Our Innovations
Spark’s focus on innovation, creativity and adaptation
Spark’s focus on innovation, creativity and adaptation, combines with a passion for making complex work less abstract and more hands-on.

We combine community and stakeholder-driven research with practical, hands-on experience and best practices, allowing for solutions that bridge sectors, issues, beliefs, and values. By integrating diverse policy systems, we identify and develop the best solutions for all stakeholders.


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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

The Adaptive Planning course lays out and explains each step of the adaptive planning process to enable you to increase utility, relevance, and sustainable and scalable impact. It’s accompanied by robust, tactical guidance and resources that strengthen your ability and confidence to successfully facilitate an adaptive strategy within your organization.

Strategic Leadership

The Strategic Leadership course from Spark will help you build the strategic leadership skills for creating a culture that collectively drives strategies forward through strategic choices.You will advance your ability to mobilize people, processes, and resources in ways that maximize impact.

Tools for Social Innovators

The Tools for Social Innovators is a community toolbox contributed to by experienced and cutting-edge social innovators. Each tool provides practical tools to help funders, nonprofits, business and community leaders enhance their ability to ignite social change.

Developmental Evaluation Toolkit

This toolkit provides practical tools to help novice-to-experienced social innovators enhance their understanding and practice of DE. They include frameworks, methods, learning techniques, tips, and more. These practical tools build on many thoughtful, thorough writings and courses on the theory and practice of the approach.

Adaptive Planning Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to walk through an adaptive planning process, from defining your results to exploring environmental context and then engaging in strategy and action planning. It includes practical and accessible examples, tools, tips and resources, building on Spark’s 15 years of experience in the field as well as that of our partners.

Tools for Integrating and Equity Lens

This toolkit is designed to help groups who tackle complex problems integrate an equity lens into the decisions they are making. It provides resources that are designed to help build a better understanding of equity, the importance of engaging those most directly affected by a problem and by potential solutions, and why holding an equity value is crucial in creating a meaningful change.

Action Builder Series

We care deeply about supporting your impact efforts. Learn more about our proven frameworks for strategic organizational needs.

Social Innovators Breakfast Series

We regularly host Social Innovators Breakfasts to create an informal space for local change agents to explore systems thinking and network with other social innovators. Learn more!

From Our Blog
How we see the world matters. Narratives, which are the underlying themes that hold together the stories we tell to make sense of our worlds, shape what possibilities are possible. According to the Narrative Initiative, narrative change strategy is everything from articulating both the new narrative you’re working to shift to and the existing, dominant one you’re trying […]
Learn more about Spark’s name change, our Learning Catalyst System, our Action Builder Series, and upcoming plans for 2020.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip6wwVJFrRUVisit our new website www.sparkinsight.com and learn more about how we can help you Do Good Even Better™ today!
For more than ten years, we have been at the forefront of using and creating new approaches and tools to address systems change and, more importantly, helping others learn to use them. As Spark has grown, we have built the skills and expertise needed to tackle complex problems throughout the country in a wide variety […]
Current systems are not working to meet different community’s needs across the Denver Metro area, especially when it comes to our educational systems, such as the early identification of young learners’ needs to the persistence of equity gaps in educational attainment and completion. In Colorado less than half of Colorado children receive developmental screenings to identify potential […]
We are committed to being open and transparent throughout our process of implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Spark. We have a lot of progress to share this month and hope it will be helpful to our staff, local community, peers, clients, and the people most affected by our work. After announcing our DEI commitment and sharing […]
In April, I had the pleasure of facilitating the Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments (ANHE) two-day strategic planning retreat. The goal was to chart a path forward that incorporated equity into their work, and we conducted interviews with members of the nursing community who were familiar with ANHE to understand how ANHE could best do this […]
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the need for “systems change” to achieve large-scale social impact. As someone deeply embedded in research and evaluation at the systems-level, I fundamentally believe that addressing complex problems requires system-level solutions. An increasing emphasis on systems – including a greater focus on multi-stakeholder […]
We’ve been busy this Spring! As promised, we want to be transparent in sharing our journey to incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles here at Spark. This blog post describes our DEI updates since May. Tools for sharing and reflection One of the early activities identified in our DEI plan was to develop a […]
n May 2018, our Social Innovators Breakfast Series launched a special summer focus: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change. Though we anticipate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will be an important component for all events in the series, we decided to kick things off with a DEI-specific topic: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of moving from Equality […]
Housing Affordability

September 4, 2018

Our Social Innovators Breakfast Series summer focus, Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, continued in June with a panel discussion on housing affordability. We are grateful to our three panelists for representing a range of perspectives and experiences, and for sharing their expertise and lessons learned: Claire Levy, Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and […]
Economic Growth

September 22, 2018

In continuation of the dialogue on the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, our July Social Innovators Breakfast focused on Colorado’s Economic Growth. We had three amazing panelists that guided the discussion and that we owe our deepest appreciation: Jake Williams: Healthier Colorado Elizabeth Garner: State Demography Office, Department of Local Affairs Lauren Ris: Colorado Water Conservation Board They […]
Research has traditionally defined rigor as obtaining an unbiased estimate of impact, suggesting the need for experimental or quasi-experimental methods and objective, quantitative measures in order to obtain trustworthy results. Research has traditionally defined rigor as obtaining an unbiased estimate of impact, suggesting the need for experimental or quasi-experimental methods and objective, quantitative measures in […]