My tribe of systemic designers is convening in Oslo, Norway, today for the 6th annual Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium. Despite not physically being there, I have been enjoying the highlights shared via #rsd6. But what does systemic design even mean?Read More
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
On October 17, 1973, OPEC states declared an oil embargo against the United States, causing a massive price increase that shook our fuel-dependent economy. While the resulting cultural shift towards smaller vehicles was short-lived, the crisis gave rise to the Department of Energy, the energy efficiency field, and a series of innovations that eventuated in the smart technology of today.
Places can be magnetic. I felt an immediate and inexplicable affinity for the Netherlands when I first arrived in 1998. Whenever I return, like I have this week, I still feel this connection. The way these lowlands are ordered, and integrate astute design in so many facets, reverberates with me.
Chicago’s history as an international example of urban design, showcased in this year’s Architecture Biennial, began in earnest on October 10, 1871, the day that the Great Chicago Fire ended. The conflagration was an undisputed tragedy, claiming hundreds of lives and devastating the city’s infrastructure, but it paved the way for an intentional and ambitious rebuilding effort, a shining example of building greater resilience.
Outfitted for the Forefront
I never feel totally prepared. I’ve secured the fancy rain shell, down jacket and hiking shoes, and now sit contemplating how to fit all the gear in the suitcase, while simultaneously questioning whether I’m omitting something important. The older I get, the more packing induces anxiety. Perhaps I’m more aware of what can go wrong?
Whether we are taking a digital detox, a walk through the woods, or a yoga class, it seems we are all on the endless quest for being truly present. To be aware, to feel, to witness a single moment takes practice and mindfulness, given the breakneck pace of our daily lives. But what does mindfulness even mean?Read More
The stories of religious minorities seeking refuge in the Americas, as German Mennonites did in 1683, are held up as examples of the legacy of tolerance in the US. However, as this Smithsonian article explains, the history is much more complicated, and demonstrates that these freedoms have always been, and will continue to be, hard-earned.
I yearn for levity. Sustainability pursuits are intrinsically barrier-laden. The trick is to never lose sight of appreciation and possibility. When my grasp of those elements begins to slip, the free fall dreams start to surface. Wordsworth comes to mind: The world is too much with us. Last week, the Foresight staff slipped up to a borrowed, high altitude Colorado house to consider the organization’s trajectory.