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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 Leave Behind?

Peter Nicholson

Island Diaries 5: Between Sea and Sky
We leave at night. Our friends use flashlights to wave goodbye as our boat slowly pulls away from Caohagan, the small Filipino island that has been our home for the last two weeks. There is a stack of small letters tucked away in my daypack. Each was individually composed and delivered by the children-sometimes rambunctiously, sometimes shyly-during our last frisbee session on the beach earlier this afternoon. As per usual, the moment the dusk transitioned from more light to more dark, the kids declared “finished” and headed home. Our relationship feels lopsided to me, having received more from them than what we’ve provided in return. I give Nina, the sixth grade teacher, a US $100 bill and ask her to buy new sports equipment for our play cohort. It’s not charity, but an imperfect and meager attempt to rebalance a larger, skewed equation. The island disappears into the night. “Finished,” I think, staring down at the bio-luminescent algae flickering in our wake, knowing despite this departure, and the thousands of miles that will soon separate us, that we’re not.