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Other Projects

Spark co-founder Matt Arnold is passionate about design, creativity, and process. When he’s not working at Spark, he’s putting these skills and interests to use in other projects, too. He always loves connecting with students, creators, and innovators who are just as passionate as he is.


Matt is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Iowa, where he teaches Leading Innovation. His course focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to foster sustainable innovation culture, strategy, execution, and outcomes while leading a team or organization. Topics include how to navigate corporate innovation challenges, including culture, management, and resourcing; problem definition, critical thinking, metrics, design thinking, and entrepreneurial business model development; and innovation prerequisites, roles, leadership skills, and strategy. 



Matt is the host and creator of The Iowa Idea Podcast. The podcast is inspired by the University of Iowa’s 1920s vision of a new artistic-academic form of collaboration, which blossomed into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the Master of Fine Arts degree. A century later, Matt explores craft, persistence, and what The Iowa Idea looks like today. His interviews with artists, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders are fun and lead to great insights––like a professional magician explaining why the tricks are irrelevant, or a user experience researcher describing the role of privilege and power in design.


Find out more about The Iowa Idea Podcast here.


Matt has a blast attending conferences and workshops. For him, it’s always fun meeting other design nerds, innovation junkies, and people who love talking about the latest ideas in user experience and brand strategy. Here are a few of the places he’s had the chance to speak.


Recent talks include:

  • Sensemaking and Wayfinding: Why IA is Essential When Navigating Complex Systems (World IA Day 2020)

  • Sensemaking and Wayfinding: Improving Team Outcomes (IAC 2020)

  • The Iowa Idea: Over a Century of Creativity, Collaboration, Innovation, and Persistence (Big Design 2020)

  • Research and Empathy to Design for Meaningful Experiences (World IA Day 2019)


A few of the insights Spark has discovered over the years, in an easy-to-digest blog form for your reading pleasure.


You can check out all the blog posts here

Why Spark Coaching?


While most senior leaders agree they need to improve their customer's experience, many struggle with how to get there. 

If you're ready to take the next step in improving your business outcomes, let's talk.

With years of experience, I have the capabilities and expertise to help you take your business to the next level. Together we can combine our insights and skills to transform your processes and strategies, and in turn, your company. 

Other things you may want to download: 

Spark Bullseye: Collaborative Sensemaking & Wayfinding

Spark One Pager

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Hi, I'm Matt. 

I have 25 years experience leading teams through their innovation, brand, and customer experience journey. I have built teams and managed mission critical projects in education, agriculture, insurance, software development, and startup environments. My specialty is helping drive alignment through understanding.

My goal is to help you succeed in the experience economy. Providing you with perspective, tools, and techniques to more accurately understand your customers, and your organization. In turn, you're better prepared to improve your business effectiveness, drive results and get stuff done!

My caring coaching style is rooted in honest feedback. I help leaders navigate complex systems, so they can design and manage more effective experiences — inside and outside of their organization.


  • LinkedIn - White Circle
Matt Arnold Spark Consulting (27)_edited
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