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The story

It was my second semester of graduate school when the 2016 election results were announced. The outcome came as a shock to me and opened my eyes to my own self-righteousness, denial and lack of political engagement. I began to see the "other side" in a new light, seeking to understand rather than to be understood. However, all around me I was witnessing growing divisiveness and acts of resistance that felt misaligned with what I had learned. I felt compelled to offer another option, a place for people looking for something different. So I began to create a space that could provide the healing that I needed, in the hope that others would find value in it. And they did. And together, by putting our ideologies aside, connecting to our humanity and understanding our shared values, we began to build a new vision for what this country could be...


The goal of 3rd Space is to inspire civic engagement and local leadership by giving citizens the power to convene and discuss social issues that are important to them. The 3rd Space has uniquely positioned itself as a safe space for cross-partisan dialogue and the generation of new ideas. We aim to shift the focus from what we are against, toward what we are for. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to work together and vision for the kind of society we all want to live in.

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The Model 

The 3rd Space initially began with the design of a workshop which has been prototyped in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, California with over 50 participants. Drawing from Design Thinking and Action Research approaches, The 3rd Space Political Engagement Workshop was designed to bring together people of diverse perspectives and beliefs to create a vision for the future. In order to enact change we must be able to articulate what we are seeking to create. When we let go of party identities and the limiting structures of the status quo, not only can we create innovative political systems but we also find that we are more alike than we are different.

The Political Engagement Workshop has proven to be an effective tool in bridging diverse audiences and generating creative solutions. However, we realized that our users were looking for more than a one-time experience. Participants were coming to workshops seeking tools, support and a community to create real social change. As a result, we have developed a suite of programs designed to better equip our participants to enact the kind of social change they are seeking. Programming is currently being prototyped and tested with sample audiences throughout California. Contact us to learn more about how you can support the expansion of our programming through funding and sponsorship.



The Workshop brings together a diverse group of participants to work through the issues they care about most. While there is a structure in place the content is generated by the participants, allowing them to lead the conversation and maintain ownership over what they create.



The Leadership Series keeps participants engaged and connected, equipping them with the skills and tools to be effective levers of change in their communities. 



Local Leaders are groups of individuals who take action on local and national issues through cross-partisan collaboration. The 3rd Space serves as a support and resource to these groups.