The SPARK Center at DePaul University

SPARK Center architectural rendering

Located on the Loop Campus in downtown Chicago, The Strategic Partnerships for the Advancement of Research and Knowledge (SPARK) Center at DePaul University will convene constituents from inside and outside the university who share an interest in solving socioeconomic challenges affecting Chicago, or achieving a breakthrough outcome in poverty, sustainability, or artificial intelligence. The SPARK Center is where the community will have the opportunity to connect with faculty across all disciplines and collaborate to solve the pressing needs of our day.

Beyond simply connecting the community to the collective wisdom of our interdisciplinary faculty, the center’s data science, design, and AI teams will be able to model and visualize the history of the problem as well as multiple predicted scenarios for the future. Capability like this has a far-reaching impact on the community and the creation of solutions that benefit our local, national, and global communities. The center is focused on convening academia, community, and industry around societal problems using interdisciplinary research methods that blend quantitative data science and qualitative human centered design to help visual future scenarios that inform community decisions. The goal is to use storytelling and data visualization to turn research into digestible, comprehensive materials that invite non-experts into informed conversations that shape the future.

Venn diagram of three intersecting zones

The SPARK Center will open Fall 2024. For more information or how to get involved, please contact The SPARK Center director, LeAnne Wagner, at

Download the SPARK Center brochure to learn more:The SPARK Center at DePaul University_vF 2024.pdf