Our Story

We're on a mission to help networks move the needle, using network science strategies.

Group Picture

Over the past two decades, networks have become a leading way for organizations to achieve social impact together. From public health and education, to early childhood and the environment, the network way of working continues to spread. Dr. Danielle Varda spent the past 15 years studying these collaboratives through the lens of network science: the study of interconnections. She found that networks weren’t achieving their potential: Most lacked the data they need to make strategic decisions and demonstrate their impact. She decided to do something about it.

Through work with the University of Colorado – Denver and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Varda created the PARTNER Platform for organizational network analysis. She and her team conducted interviews and surveys with leaders in the field to identify the key data networks need to improve their work. The result was a scientifically validated survey, the core of the PARTNER Tool. Since its introduction in 2011, PARTNER has been used by more than 4,000 organizations in all 50 states and 40 nations to measure and improve their collaboratives. Dr. Varda was just getting started. 

With her new tool available, she moved to fill the training gap – there’s no degree, and little training available for this kind of work. The Network Leadership Training Academy brought together researchers and practitioners from across sectors and disciplines for three days of training. Now in its 8th year, the Academy has trained more than 500 network leaders to build, manage and evaluate networks using network science informed strategies. Dr. Varda was ready to scale these solutions, in addition to traditional evaluation services, to help networks around the world – something that would be difficult to do within academia. 

In 2018, she founded Visible Network Labs, a social enterprise dedicated to sharing the tools, training and services needed to improve the way we collaborate. She crystallized the combined experience and wisdom of her team to create the PARTNER Method: A five-step process for creating data-informed network strategies that really move the needle. Today, we’re on a mission to spread this new, scientifically validated way to build collaboration that drives social impact. We invite you and your network to join us on a journey to change the way we collaborate: with a data-driven strategy – join office hours, sign up for a webinar, or learn more about our products, training and services. We’re excited to connect with you!