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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.


Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Necessary Fear?

Peter Nicholson

Considering the Risks
Don’t look down. The trick, I suppose, is to not overlook the distance between you and the ground. Last Sunday night, as Nik Wallenda was preparing to walk a tightrope high above the Chicago River, I was 37,000 feet in the air, flying back from the West Coast. For a few moments, for some reason, the height felt precarious. It was a strange sensation, as if for the first time, after all the hundreds of flights I’ve taken, the possibility of falling occurred to me. A mild, momentary panic swept over me. What, exactly, kept us so far up here? I rarely consider the possibility of one of Foresight's projects failing. Innovator-designers must own a certain swagger, marginalizing doubt and convincing themselves that what is being attempted is possible. Little changes otherwise. We live at a truly remarkable historical moment, however precarious. With tech-enabled everything, and more coming, the world is our oyster. We don’t ever look down to consider the possibility of a tech-enabled fall, secure in the belief of a tech-enabled rescue. I’m not a tech-enabled pessimist, but nor am I arrogant enough to ignore the height and forget what, exactly, is at risk should our foot not find the rope on the next step forward.