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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: What of Contrasts?

Peter Nicholson

Dialogue With Mountains II
The conversation is profound. Or at least it feels that way as I hike the mountains of Glacier National Park. The physical scale of the ridges and peaks induce part of the awe. The intangible contrast of planetary dynamics and geologic chronologies with my own relatively inconsequential experience provide another. I will take the humility home with me, stuffed in my pack beneath the layers. The first thing you learn hiking, or should, is to acknowledge forces larger than yourself. Resiliency begins with respect, then preparation. A late summer snow storm hits as we ascend to the first of two 7,000 foot passes we need to scale that day. The obscurification is frustrating, but also makes the emergence of the jagged edges all the more powerful as storm clouds momentarily part. I take pictures, aware of the futility of doing so, that what I will be left with is a meager subset of an expansive experience. Yet I persist, as if by doing so the terms of this impossible merger between mountain and self could be negotiated, and swayed in my favor.