We overlook love. With the arrival of each of our three cohorts of teenagers this summer, I invest anew in the capacity of these students whom I don’t yet know. We started the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin program with a steadfast belief in the need to educate younger generations about the sustainability-related challenges they will have to navigate. I aspire to create a motivating experience, a positive inflection in their lives, just as many teachers have forged for me.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
On July 27, the Delta Emerging Leaders, a young professionals board that I recently joined, is hosting its Annual Green Soapbox event, which will highlight sustainability-focused businesses that are making a positive impact on the region. Get your tickets now for an evening of Revolution brews, appetizers, and updates from past winners of the BOOST crowdfunding competition!
I only have an hour. Divorced from my usual routine, I fit in drafting these brief missives when and where I can. Deciding on a topic can be more stressful than writing. I’m teaching a new course this week focused on communication. We constructively bounce between exercises during which my 12 high school students practice telling their own stories, and then work with nonprofit clients to help them tell theirs. “By discovering what is important to you, what has weight and urgency, you’ll be able to better help your client organization do the same,” I tell them.
The Array of Things project, led by the Urban Center for Computation and Data, kicks off this summer with the installation of sensors across Chicago, which will collect data and make it available for public research and innovation. It's is part of a larger trend towards more evidence-based decision-making in cities, and will hopefully put Chicago on the map as a leader in this emerging field.
The Third Time Around
The first summer was easy. Even the second time leading Foresight's high school sustainability program, I was still fueled by invigorating adrenaline. This year, the mystery is gone, along with its accompanying motivation. The undertaking has transitioned from an exciting adventure into the unknown to just work. I’m drawn to sustainability issues because of the novelty of engaging fresh challenges, many of which don’t have set solutions. I find such problems exciting and largely self-motivating, anything but dry and monotonous. I’m drawn to such pursuits in my personal and professional life.
Archeworks, a one-of-a-kind public design hub based in Chicago, is now accepting applicants for its fall certificate program. This year's projects, Self <> City and Social Construction, will give students the opportunity to partner with leading institutions for hands-on urban design projects.