Open Sentences

Incomplete Sentences

“Open Sentences” is an easy-to-lead interactive process in pairs. It is a structure for spontaneous expression and attentive listening. The Open Sentences Process helps explore a topic and often brings to light surprising thoughts, feelings, and new ideas.

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What are Open Sentences?

Incomplete sentences trigger the wish to finish them. Just like questions, open sentences can be used in many different ways, for all kind of topics. We present to you Open Sentences, an exercise we had especially good experiences with, introduced by Joanna Macy.

This exercise is embedded in a setting of pairwork with a deep listener as a support to explore thoughts, feelings and ideas around a topic. This method helps people listen with rare receptivity as well as speak their thoughts and feelings frankly. It helps dive right into things that matter, creates trust, and vitalizes the group.

  • Appreciative / Community building
  • Awareness Raising
  • Harvesting
  • Icebreaker
  • Idea generator
  • Integration of input into daily life
  • Opener
  • Problem Solving
  • Reflection
  • Social skills
  • Team Building / Trust Building
Innovation Phases
  • 2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture
  • 3 Fostering New Perspectives & Ways of Thinking
  • 4 Idea Generation
  • 5 Grounding the Idea
  • 9 Evaluation
Train the Trainer seminars including Open Sentences can be found here: