Testimonial “De Universiteit goes Open Space” – 18 juni ‘12

Monday evening, a week ago, I went to the University. Not the traditional University as we know it. No, the University, a learning environment where high educated people, eager to learn, take responsibility to design their own education. Together they form a community of scolars who help eachother to learn what they want to learn.
Every monday they organise an evening, based on the learning needs of the group. Often, a community member takes the stage to share her expertise with the rest of the group in the form of a workshop or some kind. For example, subjects like Design Thinking, Storytelling, Sketchnoting and so on. In return for sharing their knowledge or skills this person get’s the opportunity to experiment with being a host / standing in front of groups. If you take the stage, you’ll be supported through coaching by other community members.
For me, this was the first time to join a workshop of The University. This evening, the theme was Open Space with the framework question: What do you want to do with The University next year? After a brainstorm session of 15 minutes we’ve created a mindmap of 8 square meters which clearly showed the direction in which the community members wanted to go with the University. This not only gave direction, it also proved to be a great way to empower community members to take responsibility for their learning even more. As a spin off, about 3 new communities started inside the University community. 
The way the University is supporting their community members is briljant, which really made me think of Mindvalley (see earlier post “happiness is the new productivity”). The’re creating the same Karmic Kickback Mindvalley has created. Just by empowering and challenging the people around you to learn what they want to learn, a powerfull movement is started. For me this is the essence of Let’s play innovation. Creating a safe environment, which encourages play and sharing that’ll cause innovation to happen organically.
My question to myself and others: Are you able to give innovation room to play or are we too serious on creating innovation that we’re unintentionally destroying it ourselves.

(red. As blogged on Let’s Play Innovation.)