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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: The Necessity of Hair Gel?

Peter Nicholson

Island Diaries 3: Setting Free Our Stuff
I worry. I created my To Bring list with a mild sense of panic, concerned about what I might require during my two-week stay far from any retail outlets. Sunglasses, hair gel, hand lotion, and extra batteries all made their way into my suitcase, never to be used. Dwelling in an isolated, simpler environment quickly and starkly highlights the constant sense of need with which we live on our overdeveloped mainland. Ever bigger suitcases, cars, and houses are required to transport and store the stuff we are unconsciously convinced is essential to our safety, comfort, or status. As I first stepped foot on this place's sandy shore, I almost immediately realized how little was required here, or elsewhere. “Reduce” is not an American value. Our economy isn’t wired for it. The island and its residents have reminded me of many things, including what defines us, and what should.