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

773.271.1990

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.

Blog

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

INSIGHT: Fleeing Versus Enduring?

Peter Nicholson

Foresight Prep Diary 4*: Resiliency Lessons
I wanted to go home. I first learned about personal resilience in Alaska. I was 14 and had never been backpacking. After six days of an 8 week trip, I was miserable. By the end, however, I had acquired the ability to excel in the sometimes difficult conditions. Resiliency is a quickly emerging sustainability focus, but few address it on a personal level. Implementing urban infrastructure improvements to mitigate potential adversity is one thing, developing the human, problem-solving capital, quite another. Teaching this summer has highlighted this conundrum. When confronted with uncomfortable personal situations, two participants in different seminars left mid-program, enabled by their parents, rather than seizing the opportunity to engage and grow. Teaching sustainability related content is simple compared to helping students forge sometimes basic psychological and intellectual fortitude, the type necessary to navigate increasingly complex challenges. Outdoor skills were just the beginning of what I learned in Alaska. The experience expanded my ability to learn, adapt and problem solve. I acquired these skills not because my parents bailed me out when I was challenged, but precisely because they didn’t.