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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640
USA

773.271.1990

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.

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Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Speak My Language?

Peter Nicholson

Designing Collaboration
Alignment doesn’t come easily. Foresight recently helped a diverse group of very smart and knowledgeable partners achieve a common vision around a multifaceted innovation challenge. We’ve done this before, but over a matter of months, not the 7 weeks this undertaking required. After all the listening, assimilating, questioning, editing, and reflecting back what we heard, what emerged was much more than the required 15-page document. We generated a shared mental model of what could be. It wasn’t easy getting there. Without the various parties' dedication to achieving a shared “win,” it would never have happened. Any future collaboration that might emerge from this effort will be built on this initial foundation of mutual understanding. Too often, a shared comprehension is assumed to exist inherently between experienced, like-minded people, only to have conflict, distrust and frustration flare when it doesn't. Addressing increasingly complex challenges like those presented by climate change will require new, multifaceted alliances. Design will be fundamental to success, not only in helping envision powerful new approaches, but also in providing methods for getting people thinking and communicating alike enough to bring them about.