Open Studio

The Open Studio consists of hour-long Zoom meeting sessions led by Waters Center staff. Each session will examine a different topic through a systems thinking lens. Just like our in-person workshops, sessions will be interactive and include opportunities for dialogue among participants. So be prepared to have your web camera on and to connect with other systems thinkers from around the world!

We are committed to supporting teachers in any way we can. Teacher Studio sessions will use systems thinking Habits, tools and strategies to take a deep dive into areas of interest for educators from varying systems. We will also provide ideas for lesson plans that can be adapted to different grade levels. Teacher Studio will occur the first Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. PDT.

Do I need to know about systems thinking to attend?

Each Open Studio session will cater to everyone from a seasoned systems thinker to a beginner. However, we do recommend signing up to the Thinking Tools Studio and exploring the various courses and resources available in addition to the Habits of a Systems Thinker prior to sessions when possible.

Are Open Studio Sessions free?

Yes! We are happy to offer these sessions free of charge. Donations are always appreciated to help us continue our efforts to openly share our resources — no amount is too little.

How do I sign up?

To register for Open Studio sessions, visit the Thinking Tools Studio. Please note, you will need to register for the Thinking Tools Studio to sign up for a session. Registration will open for sessions on a rolling basis (typically one-week prior to the session occurring).

Register Now

Upcoming Sessions:



Thursday, February 4, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. PST
Addressing Homelessness and Housing Instability through Systems Thinking

Housing is a human right and foundational to well-being, yet many are experiencing homelessness and are at risk of housing insecurity. For Linda Xiong, Systems Change Manager with the Texas Homeless Network, and Alexandria Sedar, Peacebuilder and Systems Change Consultant, shifting mental models, both around housing and your systems-thinking practice, are key to making a positive and sustainable impact. In this session, Linda and Alexandria will discuss how they each apply a systems thinking approach to address homelessness and housing instability – one through a systems mapping project and one through the ongoing implementation of Coordinated Entry for a Continuum of Care. This Open Studio will provide insight into using systems thinking to support collective impact work within and between institutions to address housing insecurity, homelessness, and other complex social problems.

Linda Xiong
As the Systems Change Manager at Texas Homeless Network, Linda Xiong supports systems change through the planning and implementation of Coordinated Entry with communities across the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care. She holds a Masters of Sustainable Peacebuilding from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she studied systems thinking and conflict transformation. She is passionate about building relationships and resilience in communities. Her interest in addressing complex social and environmental issues stems from her background in the fashion industry where a multitude of issues emerged.

Alexandria Sedar
Alexandria Sedar is a Peacebuilder specializing in systems thinking, international development and public health. Her work is centered in cultivating collaboration and trust among stakeholders and she has worked across disciplines and world regions. Her most recent projects include issues of eviction in Milwaukee, co-creation of water systems and management in Guatemala’s Ixil Triangle, and the protection and the expression of indigenous knowledge in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The latter contributed to the collaborative project, with Linda Xiong and Katherine Riebe, Decolonizing Agriculture: A Case Study of Chakra in the Ecuadorian Amazon which was a finalist in Oxford University’s Map the System Competition. Currently, she is the evaluation specialist and grant co-manager for the Center for International Education at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She is also a mentor for Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at UWM and the vice chair of EWB USA’s committee on project monitoring evaluation and learning.

Alexandria received a Master in Sustainable Peacebuilding from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she was an Advanced Opportunity Fellow and an instructor for Introduction to Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution.



Saturday, February 6, 9 a.m. PST
Teacher Studio: Systems Thinking Celebrates Love of Reading

“The more you read, the more you know. The more you know the more places you will go.” – Dr. Seuss.

Translated into the language of reinforcing feedback, this quote could read, “the more you know, the better you read, the better you read, the more you know.” However you say it, reading and systems are an ideal pairing. Celebrate love of reading and take away some favorite titles with explicit connections to the tools and Habits of systems thinking.



Check back later for additional events!