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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.

How Will We Rise?

Peter Nicholson

In Memory of Bryant Williams (1978-2017)
Work waits. The news came from left field, mid-meeting Tuesday morning: my sustainability co-conspirator and friend, Bryant Williams, had died. The abundant succession of condolence posts on Facebook reflect the wide breadth of his friendly warmth, love for people and range of activities. Bryant believed in the potential of those he met, and in the organizations for whom he worked and on whose boards he served. I first met him during a tour of Calumet with the Southeast Environmental Task Force, an entity with which he’d long been involved. Environmentalists of Color, The Plant, Cook County, and the Rebuilding Exchange, amongst others, benefitted from his involvement. I am not yet ready to mourn, but rather am left staring, along with many others, at this fresh, too-soon absence. Habit propels me back into the daily routine which I reluctantly resume, if only to begin, in some small way, to realize and honor the legacy of this bridge-builder, father, comrade. 

What Does Service Design Even Mean?

Lyndon Valicenti

Hosted at IIT’s Institute of Design, the first national Service Design Network conference occurred last week in Chicago. Insights filled my twitter feed and explored everything from improving the navigability of the citizenship process for immigrants to inciting behavior change through gamification. But what does service design even mean?

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More Than a Job?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 8*: Bonus Dividends
The envelope was a surprise. Bright pink, handmade, and with a simple “To: Peter” on the front, it was given to me by one of the valiant college students that help lead the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College program. For many years, I've kept a folder of all the thank you cards I’ve received as a just-in-case antidote to any future dark days.

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What View Now?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 7*: Road Tripping
We took the long way back. Returning to Chicago from Ohio earlier this week, we avoided the interstate, cutting through fields and farming towns. I wasn’t in a hurry to return, but wanted to savor the pastoral sights, smells and sounds that I wasn't able to fully enjoy the last several weeks while teaching. The journey was an adventurous respite between one intense, immersive experience and another.

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THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Peter Toth

The vacation season often conjures my fond memories of summer camp in the Polish wilderness, which combined the structure of daily activities and responsibilities with the freedom and adventure of the outdoors. This tradition can be traced, in part, to Lord Baden-Powell’s experimental scouting camp on Brownsea Island in England, which began with a group of 20 boys on August 1, 1907.