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Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good:Learn what works from leading social innovators, with host Spencer Critchley.

Spencer CritchleySpencer Critchley is the host of Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good. He is an award-winning writer, producer, and communications consultant with experience in broadcasting, film, digital media, public relations, advertising, and music. He is the managing partner of Boots Road Group, an advertising, public relations and digital media firm that serves purpose-driven organizations.

As a communication consultant, Spencer has worked for both of Barack Obama's presidential campaigns, former Congressman Sam Farr, the U.S. Department of Labor, the University of California at Berkeley, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and many others.

As a digital media producer, his clients have included David Bowie, Moby, Santana, Britney Spears, and others while he was with Thomas Dolby’s Beatnik Inc; the Silicon Graphics-Time Warner-ATT interactive TV system; Silicon Gaming; and the multiple award-winning Choosing Success multimedia program for CCC/Viacom, described by Wired magazine as "the most inspired piece of educational software ever created." He produced Boots Road Group's Davey, W3, and Videographer Award-winning video “Rancho Cielo: Transforming Lives” for Rancho Cielo Youth Campus.

As a journalist, Spencer reported stories for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, the Associated Press, and others, winning awards for investigative reporting from Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Associated Press. For CBC Radio, he was a correspondent and guest host for the national entertainment and popular culture show “Prime Time,” the host of the syndicated “Canada Rocks” record review, and a contributor to “The Entertainers” and other programs. He has written for the Huffington Post, O’Reilly Radar, Business Insider, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and other publications, and is the host of the Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good podcast (

As a composer and music producer, Spencer was signed to a songwriting and artist development contract with Warner-Chappell Music Publishing. He created music for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation including for the Peabody Award-winning CBC Radio drama “Paris from Wilde to Morrison” and the series shows "Prime Time," "Radio Banned," and "Metro Morning." He composed the score (with collaborator Marco D’Ambrosio) and produced the music, dialog, and sound design for the Emmy-winning PBS documentary "Blink.”

Spencer is an adjunct lecturer in Journalism for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He has been a guest speaker for Stanford University’s documentary film program; New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; Art Center College of Design; California State University Monterey Bay; the American Constitution Society; MacWorld; Intel Developer World; the Game Developer's Conference (GDC); Interpret America; the New Teacher Center; the California Association of Public Information Officials; and the SXSW, Hot Springs, and Bermuda Film Festivals.

He has been interviewed or quoted by the Associated Press, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN, Fox News, i24 (Israel/US), ITV (UK), Mix Magazine,, National Public Radio, Reader’s Digest, Sky News (UK), and others.

Web: | Twitter: @scritchley | Facebook:

Dastardly Cleverness In The Service Of Good is produced by:

Boots Road group: We create content that creates impact.

Jun 24, 2020

Still frame from video of Spencer Critchley teaching social marketing

Social marketing uses the persuasion techniques normally used to sell potato chips, fashion, detergent, cars, and endless other consumer products, but for social good campaigns.

Knowing how to do social marketing right is important to nonprofits, socially responsible corporations, and all other purpose-driven...

Apr 28, 2020

Patriots of Two Nations book cover

The election of Donald Trump shocked America and the world — and that included Dastardly Cleverness host Spencer Critchley. But Spencer believes now that we should have seen him coming, like we should have seen the approach of this hyper-partisan crisis of democracy we're going through.

He's written a book about it,...

Mar 30, 2020

Brent Colburn’s experience goes back to the Al Gore presidential campaign in 2000, through Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004, both Obama campaigns, FEMA, Homeland Security, HUD, and to the Pentagon, where he was in charge of communications for the Defense Department. After that, he led communications for Mark...

Feb 3, 2020

Mark Barker and Jordan Ruden of Craft & Commerce

A big reason why Donald Trump won in 2016 — and why he may win again in 2020 — is that Republicans now seem to get social media, email, and the rest of the online world better than Democrats do, even though Democrats like Howard Dean and Barack Obama were online pioneers.

In this episode, Mark Barker and Jordan...

Dec 11, 2019

Tracy Palandjian of Social Finance on Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of GoodHost Spencer Critchley talks with Tracy Palandjian, the co-founder and CEO of Social Finance, a nonprofit dedicated to using capital to drive social progress. So far, it has helped direct more than $100 million toward challenges in criminal justice, early childhood education, workforce development, health and...