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Our Story

In 2018, Arizona State University (ASU) was recognized as being the #1 innovative university among U.S. colleges and universities for the fourth consecutive year. A small group of experienced and passionate process improvement, design thinking, and higher education subject matter experts got together to brainstorm on how ASU can incorporate the “doing” of innovation for Innovation Day.

Challenges that were encountered with the idea of “doing” for Innovation Day on a large scale across ASU where: 

  • The traditional approaches to innovation were perceived as requiring too much time

  • There simply weren’t enough people trained in “innovation” approaches, which included design thinking, Lean Six Sigma process improvement, and other group facilitation processes

  • Without trained facilitators,it would be difficult to create a program that allowed for scaling of “hack-a-thon”-style activities across a large school 

These challenges rather pointed to a couple of root problems; while there is a lack of experience with innovative approaches, more importantly, there is a lack of time to devote to such efforts.

Leveraging best practices from a variety of approaches resulted in the crafting of a new method, focusing on experimentationspeed, and inclusive collaboration. which is now known as The ASU Spark Method™  or "Spark".

Click here to learn more on how this innovative method is "sparking" new ideas.

Founding Members of  The ASU Spark Method™

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Anca Castillo               Cary Lopez                Clayton Taylor             Dennis Martinez