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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: Is This Delusion Sustainable?

Peter Nicholson

Fictions We Live By
My accountant set me straight. Once upon a time, I had the notion that I was going to try and secure a job with a large company. When I shared this ambition during a meeting about my taxes, it provoked an immediate response: "But you’re not employable!” Seeing the look of confusion on my face, she explained, "You’ve been your own boss for too long.” The fiction I had constructed, and become invested in, evaporated. I left her office feeling resentful and lost. Addressing sustainability-related challenges often requires segmenting them into component pieces. Doing so, however, can mean forgetting the true scale of the issues. We start believing in our singular ability to “solve” the problem when, in reality, we’ve only influenced a very small part of it. I have been encouraged by the organizational collaboration behind the pending IL Clean Energy Jobs bill and the ongoing Calumet Stormwater Collaborative. They reflect a renewed dedication to scaling approaches to the size of the challenge. But plenty of us still have delusions that we can go it alone, with few, if any, influential entities reminding us otherwise.