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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: Functional Fear?

Peter Nicholson

Diving Lessons
Challenge yourself. Comfort zones are meant to be expanded. That’s the advice I’m giving myself this year. As an innovation consultant, I’m not doing my job if I’m not encouraging my clients to stretch. As a sustainability agent, I know that progress requires pushing boundaries. Yet everyone navigates risk differently. For many, data and the examples of others bring reassurance. I grew up competing in springboard diving. You learn to internally channel the anxiety of doing a new dive for the first time. The third most important skill I developed during years of springboard diving was the judgment to know when to hold on through my nervousness, and when and how to bail out if success looked unlikely. The second most significant lesson was how to face the fear, and sometimes pain, immediately after failing, and try again. The first was the importance of simply responding to the impulse to grow by attempting it all in the first place.