Open Studio
by the Waters Center for Systems Thinking

In April of 2020, when the COVID crisis was in full swing and many companies, schools and organizations around the world were dealing with shut downs and/or working remotely for the first time, Waters Center created an initiative called Open Studio to bring learners from around the world together in a virtual setting, free of charge. Open Studio was also a way for us to pivot our own work to a fully virtual setting and to create a community of like-minded thinkers.
Open Studio consists of hour-long Zoom learning sessions led by Waters Center staff and special guests from various fields of interest. Each session examines a different topic through a systems thinking lens. Just like our in-person workshops, sessions are interactive and include opportunities for dialogue among participants and facilitators.

Project Goals

  • Provide an engaging, thought-provoking and applicable systems thinking learning session free of charge.
  • Provide systems thinking instruction to address systemic issues.
  • Use systems thinking Habits & tools to assess the state of current systems.
  • Build a systems thinking community that spans the globe.
  • Engage new learners in the Waters Center approach to systems thinking capacity building.
  • Foster a spirit of collaboration and work with other leaders who are engaging in cutting- edge systems thinking work.

“Open Studio sessions have been not only valuable learning, but have offered a welcome hour to focus on my own learning and development during otherwise extraordinarily hectic work weeks. I love them!”
- Open Studio Attendee

Highlights and Impact

  • Over 90% Open Studio participant satisfaction rate
  • Diverse audience participants from early childhood, PK-12, higher education, non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, consultants and more, representing countries around the world
  • Wide range of topics covered catering to different areas of interest
  • Notable guest speakers including Linda Booth Sweeney and members of the Iowa Department of Education
  • Due to popular demand, an off-shoot of Open Studio called Teacher Studio was developed to address the specific needs and interests of educators.
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