stand in a circle. Maybe with an inner or outer ring, and often with spaces left for people moving into the circle when they have received time credits.
Typically a moderator or a volunteer who accustomed himself with the process will act as a time-keeper and independent guard of the common interest of the group.

After an introductory round of very brief offers of issues or topics (1-2 minutes maximum) of proposals participants want to enlarge - if they get "encouragement" tokens, all participants and observers are invited to give tokens offers they feel most important or worthy to discuss in the session.
The moderator has distributed beforehand the amount of tokens equaling the minutes planned for the roundtable. So 60 minutes sessions and 10 participants - each person will receive 6 tokens (if 30 or 60 people are in the room, each receives or 1 respectively 2 tokens).

After this snapshot round of offers to the group the moderator invites all people to give their interest or empowerment tokens to the person they feel should speak up, maybe accompanied with a certain focus or question. After the above "sharing or distribution break" of a few minutes the moderator starts by asking or inviting the person which has received the most interest of visible tokens of embodied "interest" to start, if not someone else moves in.
This speaker can speak as long as he/she has time credits, which the moderator collects or monitors as “used up” by visualizing the time being already used from the visible "budget". The speaker can continue if so he/she receives tokens while speaking. If someone else might want to add onto the subject until his/her time budget is used up.
Short interventions while someone is speaking are not punished or encouraged as they might add-on to the issue, but are watched carefully by the moderator as they might interfere with the line of thought or the flow of the topic under discussion, and therefore are considered, even when adding only 3 words or one sentence as a full sentence as being one token used.

The method can be considered a self-organizing, open, transparent, dynamic and embodied way of participation and empowerment which cultivates differences and fosters co-creation.


that we have photos of to record our exercises of "re-inventing dialogue and democracy" 
towards an art of listening and jointly subsuming and resonnating: 

Please follow the links for more pictures, reactions and comments of the participants AND A NOTE OF CAUTION as we were recvently asked (July 1st) if there were any events in 2010, as the time-line started only in 2009. The answer: There are many events and exercises since more than 20 years, also on other sites, and we can document here only a examples each year. So please ask for details in a certain region or thematic area.

2011 Anna Lindh Salon no.2, Berlin PDF and Report Salon

2011 Anna Lindh Salon no.1, Berlin visit: Combatants for Peace

Cradle2Cradle AEDES Atelier Roundtable:

What can be done? MAKE A DIFFERENCE - BEND THE TREND - Was ist zu tun? Umdenken - Umschwenken Report

2010 InterKultur see documentation of this UNESCO- European Cultural Cities event.

2010 Labor Entrepreneurship – The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship

Open Forum experiment in the tradition of the SCHOOL OF IGNORANCE ? – an on-going experiment in dialogue meeting design.

Invited guest: Kurt Hanks ( The Visualizer, Mindset Mapping, see Domain) and other Honorary and Surprise Guests (see report with participants) to experiment with Dialog and Conferencing formats. Rules of the game. See also the Experiment-Documentation.

Please come back maybe early October 2010 to see the Video documentation of LABOR-TV of our experiment to include input impulses into the open-forum format. Before that maybe these experiments of multi-track conferencing are of interest: ICSU-CODATA roundtable at Symposium, STAMMTISCH - Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration @ GOVERNMENT 2.0.

up-date for Nov. 6: Entrepreneurship Summit 2010
Farah Lenser & Heiner Benking und weitere hochkaraetige Referenten und Impulsgeber - Weitere Videos

A Magic Roundtable exercise as a FORMAT LABOR was also part of the SUMMIT. See some IMPRESSIONS below and follow the link to the documentary and do not forget to check the audio slides above.

2010 IETM: International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts PLAN C


the OPEN SPACE at the Radialsystem, Berlin

see also BLOG

2010 Anna-Lindh Forum 2010 in Barcelona

Magic Roundtable Rundgespräche während des Anna Lindh Forums 2010 in Barcelona (PDF) see also BLOG

Report from Farah Lenser in Weimar also including the Media Roundtable

2009 we are in full swing for a line of events and side-event dialogues at the UNFCCC in December in Copenhagen and link to the CBD and CSD - DESD efforts..... Please come back - or if interested check with Heiner [at] for details or possible dates, ways, and means ! see report

GOVERNMENT 2.0 report with STAMMTISCH 2.0 / 3.0

2009 Berlin HUB Sustainability Week:

HUB Berlin, Sustainability Week im SelfHub Berlin, 22.-26.06. 2009

Folien - Eindrücke der TeilNehmerInnnen

- see BackgroundPapers and Open-Forum Side Events and Outcomes

2009 Procedere -Friederich Ebert Foundation Storytelling Rundgespraech Impressions PDF - see BackgroundPapers and Open-Forum Side Events

2008 and 2009

UNESCO - DESD April 2009 Bonn see: 10001 Seeds Blog and PNW-events.

- -

1001 Actions for Dialogue - Dialogue Nights - 100001 Diversities - Events and Side-Events May-June 2008


See also details on the process and format: STAMMTISCH 2.0 and 3.0 (in German) more about and the more complete backgrounder of this 1001 dialogues 100001 diversities and 10 001 Seeds effort can be found further down at this page.

2008 Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics   -    ECOTHEE, Chania, Orthodox Academy of Crete, 2-6 June, 2008    

See as an example some Impressions of one event EcoTHEE-2008

The conference an my "COVENANT" presentation is covered in this book which was published in 2009. Missing Context and Orientations in Modern Times: [more] Please check out the various events and side-events - some where including video-conferencing - the locations and occasions - and come back for more details. Beside the Planet Diversity Dialogues we would like to highlight the EcoTHEE Agora outcomes and the 1001 Night in Weimar.

2006 Geresnet HUB Berlin

Geres-Net Open Space - Gender Research and Networking - Impressions - see also

2005 Traumland Intensivstation, Opening Spaces in an Ecumenic Church in Munich around Sciences and Hospitals around Intensive Care and Trauma: goto Impressions and Article.


World Summit of the Information Society, WSIS, NGO Causus – Böll Stiftung, Berlin 2005

2005 ICSU –CODATA  ISGI  2005 symposium in Berlin, A symposium and a OPEN FORUM  -  OPEN SPACE…

see: multi-track open-formats position paper

2004: Congress: "Ideen für Neues: Ganztägig lernen / Ideas for Change: Day School Learning" at Berlin Congress Centre

Youth Congress: "For a New Europe" at FEZ Berlin Slide presentation of the Youth about the Magic Roundtable

2004 Theatral global – entdecken … gestalten…  handeln … - Theaterpädagogiches Fachforum SICHTEN VI , 2004 STIMME GEBEN - Reflexionen des Fachforums mit der Methode:

Magic Round-Tables“: „verschenken Sie Redezeit, gewinnen Sie Zuhörzeit“  4.-6. November 2004 im FEZ Berlin

  InWEnt Open-Space, Work for One World, Hannover 2004

2002 DAAD gender studies, Summer University at Humboldt University

Rudolf Bahro Symposium, Humboldt University

Rudolf Bahro Internationales Symposium and Open-Space - „The socio-ecological Alternative“, 2002

Future Raft trip with youth from Hannover to Berlin

2001 Bertalanffy Conference Vienna, Nov 2001

Healthy Cities - Gesunde Städte, Berlin Alexanderplatz

2000 EXPO 2000 and Future Raft

Dialoge in the Circus - Chancen 2000

1999 House of Democracy Berlin
1999 Ethikgipfel Kühlungsborn

RUNDE TISCHE - Schnittstelle zwischen Experten und Bevölkerung, Rundgespräche - Eine wichtige Gesprächskultur als Voraussetzung für eine Ethik des Miteinander,
Auf dem Weg zu einer individuellen und kollektiven Ethik,  ...Gespräch: Geschichten und Visionen als Rüstzeug für Entscheidungen

1997 Asilomar ISI - Social System Design and DAVID BOHM Dialogues, report in IFSR Newsletter

1996 ROUNDTABLE Club of Budapest, PressConference and Schweisfurth Stiftung, Munich

1995 International Peace University, Berlin

UN Climate Summit, Berlin

XXXX documenation of earlier events – not having used the term „Open-Forum“ or „Magic Roundtable“ pending....

----- see another colelction of events selected for the site of Farah Lenser