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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 Value of Value?

Peter Nicholson

Understanding Deeper Drives
There’s a difference. The inherent distinctions between economic, environmental and social value, the three "bottom lines" of sustainability, appear largely unexamined. Early in my study of design, I realized that creating more things for more people for more profit, however lucrative, wasn’t going to generate the type of fulfillment I was seeking. Working on challenges that incorporate these other types of value does. Why? With little immediate insight available, I’m left hypothesizing that some deep human biophilic and altruistic impulses are at play, evolutionary hardwiring for which the human construct of money has no equivalent. A void is created when these parts of our consciousness are left unexercised. Higher salaries can temporarily offset, but never fully compensate for, this potentially powerful lack. I’m increasingly driven to understand these dynamics that are fundamental to both my work and myself. In so doing, I’m forced to acknowledge another element at play, the value of knowledge, for which my hunger knows no bounds.