Summary of Expanding Our Now

The Story of Open Space Technology

Berrett-Koehler, more...

Buy the book

Expanding Our Now book summary
Memo to boss: Open Space bandwagon is leaving. Get on.


6 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Owen Harrison is no longer just the man who wrote the book on Open Space Technology — He’s now the man who wrote the books. Expanding Our Now is Harrison’s second crack at explaining the organizational theory he developed after watching a celebration in an African village. Basically the theory boils down to this: A group will organize itself to solve a specific problem if you sit everyone in a circle and get out of the way. The nuts-and-bolts of this process were described in Harrison’s earlier, Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. This time around, the author gives us a bit more history and theory. Your reaction to this book will depend to a large extent on how ready you are to accept OST as a concept and how open to new management techniques you are in general. But even if you’re not in the market for newly minted organizational theories, getAbstract recommends that you read this book, if only to absorb some of its innovative suggestions about how to get the most out of that bane of corporate life — the meeting.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What Open Space Technology (OST) is
  • How OST meetings combine the fun of a coffee break with the substance of a regular meeting
  • Which four elements are essential to an OST meeting


OST: Out of Africa
"Open Space Technology" (OST) is a way to hold a better meeting with a group of any size. Harrison Owen, originator of the OST structure, set out the principle that meeting participants will organize themselves to deal with a very complex issue in a very short time. ...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Harrison Owen the president of H.H. Owen and Company, originated Open Space Technology. He is the author of Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. He has worked with a variety of organizations in putting on these events, including the U.S. National Institute of Health and the Veterans Administration. His other books include Spirit: Transformation and Development in Organization, Leadership Is, Riding the Tiger, The Millennium Organization and Tales from Outer Space.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category