Convention and Leadership Training Conference

March 18-21, 2021

to be held virtually

Open Space Business Sessions

What are Open Space Business Sessions?

Much of Convention business is reserved for Open Space Sessions (sometimes called breakout sessions or divided sessions). Any attendee can suggest and/or facilitate a session about anything relating to the Society or our members. Topics are to be submitted ahead of time, via the form at the bottom of this page, and a schedule will be released prior to Convention Weekend.

Each session lasts  approximately 45 minutes, and you can attend whatever combination of sessions you like. (And of course, you’re welcome to take a break during one of the session slots and spend time outside the room as well.)

Some example recent sessions include: Improving the ADPS financial aid program; Supporting the mental health of one’s siblings; Improving recruitment as a young affiliate; Creative ways to stay involved in the Society after graduation; let’s write limericks about Convention … the sky’s the limit. Session summaries, compiled by note-takers in each session, are available online as a resource after open spaces finish.

If you have a session you want to lead or a session you want to see happen at Convention, please submit it here!

The Four Principles

  • Whoever comes are the right people.
    • Every effort was made to bring the right people.
    • By definition, we are the right people for what we choose to do.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen.
    • This is the only time these people will gather in this way.
    • The only limit is our expectations.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
    • We all take responsibility for the time we take and the contributions we make.
    • Creativity, real listening & learning might mean things don’t start on time.
  • When it’s over, it’s over.
    • We never know how long it will take to address a topic.
    • If it ends early or late, that’s okay!

The Law of Mobility

  • You are responsible for your own experience. If you find yourself in a place where you are neither learning or contributing, respectfully leave (with grace and sensitivity) and find a space – or make one – where you can add value.

Session leader responsibilities

  • Either lead / present the discussion or facilitate the discussion of others. Be interested in the topic.
  • Describe your proposed session (and to whom it might be beneficial) before the group breaks up for sessions.
  • Use the last 5 minutes of your session to discuss to-dos, next steps, and to collect volunteers for assignments.
  • Ensure a Session Summary is posted publicly after Open Space ends. (If you designate another person to take notes during the session, collaborate with them to write the Summary.)
  • If you have an idea for a session but don’t wish to lead one, you’re welcome to ask others to lead a session!