About Foresight Immersion
Transformative Education for Sustainable Innovation
Immersion Fellows reflect a dynamic type of emerging professional. Possessing a variety of educational and professional backgrounds and ambitions, they share a desire for a meaningful career, and are passionate about more deeply understanding the diversity of sustainability-related issues. A drive to obtain new skills and knowledge to accelerate their careers unites them for a summer, and often beyond, as they learn to develop insight, identify barriers, and conceive innovative solutions to real world issues. Empowered by their program experience, they have forged a variety of paths, building upon the understanding and connections they have acquired.
Now in its eleventh year, Foresight Immersion is a unique and powerful platform for professional and personal growth. It provides a small group of participants the opportunity to significantly expand their comprehension of the complex web of factors driving sustainable innovation across the business, government, and nonprofit arenas. Peter Nicholson, a widely respected sustainability leader, experienced practitioner, and gifted teacher, has led the program since its inception. Through a carefully curated mix of key readings, select field trips, leading guest speakers, interactive lectures and discussions, and hands-on project work, Fellows delve into the field, learning from direct contact and experience.
The evolving, interrelated fusion of environmental, social and economic challenges requires innovative approaches and broad knowledge sets. Foresight Immersion is developed around a core focused on transformation design. Sometimes called sustainable design, or design for social impact, the practice seeks holistic and resilient solutions that often go beyond creating environmentally superior products or buildings (i.e. "green design"). It is an emerging strategy that employs systems-based thinking, and a broad, interdisciplinary toolkit to better understand problems, and innovate change. Its methodology can be applied to a broad spectrum of concerns, taking into consideration the often-complex web of cultural, political, economic, historical, and psychological factors.
Foresight Immersion has evolved since its inception. Every year, the curriculum is reviewed and revised to foster an influential balance of the right people, projects and course work to be relevant, insightful and empowering. The program has developed a reputation for bright and engaged Fellows, astute learning, and rewarding projects. Part of Foresight's overall strategy for social impact, Immersion alumni are viewed as high-potential change agents, dedicated to realizing a more positive evolution in whatever field they eventually pursue.
Successful past participants have come from a range of backgrounds, including the humanities, natural and social sciences, and a variety of design disciplines. They have been united with their colleagues by their passion for understanding and pursuing sustainability, interest in realizing the potential of "good design," desire to work across disciplines, and enthusiasm for working with like-minded others in a highly collaborative and exploratory studio environment.
This program truly is designed for everyone from current undergraduates looking to gain experience to professionals accelerating their career development. Knowledge of sustainability, environmental science, and/or design is not a prerequisite. More important is resourcefulness, creativity, flexibility, and open mindedness. Over the years, people from all over the world have joined us for Foresight Immersion. The mix of people from different backgrounds is one of the things that make this program great.
Foresight Immersion provides plenty of opportunities for career development. Tuition includes enrollment in Foresight's Sustainability Career Seminar, which covers self-assessments, identifying opportunities, and developing strategies for your next steps. In addition, you can consult with the program director on relevant career issues and get advice on resumes, informational interviews, as well as how to frame your individual skill set. Friday afternoons are left free in order to accommodate job searching and informational interviews.
Outside the Studio
Besides relating sustainability expertise, Foresight Immersion aims to foster your personal growth. Close teamwork and weekly reflections will encourage you to develop your communication skills and explore your areas of strength and opportunity. We will have done our job right when you graduate feeling empowered and assured of your path ahead.
And Chicago is a great classroom. Adding to the city's abundant cultural offerings, Chicago celebrates summers with neighborhood festivals, lakefront recreation, movies and concerts in the parks, farmer's markets and lots more. Many of these activities are free and easily accessible by public transportation.