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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: Doing Well and Good?

Peter Nicholson

Foresight Prep Diary 3*
I blame Oberlin. The town, and college of the same name located there, have had a progressive bent since the early 19th century. Teaching a course on sustainable business seems both a natural fit and a struggle. My fifteen students from around the country (and world!) arrived more invested in capitalism than they left. I’m not sure what happened along the way. As the term progressed, they grew increasingly better at addressing social and environmental impacts with their business ideas, and less concerned with generating a profit. An imbalance in the impact-to-resources ratio is an all-too-common state in sustainability work. I’m trying to motivate the next generation to strike a better balance. While necessary, “doing well” is less compelling than “doing good” to many, including the diverse cohort that I just finished teaching. Part of me feels as if I failed to adequately focus on economics. Another, more adamant part, however, thinks the kids got it correct, and will be alright.