These meetings generally last a whole day. They are designed to maximise discussion by participants and allow the range of opinions and viewpoints concerning a key issue to be aired and recorded.
A general issue of importance to participants is advertised. On arrival people who so wish are asked to suggest an aspect of this issue that they would like to discuss. These headings are written on a single sheet and posted displaying a range of venues and times (typically one hour slots). Once this is completed participants can then map out their own preferred route through the day. Those who have offered a slot are charged to record the main points of the discussion in brief. A key principle is ‘the law of two feet’. If a participant finds that a particular discussion session is not useful to them they must move to another. Decisions are not generally made here, these may require a separate meeting but typically participants feel they have been listened to and have actively contributed to clarifying the issues involved. See www.openspaceworld.org