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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.

Blog

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

INSIGHT: Am I Being Heard?

Peter Nicholson

Unintended Consequences
Teaching is a gamble. Circumstances recently brought me into contact with some students I taught several years ago. One is a high school English teacher, and another works in real estate. Both shared how they still use elements learned in our course in their work, such as systems thinking, design strategy and a triple bottom line perspective. This is how the world will shift. My influence as a “sustainability professional” is only as potent as my ability to inform, inflect and motivate others, especially those whose careers seem outside my immediate sphere of focus. Often I find myself striving to be as strategic as possible with my investments of time and energy, as if a narrow focus will produce the most significant results. This presupposes that I know where the most important future inflections will occur. I’m coming to realize that it is the often unexpected discontinuities that can speak the loudest and generate momentum, be they in the form of a corporate executive, high school teacher, or rising young professional. The force toward greater sustainability needs to be diverse, multifaceted, all over the place, if it is going to be successful. The genus is in the chaos, something that I too often forget while I’m writing, designing, or teaching students whom I’m never certain are absorbing what I’m trying to convey. Apparently some are.