Groups that are too much alike find it harder

and harder to keep learning, because each member is bringing less and less to the table.


— James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds


we create unusual partnerships

our approach

Our learning & innovation lab marries great minds across disciplines to harness revolutionary ideas for social change. We offer best in class and new disruptive solutions for our clients, partners, and the field.


catalytic ideas and impact

Collaboration is in our DNA. Powerful networks from different countries, communities, cultures, and generations tackle the planet’s most complex problems. By reaching out to talented, committed people with differing expertise and experiences, we tap synergy and diversity within an ecosystem of ideas. We also have fun and accomplish more together than we ever could on our own. Together, we have more than 200 years of collective evaluation and program experience, having completed hundreds of projects across such diverse issues and strategies as: 


  • Action-oriented Research

  • Arts and Social Change

  • Children’s Rights

  • Climate Change and Environmental Conservation

  • Community Health

  • Community Revitalization

  • Culturally Responsive Design and Assessment

  • Data Analytics

  • Database Development

  • Developmental, Formative, Summative, and Participatory Evaluation

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Early Childhood and Systemic Food Security

  • Economic Security

  • Impact and Social Investing

  • Leadership Development

  • Maternal and Child Health

  • Multi-site Program Design and Evaluation

  • Nonprofit Operations and Management

  • Organizational and Systems Design

  • Partnership Development

  • Philanthropic Strategy Design and Reflection

  • Place-based Investments

  • Storytelling for Social Change

  • Strategic Planning

  • Systems Change




        Business leaders. Entrepreneurs.   Scientists. Social Workers.

     Attorneys. Artists. Journalists.                           Evaluators. Educators.




learning lab members


Jeanette Abi-Nader, evaluation consultant

with over fifteen years’ experience building connections between program practitioners, funders, and communities. Areas of expertise include racial equity, community food justice, and sustainable agriculture. Jeanette served

as Director of Evaluation, Training, and Capacity Building for Community Food Security Coalition for over a dozen years, in addition to working in rural and urban farming. Charlottesville, Virginia


Amy Adelberger, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Impact Advisors

and an expert in the design and management

of programs in global public health (including

the impact of climate change), with a focus on China. Formerly with the Gates Foundation,

Amy has helped foundations, nonprofits,

and universities achieve their programmatic outcomes and enhance their impact. Amy also has extensive experience with large, complex, multi-stakeholder initiatives. She has degrees from Brown University and the University of Washington. San Mateo, California


Dr. Sheryl Axline, a specialist in internal opinion research, is Senior Director and Development Director of Organization Research and Evaluation, Louis Allen Worldwide. Palo Alto, California


Gale Berkowitz, principal of Gale Berkowitz Associates, has led evaluation at the MasterCard Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. She has designed and carried out evaluations using a range of designs, ranging from RCTs, quasi-experimental designs, survey research, to case studies. Gale also directed various policy research and evaluation projects related to access to health care, maternal and child health, health care services for children with special needs, and substance abuse treatment. San Francisco, California


Michael “Mick” Blowfield, Director of Sustainable Markets Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London. Formerly, Blowfield was Professor

of Corporate Responsibility at the University of Wolverhampton Business School and a Senior Research Fellow at Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at University of Oxford. He has consulted for the Ford Foundation, World Bank, Danone, Oxfam, and many other clients from public, private, and third sectors. Mick is the author of multiple publications, most recently “Business Beyond 2 Degrees: How Severe Climate Change Will Change Business” (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). He holds degrees from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the University of Sussex. London, England


Hooper Brooks, principal of Brooks Associates and an expert in land-use, formerly directed the Surdna Foundation’s environmental program and international portfolios for one of the Prince of Wales’ trusts. New York, New York


Charmagne Campbell Patton, Director

of Organizational Learning and Evaluation for Utilization-Focused Evaluation and Evaluation and Assessment Specialist at World Savvy.

She has experience in evaluation design, facilitation, and process management with diverse audiences in the US and Africa. Charmagne has degrees from Grinnell College and American University. Minneapolis, Minnesota 


Shuen Chan,Director of Business Development at Permian Global in London. Shuen is an expert in asset management and capital markets who has led the development of a mission-driven venture aimed at mitigating climate change through forest conservation.She has degrees from the University of Adelaide, Imperial College, and the London School of Economics. London, England


Jack Chin, expert in evaluation and collaborative learning, has worked with Blueprint Research + Design and the San Francisco Foundation among other leading organizations across

the Bay Area. His engagements have focused

on program strategy development, evaluation planning, formative evaluation, and collaborative

learning projects in the areas of media innovation, community philanthropy, peer-reviewed grantmaking, and multi-site learning communities. San Francisco, California


Civis Analytics is a predictive analytics

software and services company founded

by the Chief Analytics Officer for the Obama-Biden 2012 Campaign, whose team revolutionized politics by showing how essential data infrastructure and technology, predictive analytics, and experimentation are for any modern campaign or initiative. The Civis team has extensive experience with data unification and enrichment engagements, and its software includes a suite of tools to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data—including tools for data visualization, text analysis, network analysis, cluster analysis, and predictive modeling.Clients include Fortune 50 companies, state and local governments, and nonprofits such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Markle Foundation. Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, DC


Barb Clinton is currently a Consultant to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health

and Substance Abuse Services and has conducted more than 100 national and community-based health evaluations over the years, in addition to being an educator and published author.


Andrew Crosby, expert in strategic communications, politics, and organizational management, is Managing Director of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), a Geneva-based nonprofit think tank that tracks the impact of trade on sustainable development. He has conducted research for corporations and NGOs to guide political and market strategy, and fund development. He holds degrees from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and from New York University. Geneva, Switzerland 


Sarah Duniway, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty, chairs Gray Plant Mooty’s Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organization practice team and specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and health care providers. Minneapolis, Minnesota


Chantal Forster, Director at FosterMilo Web Strategy, Architecture, Design, is an expert in IT program development and management and building online communities. Albuquerque, New Mexico


Catlin Fullwood is Founder and Principal Consultant of On Time Associates and has decades of experience in community-based participatory research, constituency capacity building, organizational strengthening, community organizing, and collaborative development/coalition building.  Oakland, California


Diane Fusilli, the Principal of Fusilli Strategic Communications, is a cutting-edge communications executive recognized for leading innovative, high impact communications for mission-driven organizations. Diane creates work that is culturally appropriate and audience specific and has been widely recognized with honors such a Communicators Award for the launch of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists; PR WEEK’s Brand Campaign

of the Year; and a CIPRA Award for

Outstanding Nonprofit Campaign of the Year. She has a degree from Syracuse University. New York, New York

The goals of pfc and the learning & innovation lab are to:

  • Co-create cutting edge research, at both macro and micro levels

  • Synthesize lessons learned to unite common themes and celebrate surprising results

  • Empower communities to be active agents in social change efforts

  • Practice impactful partnership on projects that tap unique skills to foster fresh ideas in learning and innovation

  • Shape actionable knowledge to advance learning, blending academic rigor with the lens of social justice

  • Poke holes in the status quo by talking fearlessly about what is and is not working

  • Teach and coach for change throughout systems at leadership, organizational and program strategy levels


Swaha Katyayini Ramnath has served as an intern for UN Women supporting research and data management, as a research assistant at the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute, and as a Legislative Assistant in the Parliament of India. She has research interests in policy and gender issues and training in mediation, facilitation, and negotiation. She has degrees from the University of Delhi and the London School of Economics. Bangalore, India

Thom Sandberg, partner in The Kenyon Consortium, a diversified communications workshop. Prior to starting Kenyon 30 years ago, he worked for various agencies in Minneapolis, London, Istanbul and Tokyo. Thom started working in advertising at BBDO/Minneapolis at age 16, while still in high school and continued there while attending the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Sandberg, the holder of five patents (four of them useless) is also creator of The Mr. Little Guy elf door, at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Paul Schulte is the Owner of Paul Schulte Design. Paul has worked with a wide group of clients including the Skoll Foundation, San Francisco Ballet, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Insignia Solutions. He has an MFA in Graphic Design and Communications from Rochester Institute of Technology. San Francisco, California


Pankaj Kumar Shrivastav is an India-based evaluator with a background in economics and electrical engineering. He has evaluated environmental justice programs in Indonesia, monitored violence for UNICEF in El Salvador, conducted NGO capacity building training in Vietnam, and conducted a baseline survey and developed strategy for the Asia GROW campaign. Pankaj has also conducted research and organized seminars on energy policy and appropriate renewable energy technology options for India. He holds degrees from HNB Garhwal University and MS University. Dehradun, India


Madhu Singh Sirohi, a specialist in setting up new ventures in strategic philanthropy, corporate responsibility, and governance models, most recently headed the Vodafone Foundation India and oversaw its corporate social responsibility program and developed rigorous protocols for monitoring and evaluating impact. She previously led CSR for Uninor, a group unit of Telenor. Sirohi has degrees from Annamalai University and the University of Delhi. Delhi, India


Sheila Terryll, a principal at Wiser Wolf consultants, has a career in strategic development consulting for non-profits and previously was director of Special Projects for Scholarship America. Minneapolis, Minnesota


Alison Tramba, Senior Manager at Global Impact Advisors, is an expert in urban planning and urban design who has applied these skills at the macro and micro levels, from developing policy-oriented strategies for responding to regional-scale physical, social, and political vulnerabilities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in the US to monitoring and capturing the household-level and environmental and financial benefits of incorporating energy-efficient technologies into affordable housing. She has degrees from the University of Virginia and the Harvard University School of Design. San Mateo, California


Mark Tuschman, freelance photographer, has worked for over 35 years in the US and abroad for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and foundations. His work has been featured and exhibited in many health and development conferences, including the 2011 Audacia Forum, a conference on promoting girls’ education in New York. His book Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge recently debuted at the Ford Foundation. Menlo Park, California


Bharath Visweswariah, Executive Director of the University of Chicago’s Center in Delhi. Prior to this appointment, Visweswariah worked for CEB Asia where he oversaw 130 research staff as part of the India office leadership team. He also served as a project manager at McKinsey & Co. in Mumbai and New Delhi. He holds degrees from Institute of Technology, Madras and The Indian Institute of Management. Delhi, India 


George H. Walper, Jr., is President of Spectrem Group, a research and consulting firm that specializes in the affluent and retirement markets and publishes the monthly Spectrem Affluent Investor Index™ (SAII) and Spectrem Millionaire Investor Index™ (SMII), as well as the newsletters “High Net Worth Advisor Insights,” “Affluent Market Insights,” and “Retirement Market Insights.” Minneapolis, Minnesota


Marisha Wignaraja is a consultant specializing in policy and advocacy for children, youth, women, and families and has been a program officer for the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Ms. Foundation. Most recently Marisha worked with the Children’s Anti-Poverty Program team at Wellspring Advisors to expand its Food Security program area, and assess advocacy capacity in six focus states (Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia). Metuchen, New Jersey


Jim Wolf, expert in climate and energy policy with knowledge of policy formulation and implementation globally, in the US, and in China. He has helped clients such as the Hewlett Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and others formulate and evaluate their programs around energy and climate. Jim has degrees from the University of Rochester and Harvard Law School. Washington, DC


Dr. Diana Yefanova, Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance at University of Minnesota, is an inter-national education and research professional who has worked in the US, Russia, and Japan as a researcher, program evaluator, international student and study abroad adviser, undergraduate student leadership instructor, interpreter and translator, and ESL instructor. St. Paul, Minnesota


Zhou Hui-quan (Mary), expert on social policy, nonprofit organizations, and the Chinese philanthropic landscape based at the University of Hong Kong. Mary recently surveyed more than 400 Chinese NGOs to understand their capacity to create social change. She is a member of the University’s Future of City’s Initiative. Mary holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, and Zhejiang University. Hong Kong, China

Dr. Lisa Gary, Senior Director at KHA, Inc. 

is a health services researcher with more than 15 years of experience in epidemiology, program evaluation, outcomes research and health care policy. Dr. Gary has developed

an extensive portfolio in project management and research methods including the design and implementation of program evaluation, observational, database claims-based and clinical trial studies. Her advanced data analysis skills including proficiency in SAS, SPSS, and STATA statistical software. Birmingham, Alabama


Mary Gugenheim serves on the Cook County Health and Hospital System Board (Chicago) and is the chair of Quality and Patient Safety Committee, after a long career in hospital administration and policy development and health grantmaking and advisory. Her volunteer activities have advanced childbirth advocacy, education and outreach for organizations such as the Bobs Roberts Service Committee at the University of Chicago’s Wyler Children’s Hospital; the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Health Center; Mayor Harold Washington, the Chicago and Cook County Health Care Task Force, the Chicago Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative; and The Sprague Institute. Chicago, Illinois​


Dr. Keecha Harris is President of KHA Inc, a national public health consultancy, where she leads the planning, technical assistance, and evaluations of publicly and privately funded efforts across a broad range of topics through social justice framing. She has also led a learning community focused on community health enterprise and social investments for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work as well as for food systems advocacy for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. Birmingham, Alabama


Karim Harji is a Co-founder and Director of Purpose Capital, an impact investment advisory firm that mobilizes financial, physical, human, and social capital to accelerate social progress, and leads the firm’s work in social impact measurement. Toronto, Canada


Mark Hiemenz, a Principal at strategic planning and capacity building consulting firm Wiser Wolf, previously directed community relations at Ameriprise Financial Services. Minneapolis, Minnesota


Andrew Ho has worked in corporate finance,

has extensive experience in next-generation philanthropy and CSR, led the global philanthropy program for the Council on Foundations, and consulted for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Washington, DC


Sujata Lamba is the Director of Finance and Private Sector Department at the World Bank, covering the South Asia Region. An expert on global supply chains and impact investing who pioneered global practices in those areas for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Sujata worked on the adoption of IFC’s EQUATOR Principles for environmental and social standards in all IFC projects to ensure carbon-dioxide and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, among other large-scale climate change projects. She has content knowledge on the oil and gas sectors, climate, global social investing, and developing country context. Sujata has degrees from the Indian Institute of Management and the Harvard Business School. McLean, Virginia


David LaRoche is an environmental services consultant and contractor with expertise in assessing large-scale watershed projects throughout the world, with a special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. Burlington, Vermont  


Dr. Candy Lee is a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, teaching journalism and integrated marketing communications with special expertise in online courses for global audiences. She was vice president of marketing at the Washington Post. Chicago, Illinois


Joanna Lewis is an associate professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research focuses on energy, environment, and innovation in China, including renewable energy industry development and climate change policy. She leads a National Science Foundation-funded project on International Partnerships and Technological Leapfrogging in China’s Clean Energy Sector, is a non-resident faculty affiliate with the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and is the author of Green Innovation in China: China’s Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy. Joanna holds degrees from University of California, Berkeley and Duke University. Washington, DC


Bruce Lourie is President of Ivey Foundation and a Director of the Ontario Power Authority and a Director of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, one of Canada’s largest community funding agencies. He is Chair of the Board of Environmental Defence Canada. Toronto, Canada


Mark Luinenburg is a photographer with a background in photojournalism. His eclectic work centers on helping others tell their story, from CEOs to shelter dogs to Elvis impersonators. St. Paul, Minnesota.


Dr. Milagros Nores, Associate Director of Research

at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, is an expert in early childhood attainment, the economics of education, poverty, and international and comparative education. Rutgers, New Jersey


Margaret O’Dell is a senior fellow and editor for pfc and was former program officer for the environment at the Joyce Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s energy and environment grants. Margaret formerly managed editing of over 100 journals and periodicals published by the University of Chicago Press.  Chicago, Illinois


Michelle Ozumba is President of the Women’s College Coalition and former CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, which unites women’s funds around the globe. Decatur, Georgia


Michael Quinn Patton is the founder and CEO of Utilization-Focused Evaluation and one of the leading figures in evaluation. With over 40 years of field experience, he brings thought leadership and multi-dimensional expertise to the practice of evaluation and learning with social investors and leaders of social change globally, including such recent clients as OECD and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Agriculture, as well as numerous foundations in North America. A prolific author, his most notable books on evaluation include Developmental Evaluation, Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, and Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation. Quinn has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Minneapolis, Minnesota


One Production Place, led by Elisa Gambino, and her team of award winning CNN film producers, develops documentaries, museum gallery pieces, and health advocacy projects. It has produced projects for, among others, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), International Justice Mission, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the American Civil Liberties Union, Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Corporate Contributions, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, as well as original documentary work that has been broadcast on public broadcasting. Atlanta, Georgia



Marjorie Benton, Co-founder, Chicago Foundation for Women, USA.

Marilyn D. Clancy, Former President of International Women Associates, Chicago, USA.

Dolores Connelly, CEO, Sterling Engineering, USA.

Dana Dakin, Founder and President of WomensTrust, Inc., USA and Ghana.

Catherine Dolan, University Lecturer in Marketing, Culture and Society, University of Oxford, UK.

Sue Dopson, Rhodes Trust Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Faculty Dean at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK.

Diane Fusilli, Principal, Diane Fusilli Strategic Communications, USA.

Thea Hazel-Stals, Director, Know What You Spend Foundation, Netherlands.

John Healy, former Director, Impact Assessment and Global Learning, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Ireland.

Peter Hinton, CEO, Summit Development Group, UK.

Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer, Vice President Health and Safety, Kellogg Company, USA.

Ivy Johnson-Kanda, former Director, Microbiology Industrial Services Unit, Food Research Institute, Ghana.

Gyöngyi Kállai, Managing Director, Trendset Consulting, Hungary.

Linda Loving, Government Outreach Liaison, Top Box, Chicago, USA.

Anne Mosle, Executive Director, Ascend, Aspen Institute, USA. 

Mark Ritchie, former Secretary of State, Minnesota, USA.

H. Dorthe Sorensen, CEO, Government Center for HR, Denmark.

Monique Sternin, Co-founder, Positive Deviance Institute, USA and France.

Richard J. Torseth, Director, Human Securities, Inc., USA.