Summertime and the Learning is Easy!

We are offering a variety of workshops this summer! There is something for everyone. From the classroom to the boardroom, our summer professional development opportunities will provide innovative, applicable, and collaborative learning that is beneficial for any role in a system.

Stay up to date with all Waters Foundation events on our events calendar.


Systems Thinking Approach to School-Based Challenges Workshop

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May 31, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunnyside Unified School District Administrative Office, Tucson, AZ

Facilitator: Mary Quinnan, Executive Director, Leadership and School Improvement, Waters Foundation

Approaching, and ultimately overcoming, school-based challenges can be daunting — this workshop will get participants comfortable with identifying issues and working to solve them using several tools to explore the interconnections and relationships of school systems.

Participants will practice and apply the tools and Habits of systems thinking to everyday challenges affecting school leadership and the education system as a whole. By identifying perceptions that may hinder progress and looking for patterns to avoid quick fixes, participants will be able to identify possible leverage actions that deliver positive results.

This highly interactive and collaborative workshop will include real-life examples and experiences from schools approaching school-based challenges using systems thinking.

For more information and to register, click here.


The Habit-Forming Workshop to Becoming a Systems Thinker

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June 5, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, Tucson, AZ

Facilitator: Sheri Marlin, Chief Learning Officer, Waters Foundation

This workshop will use the book, The Habit-Forming Guide to Becoming a Systems Thinker, to introduce the foundation of systems thinking.

A systems thinking point of view encourages individuals to step back and see the whole picture, rather than focusing on just its parts. When individuals have a clear and deep understanding of their jobs, departments, divisions or organizations as whole systems, they are better equipped to identify leverage actions that lead to improvements and desired outcomes.

Through highly interactive and innovative approaches, participants will learn and practice strategies that will inform the quality of day-to-day interactions and propel desirable outcomes.

Whether you are a student, professional, business leader, community volunteer, civic leader, or simply a lifelong learner, you will walk away with new ideas, insights and skills to impact your system.

The day will be filled with hands-on activities for participants to understand and practice systems thinking concepts, including:

  • Learning and applying the 14 Habits of a Systems Thinker in a variety of contexts.
  • Understanding the causal interdependencies that influence the behavior of complex systems.
  • Identifying mental models that may influence behavior and actions.
  • Discovering concrete strategies to impact systems.
  • Practicing problem solving, decision making, and communication within groups that are made of up diverse perspectives working toward a common goal.

For more information and to register, click here.


Systems Thinking: Developing Capacity for Thinking, Leading and Learning Workshop

July 24 – 26, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Puget Sound Educational Service District, Renton, WA

Facilitator: Tracy Benson, President, Waters Foundation

This three-day workshop will provide an introduction to systems thinking Habits, concepts and tools that can be directly applied to leadership development, organizational learning and district and school improvement.

Participants will:

Learn and be able to apply the 14 Habits of a Systems Thinker.
Increase understanding of how mental models are developed over time and how to productively utilize the diverse perspectives people hold about systems of interest.
Identify the causal interdependencies that influence the behavior of complex systems and use that deeper understanding to effectively identify leverage actions.
Develop insights about short-term, long-term and unintended consequences of decisions and actions.
Create a customized plan to apply systems thinking to the achievement of workplace goals.

For more information and to register, click here.