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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: How Content Are You?

Peter Nicholson

The Summer of Our Dissatisfaction
Discontent is essential. Innovation is inhibited by satisfaction with the status quo. My work is about identifying potential, expeditions into the fertile no man's land between what is and what could be. Realizing this future, particularly when the process involves convincing others to step outside their comfort zone (which never seems to be as large as I would like), often invokes frustration. I find I'm less inclined than others to accept barriers, more willing to take calculated risks and push boundaries. Navigating this discontinuity has been a challenge. I'm a progress junkie. Last week's vacation provided a welcome respite from work's emotional load. When I returned Monday, however, it was waiting like a hastily wrapped package on my desk. When I opened it over the course of the day, different parts exploded, as I knew they would. My challenge isn't decreasing my emotional intensity, but learning to better manage it. Discontent breeds frustration, and within that are almost always the seeds of fruitful evolution, if I allow myself to listen. Now the objective becomes getting others as dissatisfied with the status quo as I am (e.g. 400ppm is okay?!). Until then, little will change.