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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: Am I Being Stupid?

Peter Nicholson

Insights at the Edge
There is a fine line. I keep waiting for the project that will turn out to be simpler than I initially thought. Deluding one’s self at the outset is a requirement for progress, as is enduring a certain amount of frustration, never one of my strengths. That said, the edge of fatigue can be rich with insights, if I can tolerate the dissonance long enough to observe and understand the situation. Often the fault resides with my own unwitting short-sightedness. Other times, however, there are circumstances outside my control that aren’t going to change, in which case the healthiest course of action is to tactfully bail out. Discerning the difference between one and the other is the trick, of course. My first impulse isn’t to ask what I can do differently to influence a situation, but rather to blame others and head for the exit. In the long run, this gets me, and the sustainability issues on which I work, nowhere. If we’re going to excel at addressing these complex challenges, we have to get better at managing the hurdles they present, starting with ourselves and how we interact with others. The technical stuff, by contrast, is simple to solve.