Open Studio

What is the 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!

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:



June 25, 9 am PDT and 3 pm PDT – Engaging Youth in Community Issues Using Systems Thinking/System Dynamics

Calling educators, students, and leaders! Join this Open Studio session to interact with two recent college graduates and Waters Center Associates, Trevor Hicks and Dianne Lam, on how they have used systems thinking tools and system dynamics in their work dissecting community issues with high school students. Learn how they got started, their process, and how their process has inspired students to be advocates in their schools and communities. This session will be interactive, so bring your ideas and questions!



July 9, 9 am PDT and 3 pm PDT – Addressing the Unknown with the Ladder of Inference

The Ladder of Inference is a metaphor we can use to understand how perceptions and mental models develop unconsciously. It can be an uncomfortable experience to surface mental models, but it is one of the most important places to intervene in a system. In this Open Studio, we will use the Ladder to examine the fears, thoughts and perspectives we may have as we continue to adapt to an unknown future. The “unknown” could be wondering what school will look like in the fall, what the state of the economy will be in the coming months, job security, or the COVID-19 virus itself.



Check back later for additional events!