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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640


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: Only Skin Deep?

Peter Nicholson

Chasing Waterfalls
“Because they are beautiful.” I had asked my friend, a brilliant scientist, about why he had chosen to research fluorescent proteins. Visual aesthetics, more than any other qualities, mattered to him. I had never considered this as a rationale for an intensive scientific pursuit, or for that matter, the pursuit of greater sustainability. The projects on which I work require a breadth of skills and span a range of topics. Yet the fundamental quest is the same: alleviate suffering, realize beauty. The two pursuits are inextricably linked, the former about potential being subverted, the latter about manifesting it more fully. Whether I’m trying to align a group of people around a common vision for land conservation, or teaching a cohort of teenagers about corporate sustainability, I derive satisfaction from catalyzing those moments of transformation, however small. The beauty of such experiences is conceptual but, to me at least, no different than a powerful work of art. The secret of fostering such capacity in others is that by so doing, we more fully realize our own, which is a beautiful thing indeed.