Yes, Everything is Not Okay
The patient is my father. Modern medicine’s sophisticated acrobatics astound me with their ability to sustain life. I rarely consider that the sustainable innovation projects on which I work ultimately share this objective. Energy, climate, agriculture, among other issues, possess less immediate feedback loops.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
Yes, Everything is Not Okay
Driven to Distraction
I write in the mornings. I try to start with a clear mind and not do any other work beforehand. However, the preponderance of daily political maneuverings easily distracts me. I’m living in a barely sublimated “fight or flight” state sustained by each news update.Read More
The Implications of Principles
Fundamentals matter. Recently, I’ve been considering the many gradations of progress, violence, trust and risk. Some manifestations are so subtle or common that I’ve failed to recognize them, either within myself or externally. Generosity is required. As much a personal discipline as specific act, this capacity can be expanded through practice, or never exercised at all. It runs deeper and broader than kindness.
Signal v. Noise
These “essays" don’t start short. Crafting them often requires untangling several initially mashed up thoughts into a comprehensible strand. Lately, distracted by the gestures of the new administration, while trying to advance projects involving some complicated systems, I’ve found it difficult to maintain clarity.
Forward and Back
I didn’t get it. When my great grandfather, then in his 90s, would visit, we would take him to construction sites so he could observe whether or not anyone was working. As if at church, we would sit in silence. Ever the impatient young companion, I would try to find ways to assuage my near instantaneous boredom. I didn’t know what he, a carpenter by profession, found so captivating. Sometimes it was difficult for me to...
Foresight finally has company! Beyond service and social innovation design is the emerging field of transition design, which focuses on the design of future paradigms and systems...Read More
This week President Obama approved funding for the CTA to modernize the Lawrence through Bryn Mawr stations, and add a flyover at Belmont. Elevators will be added to the four stations currently without, and the flyover will significantly increase train capacity...Read More
Cuba Diaries I: Revealed
Cuba changed me. I visited last week, wanting to experience it while its remarkable fissures between old and new are still so visible, and on so many levels. History and necessity have forged an ethos of resilience and sustainability that were apparent in both attitudes and practices, although...
I was excited to find this GreenBiz article (https://www.greenbiz.com/node/106582), which discusses tangible strategies for environmental non-profits to increase and support diversity at all levels of their organization. At Foresight Prep we prioritize recruiting a diverse cohort of high school students each year, and as I watch our talented alumni grow into young professionals, I am thrilled to see more organizations gearing up to welcome them into our sector.
View From a Ledge
Relationships change. I remember how in college, a close friend one semester could quickly become a casual acquaintance the next. Connections evolve as we grow, or should. Sometimes the choice to redefine is ours, other times not. Sometimes it happens gradually and organically, other times jarringly and unexpectedly. The new year inspires me to take stock of personal, professional and political evolutions and their potential implications. What do I need to redefine, shift?
Ten Admonitions to Myself for 2017
In no particular order and for no particular reason, except that I can always use the reminders. All the best for the coming year!
1. Resist knee jerk impulses, because they rarely lead to adequate, productive solutions.
2. Understand systems by taking the time to comprehend the context in which an issue exists, in order to identify the best ways to approach it.
Alternatives emerge after takeoff. The evolution begins on the way to the airport. The urgency of a hundred details begins to fade. Despite my best intentions, some tasks just won’t get done. Being an executive director requires a split perspective, concurrently focusing on the long- and short-term.Read More