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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: Part II: The Promise of Youth?

Peter Nicholson

The Revelation Equation
He looked concerned. More accustomed to addressing high-level leaders, my prominent environmentalist friend wasn't sure how to address a class of teenagers. "How much should I tell them?," he asked, taking me aside a few minutes before his presentation. His sincere, almost pained concern caught me off guard. At the forefront of climate change issues, he possesses a wealth of insider knowledge, little of it positive. I didn't know what to say. I circumvented the question by detailing several topics of interest to the buoyant group waiting in the next room. We exited his office a few minutes later with the question unresolved. My friend delivered one of his usual informative and compelling talks. It can be inspiring to teach bright, inquisitive teens with their voracious curiosities. Afterward, the students dove in with questions, drawing out information about topics of concern to them (e.g. how do you deal with climate deniers?). Watching him expertly navigate the inquiries, I realized our responsibility isn't to withhold, but rather to insure that any potential despair we may feel is balanced with communicating possibility to them, so as not to allow our cynicism to impede their optimism. As I think my friend knows, when we lose that, we're definitely sunk.