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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: How Much Potential?

Peter Nicholson

The Dilemma of Unexpected Money
Unsolicited grants are rare. When presented with such a potential contribution recently, I found myself unprepared. “So what would you do with these monies?” the grantmakers asked. After having explained Foresight’s approach to innovation and several possible projects, I turned the question around on them: What do you think we should do? I didn’t pose it to throw them off balance, but rather to engage them in the process of considering the variables with me. An informed, outside perspective can be invaluable in helping identify an opportunity that may otherwise be invisible. The more we learn to constructively co-create, the greater purpose and efficacy our projects will possess, and, perhaps more significantly, the more common knowledge and insight we will create to inform and propel future initiatives. Whether Foresight is selected for a grant or not, I wanted to have at least challenged the young philanthropists to think differently about their methodology. The success of such endeavors isn’t a matter of imposing superior knowledge on an entity, but rather learning to work with and empower it to identify and realize potential it might not have known it possessed. Sometimes—No, in fact all of the time, this process begins quite personally, with each one of us considering, Of what greatness are we capable?