OPEN FORUM Background Paper Collection -- Paper 2

Please note the original background paper from 1998 is under review and needs updating.

Please come back soon as I feel the matrix of formats and descriptors might be helpful.

When Attention Matters and People are more than just Talkers

Some Concerns about Attention Time; Listening and Agendas

I though about alternative formats a lot. The topic is not just about the space or time available, it is about the ambience and context, the number of people and what kind of people!

And thinking about people is not just about participants and their profession, but what kind of participants! Stakeholders, Drivers, Actors,  Risk takers, Observers, People in Power who invite and pay an event?, Surprise guests, honorary guest?

A you can see, such different people have their different expectations, and assumptions, their codes, traditions, patterns, traditions, rituals, media, senses, intelligences, … and ways to show their consent or discontent, have their tactics and strategies to achieve and perform towards their ends…and have their ways so show if they agree and disagree, how to draw conclusions and reach agreements.

Topology and situation… layout see original German schema to be added here a.s.a.p.

I invite you to look at the election circus, we did as CHANCE 2000 in the circus tent, or how we got to together with different traditions, different generations, using different languages (at the same event),…

Please visit these outcomes or what we call side-events, as often multiple formats should be used to match the potential of the people and the times, or use parallel tracks, or different locations to allow change to happen. We have documented here some events to give you an idea on the width of possible formats and occasions we have facilitated change.

Please also understand that dialog has to with trust and sharing. We did dialogues or salons in Charterhouse formats, so no output or citations are allowed in order to allow a trusted flow of internal or confidential information. Not everything should be public, if you consider negotiations, or mediations, peace missions, or any kind of keeping information in suspense.

Please see also the collection of Anthony Judge,  van Heuvel,… and what XY collected at the around dialogue and leadership!

Governance and Dialogues is another matter. Please see these theses done when presenting the Club of Rome’s Capacity Report in 1995, or the work around a future Agora, an Agora for the 21st Century. Please see Background paper 1 which looks into the laws behind successful deliberations and conversations, and follow the links.


Please also see the processes to outline the context of issues under discussion

Or the Consultative Process. All was collected for Robert Jungk's 80ies birthday – who understood, helped with the Database of Social Innovations (Nicolas Albery, Flemming Funch, … and the Fuschl and Asilomar exercises around international systems organization like ISSS and IFSR.

Last not least I need to mention and acknowledge the groundbreaking work, of Bohm, Buber, Schleiermacher, H **** and have to confess that the tradition of salons run my ladies, or how a circle is done in other traditions needs to be mentioned as well. Please see StorySpace and Dialog ! *** and the work of Anthony Judge and his DaZiBao Processes and his SCHOOL OF IGNORANCE – unforgettable memories start floating … or a major breakthrough for the magic roundtables when we did it for the Summer school over one month in Berlin in 1995, hoping to get an International Peace University in connection with the UNU in Tokyo and Costa Rica going.

See also GAKKAI – Lady… and all the other work done at Vanderbilt, MIT and the bunch of organizations and NGOs facilitating and change towards other forms of dialogue and decision cultures.

Please click at some of the logos below.


Best and thanks


Heiner Benking    Farah Lenser        



Dialoge Vanderbilt

Storyspace dialoge

Open Space  !!

See also Sherryl etc… Primer… Toolbook !    and and and

This is work in progress, please come back and maybe enjoy this little graph.

FM Facilities Management  (space time process)

Here original GERMAN version plus translation: 

OPEN FORUM Background Paper Collection -- Paper 2