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Kathy Loeppky
Conference Coordinator

(505) 844-2376

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Open Spaces Technology

A feature introduced at the 2015 International Meshing Roundtable was Open Spaces Technology (OST). A two hour sesssion was set aside for all attendees to participate in self-organized discussions on any topic relevant to the conference. In response to the often heard comment that the most valuable knowledge gained from the IMR results from informal, off-line discussions with other attendees. The OST helped facilitate some of these discussions by providing a forum to help coordinate these interactions. The session was well received and considered a successful addtition to the IMR. The decision was made to incorporate the OST again for the 26th IMR. The following provides some insight into how these sessions will be organized.

  1. Self-organization: Throughout the conference leading up to the OST event, a bulletin board will be available in a central location. Any attendee may post a topic for discussion using the sticky notes provided. Topics may range from very specific technical questions to broader brain-storming and idea gathering.

  2. Proposing an OST session: The only requirement for proposing an OST session is that you must be willing to begin the discussion at the time and place indicated. Attendees will be free to choose to attend any discussion throughout the afternoon. The person proposing the idea or topic does not necessarily need to be an expert on the topic. On the contrary, you are encouraged to propose OST sessions for which you would like to gain more knowledge or feel is a challenge in your current research and work.

  3. Timing: To begin Tuesday’s OST, all attendees will gather in the main conference room. Those proposing a session will have up to one minute to present their topic. Times and locations for each discussion will be coordinated at that time. Sessions will have up to 30 minutes, however attendees are free (and encouraged) to move between sessions at any time. OST sessions may finish early, have no one show up, or may be overflowing and have people want to continue the discussion beyond the allotted time. All scenarios are expected and a part of OST.

  4. Wrap-up: Following the informal OST discussions all attendees will gather for a short debriefing where those that proposed an OST session can choose to briefly summarize their discussions and outcomes.

OST sessions are not intended to be a forum to present a research topic, advertise a product or give a prepared presentation. Although slides and demonstrations may be a good medium to help facilitate discussion and explain ideas, open conversation should be the norm.

While any relevant topic to the IMR may be reasonable to propose as an OST session, the following is just a sampling of different ideas for topics. Start thinking now about what topics you would like to learn more about at this year’s IMR.