Third Space is at the center of a digital-driven era.

Are you a Thirdspace Thinker Learn More
Are you a Thirdspace Thinker? Learn More


“The Center for Third Space Thinking promotes a better world through strategic communication and wiser actions.”

The Center, based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles, advances its goals through applied research, university teaching, leadership education and world-class convenings. Created by Dean Ernest J. Wilson III alongside Annenberg's renowned professors, the Third Space model builds upon the core element of the new global reality - as the communications revolution rushes to the center of modern society, success now demands new innovative ways of thinking and acting in the face of radical changes. Armed with the five attributes of adaptability, empathy, intellectual curiosity, cultural competence and 360-degree thinking, our partners are better able to seize amazing new opportunities and reduce dangerous risks in today’s digital, communication-rich world. We invite you to join and co-create our future collaborative space together.



In a digital-driven era, Communication has moved to the center.


Third Space brings together all aspects of an organization through dynamic thinking and a collaborative approach.


This is the promise of Third Space, leading to better and more powerful innovation.



Demonstrates emotional and cross-cultural intelligence; capable of working inclusively and respectfully with others of various cultures and orientations. Also demonstrates organizational intelligence and broad, cross-functional thinking, shunning the limitations of structural, geographic, departmental, or other organizational boundaries that may hinder effective problem-solving and goal-attainment.


Demonstrates mental agility and remains comfortable with ambiguity and flexible in the face of continual change. Capable of effective problem-solving and exploration of various alternative scenarios by drawing upon principles from multiple disciplines, including design, technology and economics as well as communications.


Takes a holistic, multi-dimensional, analytical approach to problem solving. Able to convert information into insights, considering potential relationships between disparate data points and engaging in sense- making by “connecting the dots.”


Capable of understanding others’ priorities and perspectives, by engaging in active listening and focusing on reflective responses that clarify and strengthen dialogue. Able to effectively interpret others’ viewpoints, and integrate these insights into more effective approaches for problem- solving and need fulfillment.


Possesses a hunger for knowledge that fuels ever-higher levels of learning and performance. Strives for measurable growth and demonstrates emotional intelligence and savvy with regard to organizational. and cultural mores.


Dean Ernest Wilson

Founder of Third Space

Ernest James Wilson III, Ph.D., is the Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is also a professor of political science, a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, a board member for the Pacific Council on International Policy and the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010, the last year as chairman.

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Gary Wexler

Senior Advisor/Creative

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Bill Chandler

Senior Advisor, Third Space

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Paula Askanas

Executive Vice President, Worldwide Communications at Sony Pictures Television

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Mauricio Mota

Co-founder of The Alchemists, Entertainment Group

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Robert Kozinets

Chair of Strategic Public Relations at USC Annenberg

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Kevin Lynch

Chief Strategy Officer and Executive VP of AECOM

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Paul Bricault

Managing Partner Amplify.LA and Venture Partner Greycroft Partners

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Tracy Lawrence

Member Board of Advisors at Nile Capital

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Thomas Pernice

President and Founder of Modena Holding Corporation

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Don Spetner

Senior Corporate Advisor, Weber Shandwick

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Jill Totenberg

CEO of The Totenberg Group

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Seth Jacobsen

Principal, JCI Worldwide

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