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US Scrum Gathering, An All-Open Space Final Day

The 2010 US Scrum Gathering in Orlando wraps up after an all-Open Space Day 3, exemplifying the collaborative and empirical essence of Scrum as its originally intended.

Attendees had the pleasure of entering a wide open conference space at 8:30am to see a gigantic circle of chairs prepared to seat all of the few hundred gathering participants. At its center was Open Space creator Harrison Owen to kick off the festivities with some entertaining and enlightening banter, including a refresher on the Open Space formula ("sit in a circle, create a bulletin board, start a marketplace - and go to work"), an overview of the few rules (like "The Law of Two Feet", indicating if you aren't into the session your in then use your two feet and find another, that's all good), and a run-through of some the personality types that make Open Space work (like "The Butterfly" and "The Bee").

Then onto the creation of the "bulletin board", which within 10 minutes was filled with three 90 minute rounds of 18 sessions each, totaling over 50 audience generated topics for discussion. After a few minutes of a bustling "marketplace", it was 9:30 and off everyone went, to a corner, a side-room, a lobby floor, a table by the pool, to one of 18 pow-wows of their passion.

The day continued like this, and anyone "butterflying" around could witness one example after another of the phenomenon of successful self-organization - a certain recurring theme of the gathering on the whole.

By mid-afternoon the auditorium "News" wall was filled with revelations, decisions, learnings, and more that session participants took out of the diverse array of the day's workgroups. (Expect these to be available on the Alliance website and/or Gathering blog soon)

3:30 and the circle filled back up for an official wrap-up, by Scrum Alliance president and chairmen Tom Mellor, of what many called "the best gathering ever" (one attendee's interesting tweeted description was "summer of Love mixed with great content").

According to Mellor, there are more opportunities to join a Gathering this year for those around the globe, in Shanghai in a few months then another in South Africa in September with a possible event somewhere in India as well.

Check out this reporter's take on Day 1 and Day 2, and for more info and resources from the event check periodically back to the official conference website, gathering blog, and on twitter with the hashtag #sgus.

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