PIPELINE conferences feature Open Space sessions. The Open Space format encourages flexibility and participation, and we encourage everyone to get involved.

Law of Two Feet

Open Space provides a simple means to self-organise your time at the conference so that you get the most out of it. Open Space’ Law of Two Feet says that if you’re neither contributing nor getting value in the session you are in, slip away and go in search of a session where you can.

From that Law flow four principles:

  1. Whoever comes to your session are the right people
  2. Whatever happens in the session is the only thing that could have happened
  3. Sessions can start as soon as the facilitator is ready
  4. Session can end as soon as there’s no value prolonging it

Open Space Schedule

Opening Circle

Attendees gather alongside the agenda wall to hear the proposals for sessions.

One by one, those with a desire to host a session announce the title of the topic and a explanation of their session’s purpose. Sessions can be on anything participants want to share experience of, hold a discussion on or gain fresh insights on from other attendees.

They then select a free slot in the schedule and pin a card with the title of their session to the agenda wall.

Hosts may shuffle sessions around, or merge sessions with the agreement of other hosts.


Hosts chair the session, keep time and if useful record salient points of any discussion on the flip chart’s provided.

The Law of Two Feet means attendees can choose, if the wish, to adopt the role of bumblebees or butterflies.

Bumblebees flit from session to session, taking the salients points of the discussions with them pollinating, and cross-fertilising the threads of other discussion.

Butterflies float at the edges of the sessions picking up on the tone of conversations both in the rooms and in the hallway tracks.

Closing Plenary

Attendees gather back in the circle. A microphone is passed around and each attendee gives a single sentence summary on some aspect of the day.