The Gathering for Change-Makers


Join us for three days of collaborative problem-solving. Gain skills from expert-led workshops, then use them to tackle a project you’re passionate about.

Join a global network. Make a local change.

The OpenCitizen Gathering brings together a passionate group of leaders, innovators, educators, students and lifelong learners to tackle issues in three thematic tracks:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Future of learning
  • Environment and climate change

OpenCitizen Gathering 2021

November 12–14, 2021
Arcosanti, Arizona
Apply now



Get to know your fellow change-makers.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM


Brainstorm bold project ideas to take action on over the weekend.

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Skills MasterClass

Building Problem-Solving Teams

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM


Build consensus around the most exciting project ideas and form teams for the weekend.

8:15 PM – 8:30 PM


Campfires and conversations in beautiful Arcosanti.

9:00 PM

Short Talks

Hear stories of community-based, question-driven problem solving in communities around the world.

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM


Use questions and research to better understand the problem your project will solve.

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Skills Masterclass

Everything is an Experiment

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM


Learn to evaluate the importance of questions. Use your research to refine your goal.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Skills MasterClass

The Power of Community

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Short Talks

Hear stories of community-based, question-driven problem solving in communities around the world.

5:15 PM – 6:15 PM


Campfires and conversations in beautiful Arcosanti.

7:00 PM

Short Talks

Hear stories of community-based, question-driven problem solving in communities around the world.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Meet a group of individuals who came to The Gathering for the same reason you did. Decide what the next steps look like for you.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Create an action plan based on everything you’ve learned about your team’s challenge.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Meet the speakers


Maria Anguiano
Executive Vice President, ASU Learning Enterprise

Photo of Tara Chklovski speaker-bg

Tara Chklovski
Founder & CEO, Technovation


Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Principal Investigator, NASA Psyche mission; ASU Vice President and Co-chair, ASU Interplanetary Initiative; Co-founder, Beagle Learning


Alexis Hope
Designer & Researcher, MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group

Photo of Michael Littig speaker-bg

Michael Littig
Co-Founder, Zuckerberg Institute


Nakeyshia Kendall
​Founder & CEO, MindCatcher


Randy Mahlerwein
Assistant Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools


Laura McBain
K12 Lab Director of Community and Implementation, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University


Meg Riordan
Chief Learning Officer, The Possible Project


What is the application process?

All participants must first apply to attend the OpenCitizen gathering. The applications will be reviewed, selected then invited to register for the OpenCitizen gathering taking place Nov 12-14, 2021 at Arcosanti.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through September 30, 2021.

When are the applicants selected and notified?

Applicants will be selected and notified by October 8, 2021.

Is there an age limit to applying?

Yes, applicants must be 18 years or older.

How much does it cost to attend?

The Gathering has a three-tiered pricing model:

  • Pay-it-forward [Industry rate] $1,500.00
  • Bring-the-goods [Academic and non-profit rate] $850.00
  • Seed-the-future [Student rate] $300.00

Your registration fee covers your ticket, your accommodations for two nights, and six meals throughout the weekend. We also have a limited number of needs-based scholarships available. Please indicate on your application if you will require a scholarship to attend.

Do I need to have a team or project to participate at the OpenCitizen Gathering?

We welcome all. No prior project ideas or teams are required to participate.

Will there be a shuttle service to/from Phoenix to Arcosanti?

No, participants are responsible for arranging their ground transportation to/from Arcosanti.

Where can I go to learn more about Arcosanti?

Visit their website at

What do the camping accommodations include?

Each tent accommodates two participants. All tents include two twin beds with plush bedding: sleeping pilots, duvet, sheets and pillows. The tents also contain a wood crate, lantern, rug, chair, mirror and two complete towel sets with soap.

Will I share a tent with a fellow citizen?

Yes, and what a fun way to get to know each other! Participants will be notified of their roommate after registering and prior to attending.

What should I pack for the weekend?

Pack comfortable clothes for a camping trip. The average temperatures at Arcosanti in November run 66 degrees high / 39 degrees low. Pack evening coats and hats, good hiking shoes and layered clothing.

Are my meals and accommodations included in my registration cost?

Yes, your meals and accommodations are included in the registration package.

Is there internet access at Arcosanti?

Yes, Arcosanti has free high speed Wi-Fi that is accessible from most areas of its grounds and buildings.

Can I take photographs and video footage?

Yes, you may take photos and videos for personal purposes, though any photography or videography intended for commercial use must have prior approval. We ask that you be respectful of residents and employees; Arcosanti is private property and the home and workplace of almost 80 residents. OpenCitizen team will have professional photographers/videographers on site to capture the weekend gathering. All participants will be asked to sign a photo/video release waiver.

Is Arcosanti ADA accessible?

There are some areas to Arcosanti that are not ADA accessible; this includes the Café, Windbell Gallery, most overnight Guest Rooms and the Arcosanti Foundry Apse. They do have ADA-accessible restroom facilities and an AirBnB room that is accessible but does not meet the full ADA requirements due to the door width.

Do people live at Arcosanti?

Yes, Arcosanti has a small community of mostly adults and a few children and seniors who reside there year-round. Like any community, Arcosanti’s residents have a wide range of interests, careers, and backgrounds, and each person contributes to the Urban Laboratory through volunteering or working for Cosanti Originals or The Cosanti Foundation.

Learn more on the Arcosanti Life page.


Location and directions

Arcosanti is located near Cordes Junction, Arizona, about 70 miles north of Phoenix, at the intersection of the I-17 and the route 69 highways. Exit the highway at Arcosanti Road and follow the signs that will lead motorists on a lengthy dirt and gravel road to Arcosanti’s grounds and distinctive architecture.
Get Directions to Arcosanti


Camping accommodations

Registered participants will be accommodated in luxury bell tents in the Minds Garden at Arcosanti, a secluded and expansive site, overlooking the Agua Fria River canyon. An OpenCitizen coordinator will welcome and orient participants to the Arcosanti’s grounds to ensure theirs is an incredible camping experience. The campsite will include two safari bath suites with showers.



Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
3400 E Sky Harbor Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85034


Shuttle Service

Western Express Shuttle offers transportation between PHX and Arcosanti in Mayer, Arizona. To schedule your ride call (928)-301-1368

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