Generating ideas, connections, and action

2014 Creating Space

This year's Creating Space focused entirely on application and experimentation, using design thinking and other similar processes.  The overall goal of the event was to accelerate leadership innovations, by allowing participants to not only share ideas and tools, but actually prototype innovations that can be incubated together and put into practice.

By applying a design/learning lab approach to both sharing tools and developing new practices to make leadership development more networked, collective, and inclusive, this year's gathering will both harvest and share exciting models of leadership. As a complement to the conversations and networking opportunities among colleagues, we facilitated a series of activities that resultated in two takeaways.

  • A set of practical breakthroughs for deepening leadership development practice
  • An engaged network to continue innovating and learning around these breakthroughs and their application in creating transformative change

Creating Space brings together hundreds of leadership development programs, funders, evaluators, researchers and consultants to share ideas and build connections.

The Creating Space Experience:

Ever since the first Creating Space, the Leadership Learning Community has implemented a vision of a collaborative learning environment that honors participants’ knowledge and experience as well as capturing the wisdom and emergent learning in the room.  Rather than creating a conference, we created an un-conference challenging the idea that speakers or experts hold all the knowledge, and participants simply passively receive information.  Creating Space is a unique gathering that focuses on unleashing innovative thinking through multiple voices and a range of ideas by harvesting the participants’ broad collective expertise and creating a welcoming space to share lessons, tackle tough problems, and think together about new frontiers of learning.

A signature strategy or tool for supporting this more active mode of learning has been the use of Open Space technology.  Using Open Space, participants become “designers” helping to shape and influence the meeting content by suggesting issues of immediate importance to their work or offering compelling new models making a difference in their practice.  Participants then self-organize around these topics for small group conversations.  This year, in addition to Open Space, we requested ideas from the community in advance, and organized sessions and topic hosts for the event.

  Read 2014 Creating Space Agenda

  Read about this year's Catalysts and Participants

  For information about future Creating Space events, register for the LLC newsletter.



Resources used at CSXI

  PDF of "Poems Used At CSXI"

  PDF of "Kim Dabbs' Design Thinking: Gift Challenge Worksheet"

  PDF of "Heather McLeod Grant's Design Challenge Presentation"

  PDF of "Michael McAfee Design Challenge Presentation"

  PDFs of Michael McAfee Resources

Resources shared by participants:

  "Seven Transformations of Leadership" Shared by Leigh Marz


CSXI Articles

  Reflections on Creating Space 2014 (May 2014)

 Superpowers and Kryptonite: Practices for Cultivating a Mindset of Generosity (May 2014)

 Creating Space 2014: Visualizing the Participant Network (May 2014)

 Guest Blog Post: Playing Cards for Culture Change | Eugene Eric Kim (May 2014)

 Guest Blog Post: A Racial Equity Leadership Network | Author: Uma Viswanathan, Urban Habitat (May 2014)

 Personal Ecology: A Reflection on Community (May 2014)


Event Media


Creating Space FAQs:

1. Who should attend Creating Space?

2. What are the benefits of participating in Creating Space?

3. How can I help promote Creating Space?

4. Who can I contact with additional questions?

5. Where can I find more information about past Creating Space events?

6. Where can I find out about past Creating Space participants?

1. Who should attend Creating Space?

We invite leadership programs, funders, researchers, consultants and evaluators across the nation to join the event. In short everyone who has an interest in leadership development and learning.  Come prepared to contribute what you know and benefit from the experience of others!


2. What are the benefits of participating in Creating Space?

  • You will be exposed to new leadership development models, resources, evaluation strategies and/or new ways of thinking about how to support leadership with the capacity to increase the collective impact of your work.
  • You will feel supported and/or challenged to consider changes in your own leadership work that could increase the impact of your work in communities, networks and systems.

  • You will participate in a meeting that values a culture that is inclusive of and respectful of diverse viewpoints and where all voices are heard.
  • You will have the opportunity to network with other stakeholders and remain connected for purposes of learning and collaboration.


3. How can I help promote Creating Space?

You can help by forwarding the invitation to the event to your channels. We encourage you to tweet about the event using the hashtag #CreatingSpace2013. Include the url


4. Who can I contact with additional questions?

Please contact info@leadershiplearning.orgOr Call Miriam at (510) 238-9080


5. Where can I find more information about past Creating Space events?

Click here for past Creating Space Agendas


6. Where can I find out about past Creating Space participants?
Here are some of the organizations that have participated in Creating Space events before - also, check out quotes from past participants!

  • Public Allies
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Open Society Institute
  • Development Guild/DDI              
  • Institute of International Education
  • Rollins College
  • Tides Center
  • Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc.
  • Youth Leadership Institute
  • Blandin Foundation
  • Center for Ethical Leadership
  • Consumer Health Foundation
  • Data Center
  • Demos
  • Dig In
  • International Leadership Association
  • Office of Student Life/UCB
  • Rechtman Consulting Group
  • Women's Leadership Circles

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