Leadership Development

At the Center for Third Space Thinking we offer two primary executive leadership training opportunities specifically designed for companies and their high-performers. These leadership development opportunities help companies and employees unlock innovation, break down silos and drive collaboration across functions, create more diverse and higher performing cultures, enhance organizational performance and transform workplaces.

Third Space Trainings

Third Space Experience

Third Space Experience: The Third Space Experience is an immersive, one-day, custom, facilitated workshop held at a company site. It is designed to address a specific challenge faced by an organization and equip the participants with the knowledge they need to apply the new problem-solving framework.

Third Space Boot Camp

Third Space Boot Camp is a two-day, highly interactive leadership development program held in the new, state-of-the art Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism on the USC campus.

Designed for high performers in corporations, non-profits and government, Third Space Camp provides the participants an opportunity to discover personal insights into their own proficiency on the five core competencies and have direct interaction with a group of media savvy USC Annenberg students with their unique millennial perspectives on the world.

Customized Programs


China Programs

USC Annenberg designs 'best in class' courses for global media companies, corporations, government officials and research foundations throughout China, enabling them to meet their existing and growing needs. We combine academic courses with case studies and industry expertise to deliver customized programs tailored to each client’s unique culture and objective. Programs are taught in English with Chinese translation.


At the Center for Third Space Thinking we’re also beginning to equip students with the essential soft skills and critical thinking that is required for success in today’s complex and ever-changing world. Contrary to popular belief, we believe these soft skills can be taught.

The first course currently being taught is:

Professional Effectiveness: Building a Career Using Third Space Thinking

Applying the Third Space methodology and the critical competencies of Adaptability, Cultural Competency, Empathy, Intellectual Curiosity and 360 Degree Thinking students plot a career course leveraging their core strengths.

Other courses in development include:

The changing world of Communication & Journalism

This class provides students with two sets of essential competencies they will need to be successful in their career: what it means to major in the field of communication, journalism and public relations and how to use the Third Space Thinking framework to build communication and problem-solving skills to better prepare them for a professional career.

Life design workshop: Applying third space thinking to your life

Students apply the Third Space Thinking framework to the wicked problem of crafting a personalized road map for their life after college. Students build ACE-IT skills and self-awareness via assessments and in-class exercises.

Third space industry workshop

In this course, students engage with a partner from industry – such as a corporation, non-profit, or local government entity – and use Third Space Thinking tools to propose tangible solutions that will help the partner with a real world problem.

The most unconventional new teaching program is Annenberg X (AnnX), a suite of course offerings being designed to experiment with new formats, innovative subject matter, and even new instructors who come from the worlds of media, business, finance, entertainment, and others.

Community Engagement

At the Center for Third Space Thinking we are committed to sharing our knowledge with diverse and less fortunate communities who deserve to benefit from soft skill development. Over the past academic year, we have engaged with more than 150 youth from South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and Watts. Third Space has developed and implemented workshops aimed at further developing the soft skills based on the Third Space Thinking methodology and the five core attributes. To date, we have engaged young people through the following programs:

USC’s Annenberg’s civic engagement coordinator, Jaime Carias, recently led an interactive session on building critical Third Space soft skills at the 3rd Annual First-Generation College Student Summit held on the USC campus.

Annenberg Today

Twenty-one students from five local area high schools (Manual Arts, Dorsey, Washington Preparatory, Jordan and Crenshaw) participated in a three-week course that introduced them to a greater understanding of journalism and media practices. We also led four sessions over four days where high school students applied Third Space Thinking to helping solve California’s water drought, including creating a television ad to visualize their ideas.

High School Journalism Day

In the Spring of 2016, 70 high school students from Augustus Hawkins, Dorsey, Foshay and Bravo Medical Magnet participated in our bi-annual High School Journalism Day. The students engaged with our journalism faculty via hands-on workshops to further enhance their journalism skills. They also received a holistic overview of Third Space Thinking, the core attributes and how to apply them to their daily lives.

Using Third Space Thinking to Solve Inner City Challenges Through Media

In May 2016 100 students from eight local area high schools participated in programming designed to better understand and apply the Third Space Thinking methodology. The students designed and created a marketing campaign using the framework to raise awareness of the California water drought crisis in their school and communities.

YMCA East Los Angeles Visit to USC Annenberg

This past summer 35 students from eight local high school and two community colleges participated in a hands-on workshop focused on community police relations in the communities where they reside. The students applied the Third Space competencies to create posters presentations to tackle this social issue.

The Center for Third Space Thinking continues to look for additional opportunities to provide communication and leadership development training through workshops, classes and individual consultation for underserved populations throughout the Los Angeles area.

Upcoming Events

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.