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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
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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.

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

INSIGHT: Do Big Leaps Matter?

Peter Nicholson

Incremental Power
Patience requires an effort. I don’t possess that type of discipline in abundance. Maturing as a designer involves honing one’s innate impulses as much, if not more, than tangible skills. With each successive project, I’ve come to a deeper appreciation of how systems work, and the role of design in influencing them. For instance, "disruptive innovation” and "massive change,” are misnomers, ego-focused marketing ploys rather than reflections of reality. Few of us are wired to assimilate sudden disruptions of perspective, behavior, or technology. We avoid discontinuities in favor of smaller, more incremental shifts that can, however, accumulate over time into profound change. I will probably always be discontent with the rate and scale of solutions we develop for challenges like poverty and climate change. My innate appetite for the intrinsic beauty of holistic and resilient solutions is insatiable, and motivates me like a nuclear core. But as my practice has developed, I’ve come to appreciate the power of well-considered, smaller, “incomplete" interventions. The big picture is as vivid to me as ever, but so is the realization that achieving it will almost certainly require a steady series of modest steps, rather than a few desperate leaps, however much I might want to jump!