Thoughtful and Inclusive Leadership Towards a Clean Energy Future

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Public and Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a necessary investment in developing inclusive and effective policy, programs, and initiatives. Michelle structures engagement processes that you can manage yourself or she will facilitate whole-scale processes to build consensus, propose compelling recommendations, and motivate next steps. Common Spark uses fair process principles in its stakeholder engagement and facilitation. Get this critical step right with:

  • Outreach and engagement strategy and planning

  • Meeting and agenda planning

  • Facilitation of meetings and webinars

  • Management of ongoing stakeholder processes and advisory groups

  • Work group deliverables, reports, recommendations

Policy Research and Advocacy

From tracking complex regulatory processes, and conducting policy research and analysis, can be a time consuming activity, but valuable if done with proper intention and planning. Michelle has toured energy policy and programs at a federal, state, and local level across the nation, led research and analysis, with her work resulting in published reports and successful regulatory advocacy. 

  • Research planning and project scoping

  • Landscape assessment/literature review

  • Regulatory research and advocacy

  • Policy analysis and recommendations

Michelle is versed a variety of topic areas and can help support your research, tracking, analysis, and advocacy on:

  • State energy efficiency and climate policy

  • Energy efficiency utility programs

  • Energy financing programs and “green banks”

  • Community clean energy development

  • Behavior change and social marketing

Organizational Development and Support

Managing a change or building a new team or organization has a lot of moving parts. Michelle has helped build public and nonprofit organizations from the ground-up, from board development to the everyday nuts and bolts. Ask for her help with:

  • Strategic planning

  • Strategic communications

  • Business or services planning and strategy

  • Public engagement and communications

  • Operations and management

Michelle is passionate about supporting leaders, helping them navigate the ins and outs of dynamic organizations. She specializes in providing day-to-day support and coaching around:

  • Board development, engagement, and recruitment

  • Organizational governance and internal policy development

  • Effective stakeholder engagement

  • Short- and medium-term public relations challenges


Common Spark Consulting

Common Spark Consulting is a mission-based, woman- and minority-owned, independent firm that recognizes that everyone has a stake in and something to contribute to our energy and climate future. Successful progress requires us to find the Common Spark that ignites our best work and brings diverse interests together to meet a common objective. 

Combining technical and policy expertise, deep experience in stakeholder engagement, and a knack for developing strategic partnerships, Common Spark responds to policy and organizational needs with inclusive planning, thoughtful execution, and uncommon quality.

Common Spark is committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusivity as a company and through its work. Read our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity vision and policies to learn more.

Common Spark is based out of beautiful and quirky Berkeley, CA.

Michelle Vigen Ralston, Principal and Owner

From Minnesota, to Washington DC, and now in California (notable Top Ten states from the ACEEE Scorecard), Michelle has garnered diverse energy policy experience. Throughout her career, she has become well-known for her ability to swiftly grasp new and complex topics and translate that understanding into impactful advocacy or strategies.

She has proven her fluency in topics ranging from social marketing and behavioral science for energy efficiency and energy financing strategies to open new markets, and is also adept at navigating the complex and rapidly-innovating policy issues in the leading clean energy state of California. 

Michelle has built programs, teams, policies, and whole organizations from scratch; led multi-pronged stakeholder engagement processes, drafted cutting-edge policy, and continues to deepen her breadth of expertise and offerings by partnering across a wide array of world-class collaborators. 

With Common Spark, Michelle consolidates her full range of experience in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to deliver tailored deliverables for client needs. Common Spark draws on multiple perspectives and approaches to deliver solutions that set the pace in terms of depth and quality.

Learn more about Michelle on LinkedIn.





Have a question or want to "talk shop" about what you're working on? Reach out anytime.