- Opening Circle: An OST event begins with an opening circle where the facilitator explains the principles and guidelines of the process. Participants are invited to take responsibility for their own experiences and contributions. The facilitator also introduces the concept of the “law of two feet,” which empowers individuals to move between different discussions if they feel they are not learning or contributing.
- Marketplace of Ideas: Following the opening circle, the facilitator invites participants to propose topics or issues they are passionate about and would like to explore. These proposals are written on large sheets of paper or cards and posted on a designated wall or bulletin board, creating a marketplace of ideas. The proposals can range from specific questions or challenges to broader themes or areas of interest.
- Self-Selection: Once the proposals are displayed, participants can review them and decide which sessions they want to attend. They are encouraged to follow their interests, passions, and expertise when choosing. This self-selection process ensures that individuals are genuinely engaged in the discussions and invested in the outcomes.
- Breakout Sessions: The selected proposals become the basis for breakout sessions or discussion groups. Participants gather in small groups to explore the chosen topics. No preset agendas or prescribed outcomes allow the conversations to unfold organically. The discussions are self-organized, and participants are encouraged to freely share their experiences, insights, and questions.
- Documentation and Reports: During the breakout sessions, participants are encouraged to take notes, capture critical insights, and record any action items or commitments that emerge from the discussions. These notes can be in the form of flip charts, electronic documents, or any other method that works best for the group. At the end of each session, a representative from the group shares a summary or report with the larger gathering, highlighting the key points and any follow-up actions.
- Closing Circle: The OST event concludes with a closing circle, where participants reflect on their experiences and insights. This provides an opportunity to share learnings, express gratitude, and acknowledge the value of the collective wisdom that emerged during the gathering. The closing circle also serves as a transition, as participants return to their regular roles and responsibilities, taking the ideas and connections generated during the event.
Generative inquiry emphasizes generativity within Positive Inquiry, an approach to inquiry and problem-solving that focuses