“Open Space”

Facilitated by Denise Lewis Premschak

The ability to perceive or think differently is even more important than the knowledge gained.”
David Bohm, New Scientist (February 1993) 


  • A meeting technology used all over the world to bring individuals together for shared purpose and insight. The method itself sets up an environment that fosters shared vision, empowered participants, and self-ordered groups.
  • An integral component of the Congress intended to help inform outcomes, enrich ongoing work, and forge alliances for future action.
  • Designed for building on the vision and experience of Health Freedom Congress participants, it provides a safe space to gather together to re-invent ways of relating to one another, create possible futures, and transform.


  • During Open Space, dialog groups will convene around topics of shared interest and passion. The agenda is wholly determined by the participants and the time and space allotted.
  • Dialog groups’ topics are settled upon by participants in a dynamic ‘marketplace’. Topics are inspired by previous sessions, presentations, and an overarching conference theme.
  • Everyone is invited to convene or attend a dialog circle on a topic that matters to them, and further, all are invited to move freely among the various topic circles.

When and Why?

  • Open Space works best when the work to be done is complex, the people and ideas involved are diverse, the passion for resolution (and potential for conflict) are high, and the time to get it done was yesterday. It’s been called passion bounded by responsibility, a simple, powerful way to get people and organizations moving — when and where it’s needed most.
  • While Open Space is known for its apparent lack of structure and welcoming of surprises, it turns out that the Open Space meeting is actually very structured — but that structure is so perfectly fit to the people and the work at hand, that it goes unnoticed! This kind of structure is in its proper role of supporting (not blocking) people’s best work.

What will happen? We never know exactly what will happen when we open the space for people to do their most important work, but we can guarantee these results when any group gets into Open Space:

  • You’ll engage with your own and with others’ perspectives on Health Freedom issues, challenges, and opportunities.
  • All of the issues that are MOST important to the participants will be raised.
  • All of the issues raised will be addressed.
  • It is literally possible to accomplish in a day or two what some other approaches take weeks or months to do.
  • The common result is a powerful, effective acknowledging, connecting and strengthening of what’s already been happening.

How to prepare?

Bring your own ideas, experiences, purpose, and passion.  Plan to be fully present, open to new ideas, and willing to be surprised.

Open Space is a meeting technology used by organizations all over the world to bring diverse individuals together in a self-ordered environment that fosters creativity, empowers collaboration, and creates meaningful outcomes.

At Congress, Open Space is a container for connecting with important allies to construct and expand future action, enrich our ongoing work, and regenerate our spirits.

Denise Lewis Premschak is the founder of Field Guide, LLC, and serves as its principle consultant, coach, and facilitator.  Across many disciplines, she promotes creative approaches to complex needs through leadership training intensives, Open Space Technology, and Dialogue processes, lending her deep experience in leading change, consulting executives in change, and personal integration of change to transforming organizations.  Denise is former CEO of a leading edge international consciousness organization and currently serves on the Board of Voice for HOPE-Healers Of Planet Earth, which was organized to provide strategic vision, leadership, and support to the natural health constituency wanting to be more active in reforming national health care.  Additionally she advocates for health freedom, the advancement of natural healing approaches in health policy, and the end of life doula profession in her home state of Colorado where she lives with her partner of 40 years, two grown sons and three grandchildren.