ION studios is a purpose-driven innovation and strategy firm with a singular focus: helping people help people

We exist because the work of social change is challenging, and we like to do difficult things. We know that the pursuit of profit, or prestige, or personal gain can be satisfying for a time, but the pursuit of impact, the nearly impossible work of bending the arc of history towards justice, freedom, and prosperity for all, well there is nothing else like it.

ION studios isn’t your typical consultancy. We know the cold hard reality of working to effect change; what its like to organize and lead a coalition of disparate interests; how hard it can be to capture the attention of funders; and how rewarding a life of service can be.

Our Founder

Mike Radke has spent a lifetime exploring how people learn, connect and drive large-scale social change around the world. For 20 years he led nonprofits, contributed to the equity and diversity efforts of Fortune 500 companies and governments, founded four companies, and held a research appointment at a world class university. Now he puts all of that experience and expertise to work for visionary global leaders who are pushing humanity forward.

On any given day you may find Mike in his Oakland hills studio working on a strategic plan for an emerging nonprofit, in the Panamanian jungle facilitating a systems design session for Latin American entrepreneurs, in Amsterdam speaking on building systems of change at a school of social innovation, in the South African veld leading a design retreat for an emerging sexual health nonprofit, or exploring and enjoying the world with his family.

Our Sister Organization

The Ubuntu Lab was co-founded by Mike to create a space to help people understand people. It was borne out of his research on the culture of social change, and specifically a conversation with Desmond Tutu. This nonprofit is inventing a new type of museum dedicated to informed, open, and meaningful exchange, where we can learn about and connect to our individual and collective humanity. 

Much of ION’s early strategic frameworks were born from our experience co-founding Ubuntu. It is here we first tested our Theory of Impact and ImpactKit tools, and where we continue to build on previous success in education, equity & diversity, and communication. The symbiotic relationship of nonprofit and consultancy gives The Ubuntu Lab access to resources it wouldn’t otherwise have during its incubation, and ION a grounding in the realities of operating an impact oriented organization.