Sparks founder Chris Reed talks expansion of community

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By Sam Robinson

Networking was the topic of conversation at a Sparks Talks event held at Transformation Fitness and Wellness on Indianapolis’ near north side last month.

A group of around 50 attended the TED talk-style event where they listened to speakers give timed motivational speeches. They mingled over snacks and drinks afterward.

“Who here has been to a Sparks event before?” asked Chris Reed, the founder of Sparks Talks, of the audience. About half raised their hand. Later on in the event, nearly all of the attendees said they’d like to become regulars.

“We want to make a tribe of people who are doing continuous work,” Reed said. “We want to inspire people to be better than they were yesterday.”

Reed said he was inspired by TED talks, which bring experts in technology, entertainment and design to venues across the country to speak to audiences. Reed formed Sparks in 2012, when at that time there was no TED event in Indianapolis.

Sparks Talks has since expanded throughout the Indianapolis area. The organization has a website where anyone can access over 100 archived talks. The group has an app for networking with other Spark attendees.

“You experience a collective experience, and you want to talk about it afterwards,” Reed said. “You get the content, you get it quickly, and then you talk about it.”

Jennifer Seffrin, the leader of Indy Holistic Hub, spoke on nutrition and health at the event. She said Sparks is about “spreading conversation” through the city, and that she hopes it expands to new audiences.

“I know there are a lot of people in the general community who will want to come,” Seffrin said.

Reed said that he eventually wants to expand the network nationwide to the west coast through the mobile app and through new events.

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