We meet together, and invite new participants to join us, at Gatherings most years so far. These are events, held together by a local hosting team, but organised to allow open space for participants to create the agenda when we all meet. We each take responsibility for offering sessions and participating however we can. Gatherings are organised to create as much value from our meeting as possible. We donate any surplus money from the participant contributions to local groups and to reduce the contribution for those of us with limited resources.
OST 2013, Brighton, UK
At the Friends Meeting House in Brighton, a group of us met for our first Gathering. Using a meditative labyrinth, the stimulus of understanding different approaches to learning, and then wrestling with beginning to define or contain some of what we meant by 'Open Source Thinking, we spent a lot of time in and out of the Gathering in deep and, sometimes, heated conversation.
We left Brighton feeling that we had really begun something, even though we weren't sure what that was entirely. It was our first collective experience of understanding some of the power of connection, engagement and the bringing together of experiences.
OST2014- 16, Tostat, France
Bob, Rosemary, Alison and Andy met together in France in 2014 and put together the loose framework and principles for what became our 2nd Gathering in Tostat, France in 2016. Working by invitation principally to encourage people to come, we brought together a group from England, Scotland, France, Australia and Canada.
Working in French and English, we learnt the beginnings of weaving together cultural themes and differences of approach, and we also began to understand the power of shared practical activity and experience, building links between people without discussion. We also donated our surplus funds at the end of the event to a local voluntary organisation, Tostatenfleur, to support environmental activities in Tostat.
OST2017, Tostat, France
At Tostat this year, 2017, a differently composed group was brought together, and we actively sought the participation of a younger generation. We also substantially expanded the practical activity to a whole day working with and alongside local members of Tostatenfleur, in restoring and re-creating an abandoned public space, the Library Garden, in the village.
Surplus funds were donated to buy garden furniture for the new garden. In discussion together next day, it felt entirely appropriate and a great next step to explore and learn from practical environmental experience, and so the 2018 Gathering was born.
OST2018, La Burra Verde, Spain
At the eco-farm outside Orgiva, we spent 3 days learning how the farm works sustainably, from growing its own food, generating its own power, and handling its own waste. The group this year had more new participants than before, and the theme of working across generations became more and more significant for us as the gathering progressed. We planted a new garden near the main finca, and helped with clearing the acequias, ancient Moorish water channels, that provide the farm with irrigation.