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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: From Here To...?

Peter Nicholson

Communicating Futures
I only have an hour. Divorced from my usual routine, I fit in drafting these brief missives when and where I can. Deciding on a topic can be more stressful than writing. I’m teaching a new course this week focused on communication. We constructively bounce between exercises during which my 12 high school students practice telling their own stories, and then work with nonprofit clients to help them tell theirs. “By discovering what is important to you, what has weight and urgency, you’ll be able to better help your client organization do the same,” I tell them. Achieving greater sustainability rests on our ability to create and convey the new. The futures of many of the economically and racially diverse participants in my seminar depend on this same capacity. "My mother makes $28,000 working in a school cafeteria,” one of them shared with me this afternoon. “It’s just her and I, but somehow she’s able to make it work.” I probe, “So you’re going to college, you’re going to achieve something else for yourself?” “Yes, I am,” he says, confidence rising in his voice, his eyes lifting to meet mine. Sensing his resolve, I issue a dare. “Great. Convince me. Write about that.” “I will,” he says, emboldened by the challenge, finding new confidence in knowing he can.