• The Center for Third Space Thinking

    We put the hard edge on soft skills.

    Our Mission: To empower aspiring leaders with the essential hard-edged soft skills required to make more intelligent decisions in today’s complex world.

  • The Center for Third Space Thinking

    Housed in USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism the Center for Third Space Thinking is dedicated to conducting applied research, executive leadership education, community empowerment and teaching a whole new generation of leaders, equipping them with the problem-solving skills needed to thrive in a communication-at-the-center world.

  • Soft Skills Boot Camp

    November 8

    A one-day, immersive experience to help you master the critical soft skills needed in today’s competitive workplace and take your career to the next level.

Third Space Thinking

A communications-driven methodology to frame and solve problems. It’s a fresh, distinctive way of thinking that helps unlock innovation, drive collaboration, develop talent and enhance organizational performance rooted in five key competencies required for success in today’s ever-changing world.

Our Programs

Leadership Development

We offer two primary executive leadership training opportunities specifically designed for companies and their high-performers.


We are equipping students with the essential soft skills and critical thinking required for success in today’s digitally disrupted world.

Community Engagement

We are committed to sharing our knowledge with diverse and less fortunate communities who deserve the benefit from soft skill development.

Upcoming Events

Thursday February 14 - 17, 2019
Location: Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL

37th United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) Annual Conference

Forum: Strengthening Communities Through Diverse Advocacy Methods

Moderator: Jaime Carias

The forum will bring distinctive approaches to civic engagement and will focus on the importance of collective action through diverse strategies and methods that can be used to unite communities across the country. The panelists will share their personal approach to civic wealth as well as the role of civic engagement in underserved communities of color and the tactics needed to increase civic participation.

ACE-IT Skills: Young Professionals and Career Success

How can Young Professionals ensure they have all the skill sets, talent and mindsets to be successful in today's complex and ever-changing world? While technical skills such as STEM as important, soft skills are equally, if not more important. So what can Young Professionals do to ensure their own professional development and also prepare to continue growing throughout their careers? Jaime Carias from the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking will present a new communication-based methodology to help Young Professionals master the critical soft skills needed in today's competitive workplace and take their careers to the next level.

Tuesday March 12, 2019
Location: JW Marriot LA Live

2019 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Annual Conference

ACE-IT Skills: Student Affairs Professionals and Student Success

The USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking will present their communication-driven, research-based methodology to help Student Affairs professionals master the critical soft skill needed to thrive in today’s complex and ever-changing world. Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III and Jaime Carias will teach participants how to develop ACE-IT skills amongst themselves and the populations they serve.

June 10 - 13, 2019
Location:  USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles

USC Third Space Youth Institute 

The Center for Third Space Thinking will welcome 60 high school students from Riverside County and Los Angeles County. These students are currently participating in the counties' Migrant Education Program (MEP) and are on track to become first-generation college students.

What Others Are Saying

  • Clearly my two team members thoroughly enjoyed the Third Space Boot Camp. They enjoyed it so much that they suggested we invite the Dean to join us at an upcoming offsite for a Third Space experience of some kind.

    Bill Chandler, Former Chief Communications Officer - Western Union

  • Third Space Thinking challenged us to think outside the box about the issues impacting our organization and helped create a framework and common language around which to structure our strategic planning process.

    Reesa McCoy Staten, Senior VP - Robert Half

  • Wilson’s remarks fittingly demonstrated both the need for and lack of certain ‘attitudes, perspectives, experiences and knowledge’ that the Third Space project aims to identify and instill in future talent.

    World Bank

  • People who can “code switch” between their hard and soft sides can integrate the two to yield both power and subtlety, turning third space talents into third space thinking.


  • Taken together, they create a kind of “Third Space” that differs sharply from the other two perspectives that have long dominated business thinking: the engineering and traditional MBA perspectives.

    Harvard Business Review

  • The Third Space describes new skill sets like collaboration, empathy, intellectual curiosity, adaptability, and one I really agree with is what Annenberg calls 360-thinking. All of these things define to be new requirements of our professionals.

    Jon Iwata, Former Senior Vice President Marketing and Communications, IBM

  • Jon Iwata, March 25, 2016

  • Peter Lee, March 25, 2016

  • Alyssa Schreiber, March 25, 2016



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