How we partner for purpose

Strategy & Systems Change
Making sense of complex systems and creating powerful strategies requires practical insights. Spark leads the way in producing actionable insight through consulting, evaluation, and facilitation – help you move forward meaningfully.
Your journey of equity is good in theory but better in practice. Spark partners with you, communities, and individuals to bring tools to grow impact equitably.
Learning & Capacity Building
Your impact craves capacity to keep pace with change and be sustainable. Spark brings personalized solutions with our hearts, heads, and hands to build your capacity for impact.

Your tools for impact

Tools for Social Innovators is a community toolbox from experienced and cutting-edge social innovators. These resources provide practical tools to help funders, nonprofits, businesses, and community leaders enhance their ability to create impact and produce results.

Strategic Learning

The Strategic Learning course from Spark provides you with a foundational ability to communicate across your organization what strategic learning is and why it’s important for your company.

Adaptive Planning

This course is designed for Collaborative Community Action backbone organizations, groups, and initiatives tasked with fostering systems change through stakeholder engagement and collaboration

Collaborative Community

This course is designed for Collaborative Community Action backbone organizations, groups, and initiatives tasked with fostering systems change through stakeholder engagement and collaboration

Do Good, Even Better

Our Partners

Our Team

The leadership team at Spark has nearly a century of collective experience working with foundation and corporate leaders, communities, and non-profits to produce impact and results.

Kyle Brost, is the CEO of Spark Policy Institute, where he leads an interdisciplinary team that works to create meaningful change through adaptive, strategy design and high-quality research.
Daniela Hernandez

Project Coordinator

Daniela Hernandez helps facilitate projects through coordination, handling logistics, organizing, research, and community engagement in a variety of setting.
Kristin Lacy


Kristin provides research and evaluation services focused on food systems development, health equity and community engagement in domestic and international settings.
Joby Schaffer


Joby has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. He has led research projects with methods ranging from computer lab experiments, to public opinion surveys.
Kerry Vachta

Senior Researcher

Dr. Vachta has a Ph.D. in Forestry from Michigan State University with emphases in community/social forestry and urban/community and environmental sociology and an M.A. in Ecological Psychology.
Daniel Costie

Associate Researcher

Read the Latest

From the Blog
June, 07 2019
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Systems thinking is often considered a broad view of all the pieces required to make meaningful change happen. It’s essential to making real change – but when we equate the system with the change, we overlook the individual players. These individual players are crucial to making change happen, and can get lost in the complexity. ...
Many of our partners have adopted what Jed Miller and Rob Stuart called “Network-Centric Thinking.” They recognize that long-term sustainable progress on today’s social problems rarely comes from the efforts of a single organization. Rather, progress requires a strategy involving networks of organizations with the aim of producing network effects. However, the strategist and evaluator’s ...
Are We Getting Anywhere? At Spark, we’re experts at developing actionable strategies to achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes. But in today’s complex environment, it’s sometimes challenging for our partners to see the progress they’ve made. In our August newsletter, we’re sharing resources you can apply in real-life settings to measure your progress and take positive steps ...
When working to change complex systems it can be difficult for individual stakeholders to engage in authentic collaboration. This is neuroscience. We are all motivated to move away from perceived threats and toward perceived reward. Bringing multiple actors together to work toward a common goal can create conflict between doing what is best for the ...
Have you ever planned extensively for a trip, thinking through all of the things that could go wrong – lost luggage, food sickness, missing a flight, etc. – thinking with confidence that you have this trip in the bag, and then suddenly something unthinkable happens that you couldn’t possibly have planned for, such as a ...
The idea of time travel has always fascinated me and, if the recent proliferation of time travel-based TV shows (see: Outlander, Timeless, Making History, Travelers, Legends of Tomorrow) is any indication, I am not alone. Not only does time travel make for great reading and viewing, it can also be an interesting way to think ...
Our original plan for this month was to write about thankfulness – how thankful we are for you, our partners, who are the best part of what we do. We are grateful and humbled every day that we get to work alongside such inspiring people and organizations, whose efforts and initiatives are making a difference ...
This is the second part of a two-part blog that looks at the core elements of emergent strategies and how focusing on these elements allows us to manage and even benefit from the ambiguity and conflict that naturally emerge when solving complex problems. Our last blog looked at the four core elements of advancing an ...