Slide thumbnail

curating

changemaker

communities

training
emerging
leaders
fostering
innovation
ecosystems
I take the spark of an idea and breathe life into it!

I’ve never had a traditional career path and my work covers a wide range of interests – from social entrepreneurship to creative economic development to fostering innovation. I run my own ventures as well as consult with clients, including foundations, universities, communities, and companies.

The consistent thread that connects all of my projects is this: building communities of changemakers and nurturing emerging leaders who will go on to tackle the biggest challenges of our time. Community is at the heart of all I do. 

My work falls in three categories
  • Innovation ecosystem development
  • Retreat, workshop, fellowship design
  • Web, video, graphic, experiential design
  • Monitoring & evaluation planning
  • Strategic organizational planning

My ventures are designed to strengthen local innovation ecosystems, retain young entrepreneurial talent, and demonstrate the creative potential of small towns. Since 2010, I’ve been focused on creating organizations in State College, PA.

These projects range from the ridiculous to the academic. They are designed to keep me on my toes, forge collaborations and inspire new learning. Some of the initiatives are one-off, whereas others I maintain and update daily.

Through his work with the Sullivan Foundation, Spud helped us to invigorate and expand our social entrepreneurship program. He revolutionized our student retreat programs by working tirelessly to reach students, coordinate facilitators, and make our events a success. Our student programming would not be at its current level without the guidance of Spud!

Steve McDavid
Steve McDavidPresident, Sullivan Foundation

Spud is one of the few people whom I’ve met and worked with who approaches complex challenges both simply and joyfully. While being one of the most driven and capable people I know, he is also incredibly laid back and accessible which is a virtue to both his colleagues and clients. If you have the opportunity, hire Spud. You will not regret it.

Matthew Abrams
Matthew AbramsFounder, Mycelium

Spud is one of the most creative, hardworking, and inspiring people I know. Working with me to enhance the overall design of our program, he brought so much more than his professional skill of building entrepreneurial communities; he brought thoughtful and strategic perspective, accessibility, and a keen sense of connection. His invaluable partnership with this program has nurtured a community of changemakers in Mississippi, resulting in the retention of young entrepreneurial talent.

Harrison Wood
Harrison WoodCoordinator, Teach for America Graduate Fellows Program

Spud has that rare ability to bring together high-performing people working at their very best. He is the grand conductor, identifying the right talent and composition of people and channelling them for the right results. As a result, he brings out the best in teams – no in-fighting, no jockeying for power; just true collaboration and productivity. 

Rose Cameron
Rose CameronFormer Director of Innovation, Penn State
When the word vision comes to my mind, the person that I think of is Spud Marshall. Spud has an amazing ability to see a problem, view it as an opportunity, and then create a vision that has the potential to create transformation.
Todd Erdley
Todd ErdleyCEO, Videon

Everything Midas touched turned to gold. Spud is different. Everything Spud touches gets better, more memorable, more usable, and more impactful.

Chad Littlefield
Chad LittlefieldFounder, We!
  • "Transforming Towns into Changemaker Communities" | Keynote for American Planning Association | 2017
  • TEDxPSU Emcee | 2016 & 2017
  • "Cultivating Changemaker Communities" | Dalhouise University | 2016
  • "Instigating Regional Change" | Campbell University | 2016
  • "Bathrobe Conversations" | TEDxPSU | 2014
  • "Sustainability Solutions for Smaller Markets" | Net Impact Conference | 2010
  • "Behavior Change Strategy" | MIT Sustainability Summit | 2010
  • Sullivan Foundation Ignite Retreat | Organizer & Lead Facilitator | 2/year; 2012 - 2017
  • co.space Retreat | Organizer & Facilitator | 3/year; 2013 - 2017
  • TFA Graduate Fellows Retreat | Lead Facilitator | 2016 & 2017
  • Watson Institute Basecamp | Guest Facilitator & Advisor | 2017
  • Dalhouise University’s Sustainability Leadership Certificate | Facilitator | 2016
  • New Leaf SEED School | Workshop Facilitator | 2013 & 2014
  • Bonner Conference | Workshop Facilitator | 2012
  • Penn State Guest Instructor | Numerous times since 2010

Public Speaking

Lots of my professional work involves speaking and facilitating. Here’s a taste of one of my talks – “Bathrobe Conversations” – given at TEDxPSU in 2014.

Social Ventures

This weekly video series follows the process of buying and transforming an old frat house into an intentional community for changemakers over 3 months.

Visual Poetry

One of my creative outlets involves writing poetry and putting it to video. I often use spoken word poetry as a tool in my facilitation work as well.

Dumpster Diving

Sometimes you have to make a vision tangible. In 2012 I did that by dumpster diving for cardboard and building a giant innovation hub prototype.

Ignite Retreat

I have been working with thousands of college students across the American Southeast helping them find meaningful and impactful careers.

co.space Retreat

Three times per year, we host a retreat for the current class of co.spacers. These videos give you a glimpse inside those gatherings to see what happens.

Live Painting

One of my creative outlets involves performing live paintings and art pieces. This piece was done in partnership with RawTools.

Community Impact

A majority of my work involves hosting gatherings that facilitate connections and new ideas. These videos take a peak insight some of those events with the co.space.

Looking to build dynamic communities that spark change?

From sharing insights into how we launched the co.space to collaborating together on an initiative you need help getting off the ground, I’m more than happy to chat.

Do you need more tailored support?

Looking for a speaker? Need assistance running a retreat or fellowship? I work with a few clients each year, so please reach out for more details.