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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640


We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.


Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: The Key To Success?

Peter Nicholson

Part 1: A Successful Trip
Success is everywhere. I’ve been inside several large, successful, tech companies in the Bay Area this week. There is a successful app for everything, or will be shortly. Happiness is a successfully automated  life, providing a platform for complete ease. Smart homes and well appointed offices with abundant amenities create space for personal and professional success to flourish. Even the weather here is beautiful and successful, with rarely any rain to interrupt the yogic flow. 

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RADAR: Sharing A Vision

Lyndon Valicenti

What are the prerequisites for effective collaboration? Because cross-sectoral collaboration is vital in the face of increasingly complex urban challenges, this question is always on our mind. While we have our own growing list of ideas, we are delighted to see others addressing it. A new report published by the National Resource Network explores necessary steps for catalyzing collaboration between local governments, place-based institutions, and philanthropy in improving the urban condition.

RADAR: Sprints to Social Impact

Peter Toth

ARCHEWORKS, Chicago's social impact design school, is offering a series of Design Sprints this fall, each of which is complemented by a hands-on Field Expedition. Led by accomplished local practitioners, they are structured around the fundamental skills of the ARCHEWORKS methodology, and are a great opportunity for immersion into the vibrant Chicago design community.

INSIGHT: The Nature of My Ambition?

Peter Nicholson

Dialogue With Mountains IV (Final)
I’m not a casual hiker. I tend to power up even fairly steep trails. I don’t know why. It’s as if every next step is a challenge to be spanned, overcome, left behind. I’ve been this way since my first backcountry trip, to Alaska, when I was 14. Having never shouldered a pack before, the first days didn’t go well. However, by the end of the eight weeks, few of the others, all older teens, could keep up with me.

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INSIGHT: What's That Sound?

Peter Nicholson

Dialogue With Mountains III
The rumble was disconcerting. It began just as we arrived at the peak-encircled lake. I gazed at the steep cliffs, wanting to connect the sound with the sight of rocks tumbling, but saw nothing. It stopped. We walked on, pleased with what seemed to us like rare evidence of the inherent instability of the snow-highlighted, static-seeming landscape.

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RADAR: Reimagining the Rivers

Peter Toth

Great Rivers Chicago, a campaign launched in the spring to revitalize the city's river fronts, will open up for public comment in a series of open houses this fall. Led by a broad coalition including the City of Chicago, Metropolitan Planning Council, and Friends of the Chicago River, this effort will extend through next summer, and I'm hopeful that it will help these regional waterways reach their full potential.