Offices in Washington DC & Colorado (303) 229-7718

Knowledge to Power Catalysts

Amplifying Ideas
Vitalizing Partnerships
Accelerating Change

cat • a • lyst

a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change

Knowledge • to • Power • Catalysts

a small, nimble consulting firm that increases the rate at which leaders transform Knowledge into Power to change the odds that all children and youth will thrive

The Knowledge to Power (KP) Catalysts team of action-focused thought leaders offers a wide range of services to amplify ideas, vitalize partnerships, and accelerate change. From one-on-one coaching to facilitating large-scale, cross-systems collaboratives, we challenge organizations and initiatives across the learning and development ecosystem to be bold, inclusive, science-informed, and equity focused in their work with and on behalf of young people. Our flagship project, Changing the Odds Remix, seeks to elevate new ways of thinking, seeing, and acting to build toward equitable learning and development ecosystems.

We may work with people and organizations rather than chemicals, but we are determined to be true to the definition of catalyst associated with chemistry. We define success as our ability to catalyze progress. We are a small, nimble team that catalyzes change in larger entities and efforts while resisting the temptation to change the size and scope of our enterprise.  New team members will join us to expand our expertise, and we will always endeavor to stretch our thinking alongside our partners and clients. But we will not lose our focus.

Meet Our Team

Katherine Plog Martinez, Managing Partner

Hi! I’m Katherine Plog Martinez, the Managing Partner of KP Catalysts. I have spent my career trying to change the odds for children and youth by helping the adults and organizations that support young people to be their most effective and very best. I have had the unique opportunity to play a leadership role in building multiple cross-sector collaboratives focused on children and youth at a state and local level, and honed my skills working in partnership with and then as a team member within a large, urban school district.

Karen Pittman, Partner

Hi! I’m Karen Pittman, Partner with KP Catalysts & Creator and Creative Director of Changing the Odds Remix. I have made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which I co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998. After serving as the President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment until February 2021, I stepped away from organizational management to dedicate my time to galvanizing the growing interest in using science informed strategies to truly change the odds that all children and youth can be successful. My commitment to public thought leadership is grounded in a deep commitment to servant leadership.

Merita Irby, Partner

Hi! I’m Merita Irby, Partner with KP Catalysts.

I work with leaders in school districts, governmental departments, community collaboratives, and non-governmental  organizations nationwide, helping them tackle real-world complexities by developing lenses and decision-making  frameworks that are “whole child / whole community” – youth-centered, science-informed, and equity-focused. Countless communities and initiatives across the country have shared with me that I was instrumental in their work to build cross-sector  collaboratives that engage young people and communities in action-oriented, asset-based solutions. 

Projects & Services

Changing the Odds Remix elevates new ways of thinking, seeing, and acting on truths parents know and research confirms:  Learning happens everywhere.  Relationships and experiences drive development. All young people have potential.  Opportunities are inequitable.  Schools cannot do this alone.

By intentionally remixing ideas from the top thinkers in the allied youth fields – cross-time (past archives and present conversations), cross-topic, and cross-system – Changing the Odds Remix will help elevate new ways of thinking, seeing, and acting by illuminating the through lines across efforts to build toward equitable learning and development ecosystems.

Consulting Services

In addition to our national partnerships, the KP Catalysts team works with state and local community leaders, school district leaders, intermediaries, and youth-serving organizations to accelerate your work to change the odds for children and youth. Our services include:

Private Briefings & Public Speaking

Credited as one of the core founders of the youth development field, Karen is a sought after content expert – keynoting conferences, facilitating plenary panels, and briefing boards. Current topics include strategies to build bolder, broader, and smarter as we emerge from the dual pandemics; promoting youth thriving through transformative learning and development and robust equity; promoting ecosystems thinking; the blending of the sciences of human ecology and learning and development; the past, present, and future of youth development; the power and potential of partnership and collaboration.

Katherine is a frequent conference presenter and panel facilitator. Current presentation and panel topics include supporting social emotional learning in- and out-of-school time; building out-of-school time intermediaries and quality systems; leveraging data informed improvement and strategy; and the power and potential of partnership and collaboration.

For each speaking engagement we will work closely with you to create an experience that lifts up both our latest areas of focus and interest and the main ideas that support the learning objectives of your session or event.

Clients & Partners

Contact Us

To discuss how KP Catalysts can support your organization or initiative, please reach out or share your contact information and we’ll be in touch!