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 2015 International Meshing Roundtable introduced Open Spaces Technology (OST) sessions as a scheduled part of the conference. OST allows conference attendees to participate in self-organized discussions on any topic relevant to the conference.

Self-organization: Throughout the conference until the day before 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.

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.

Timing: To begin the 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 60 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. If you find that you are not enjoying a session, please leave and move to another session you may enjoy more--this is part of the OST experience. All scenarios are expected and a part of OST.

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.

Note: In order to schedule rooms and to accomodate as many high-quality OST sessions as possible, the suggestion board will be up only until COB on the day before the session. This gives the conference organizers time to schedule rooms; in the case there are more submissions than rooms, the committee will reduce the topics to fit the available space.

If you have questions about the Open Spaces session, or if you have a topic you would like included contact:

Angela Herring, Chair
Los Alamos National Laboratory