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Philosophies, Approaches and Guiding Principles of OST

Page history last edited by Hempal 14 years, 2 months ago

1.1 Philosophies, Approaches and Guiding Principles of OST


In brief, OST is a very simple, but powerful way of holding highly productive and inspiring gathering, meetings, conferences and other learning events for a group of 5 to 2000 or more peoples. This organic process of inviting and opening spaces, which serves as a guide to the leaders and all attendees is based on four guiding principles and a law of Personal Mobility of OST. These guiding mantras are:

1. Whoever comes is the right person: Everyone, who is present in any particular event, is there because they have chosen to be there, because they have the passion and they care about the issue and freely chose to be part of it. They see the particular event as an opportunity to connect and collaborate with others who are equally passionate about the issue. This makes them the best person to contribute and collaborate on the specific topic, rather than to wait for the 'expert' on a given issue and listen and follow third party’s views. And what if nobody comes to your session? It may be because either you are a visionary, and is ahead of the time or there are many great topics to choose from. Either way, you have the choice to either join another discussion or spend the time introspective on the issue.

2. Whenever it starts is the right time: The creativity and spirit don't wait for any specific schedule for innovative and great ideas. However, generally, we put efforts to plan the time for initiating and concluding each session which might not be always accurate. Thus, it is reasonable to let the process define it own pace, follow the dynamics of discussion with whom ever has signed up to join the discussion. Speeding up the pace might break the continuity and may affect the evolving process of innovative ideas.

3. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened: What is happening in front could have been the only possibility. OST does not work when people, in charge, feel that they must control the outcome of the discussion or the event. Thus, don’t not try to control the discussion - even if it goes off on a tangent -- it may be exactly the direction for a breakthrough of new ideas. Follow the energy of the group and pay attention to the evolving and involving process.

4. When it's over, it's over: Creativity and intuitive thinking do not happen according to a schedule. One may settle the problems of the world in couple of minutes or may wish to continue the discussion for longer. Thus, when it is over, it’s over. One can move ahead and proceed as their interest.

The OST encourage for applying the law of mobility and responsibility.1 According to which, one should feel free to be mobile and look around for the session(s) that meet with his/her interests. In some cultures, this kind of behaviour are considered rude and disrespectful, however, in OST, it would actually be disrespectful to stay in a discussion that one feel not useful for him/her. The law of mobility, thus, justify that one shall not be forced to remain in a discussion which the person so involved feel aloof from.

The two extensions of law of mobility can be explained by describing the natures of the Bumble Bees and the Butterflies. As Bumble Bees goes from flower to flower and pollinate each of them, in OST, one set of human beings behave like Bumble Bees and goes from meeting to meeting and pollinate each of them with relevant information gathered from other groups. Butterflies that fly around are compared with those sorts of people who have “full brains” or is the host of the event or who are shy like the butterflies and spend time in interacting one to one with other participants, or reading the discussion highlights and ideas posted at the News Room and make contributions as and when required. Thus, the law of mobility in essence emphasizes on the value of taking responsibility for what you care and passion for.


1 Initially, also termed as law of two feet, which has been later modified with an understanding that everyone may not have two feet, but still can be mobile. 



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