8 Years: Part II
Every tone provides possibilities. There are two kinds of classical musician: those that are placated by well-constructed performances, and those that are never satisfied, but rather are constantly exploring, seeking the potential depth of the experience. Bottomless curiosity is a genetic disposition. I appreciated a recent piano recital because it never sounded complete. The journey was dynamic, not a static fixed plan and, as such, imbued with intelligence and life.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
8 Years: Part II
A failing system can be a powerful driver for transformative change, as exemplified by the Articles of Confederation. Adopted by the central US government and submitted to the states in November 1777, it left the fledgling nation weak and internally divided, setting the stage for the Constitution that is still in force today.
In these tumultuous times, it is hard not to wonder how we will ever recover. Well, when a dear friend recently reached out for my recommendations on self care, I shared something that helps me sleep at night: the panarchy theory. But what does panarchy even mean?Read More
One key characteristic of a complex system—be it a forest ecosystem, city, or an organization—is that it demonstrates “emergence." Think of city; it is far more than the sum of its parts (buildings + people + streets). Out of a city emerges culture, innovation, and economic growth. But what does emergence even mean?Read More
8 Years: Part I
It started simply: a weekly “selfie.” Eight years ago this month, the first Forecast “essay” emerged. I didn’t realize at the time what an essential element of my professional life writing them would become, nor how difficult drafting a single paragraph could be. Photographic selfies generally annoy me in the way they emphasize subject over context. Look at me! The background is usually merely backdrop, a status symbol, depending on what it is, intended to elevate the prominence of the portrait. Not that I’m above this type of self-promotion.
The fall of the Berlin Wall 1989, widely recognized as the end of the Cold War, was not only a groundbreaking event, but also a paradigm shift that led many to believe that the world had reached an optimized state. However, as the intervening years have shown, even great triumphs are not permanent solutions to our deepest, most pressing challenges.
Leadership is a practice, not a position. I sat down this week with Forefront and their partner, i-D Leadership Consulting, to learn more of their noble efforts to transform stakeholders in Illinois’ nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem into adaptive leaders. But what does adaptive leadership even mean?Read More
Officially formed on November 1, 1993, the European Union’s political and economic integration were meant to prevent conflict in a continent wracked by war for centuries. Although the project has faced numerous crises in recent years, from austerity economics to Brexit, it has also expanded horizons for many younger Europeans and newer member nations.
A Wider Angle
Iceland’s panoramas are expansive. The country offers a rich diversity of dynamic landscapes to absorb. However, my photographic attempts to portray their breadth are disappointing. There isn’t a lens wide enough to capture the power and sweep, and the camera’s shutter omits all the non-visual sensory elements that contribute to the viewing experience.
We are clumsy beings. I watched a pod of humpback whales off the northern coast of Iceland earlier this week, including one breaching. The sight of a 45-foot, 70,000-pound creature hanging motionless for a split second in mid-air before crashing on to the water was breathtaking. But so is observing them, fairly close up, as they effortlessly skim the surface, breathing, preparing for their next elegant dive.
While it was not the first to open in the United States, the New York City subway system is the nation’s best-known and most extensive, and has served passengers since 1904. It is also one of the factors that enables the city's residents to live small and minimize their carbon footprints, as illustrated in David Owen’s Green Metropolis, which was my introduction to urban sustainability.