Sunday, May 23, 2004

Open Space and Meeting Place

George Nemeth organizes mixers, (wine, cheese, and chat meetings) for the RYZE business network, which I became a member of earlier this year. He is certainly one of the most gracious and thoughtful hosts I ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The last RYZE event George organized, incorporated an activity called Open Space discussion, and he's asked (begged and politely pleaded) for our assessment of the evening.
I hope George will forgive my tardiness, as I offer my somewhat belated response to last week's event.

The thing I liked best about the Open Space activity, was the opportunity to get to know people in the small group who I did not get a chance to meet over sushi or sandwiches. One-on-one networking involves quite a bit of discussion about what we do. This group discussion provided insight into what people think. Thought provoking topics prompted fascinating conversation amongst some very bright people. It reminded me of the late 19th century salons I studied about, where artists, writers, and creative thinkers would gather to exchange ideas.

My one and only complaint is aimed at a man who, ironically I, and no doubt millions of other folks, admire.
Frank Ghery.
That room, in the Peter B Lewis Building, has TERRIBLE acoustics. This is especially disappointing, since it was designed by one of the world's premier architects as a meeting space.
Although the building is visually amazing, way too much sound is bouncing around in there. (You would think, teaching high school, I would be used to that)

While Chris Sepher uses the 10 point evaluation scale, I prefer what is known as the fifth digit assessment method:

George Nemeth's Open Space: thumbs up
Frank Ghery's meeting space: thumbs down

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