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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: What Do We Already Know?

Peter Nicholson

Reimagining the New
Sometimes the "new" isn't always better. Last week you wrote, "If we're going to tackle climate change, among other sustainability-related challenges, we're going to need to engage the new much more readily than we do today." While I agree this is true on many levels, it's not always a truism. Having recently moved to a small working farm outside of Chicago, I've had the opportunity to ponder this thought on a daily basis. As I wade my way through trying to find the best solutions, I've increasingly discovered that "the old" is often times the most sustainable option. On some levels, it's as if we once knew how to be sustainable but have lost wisdom we once possessed in the rush to embrace technology as a panacea to all our ills. I'm not advocating we all live as if it's the 19th century. We need to keep moving forward. I would just add the caveat to your statement that sometimes the new is actually the old re-discovered. Or, to paraphrase Shunryu Suzuki, if we approach any problem with a beginner's mind, there are endless possibilities since everything is new.

Guest Essay by 
Brian Leber