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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: A Better How?

Peter Nicholson

The Chicago Doing Festival
Ideas are the easy part. With the Architecture Biennial, Ideas Week, and the Humanities Festival all happening, Chicago is awash in compelling concepts. It’s exciting and interesting, but potentially diverting attention from the more difficult challenge of overcoming barriers to implementation. I’d love to see an equally well-resourced event focused less on what, and more on how. To up the ante, let’s focus this convergence on one of Chicago’s under-resourced neighborhoods, with the goal of using it to create a tangible, enduring legacy in partnership with community residents, so that something more than memories remains after all the brightly colored banners have come down. While I strongly believe capacity building requires a year-round effort, I’ve been impressed recently with how much can get accomplished in my office when we undertake a day-long, all-staff “sprint” on a particular project. Imagine if we carefully took this to the city scale, and harnessed just some of the resources expended on the aforementioned festivals. It might not change the world, but it could begin a shift significant enough to a propel a larger evolution.