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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 Big, Long, and Difficult?

Peter Nicholson

I suffer my lies. One of these days, a project will arise that takes less time and effort than anticipated. Then again, if I had better predicted these factors, I might not have begun in the first place. I’m beginning to wonder, however, if this proclivity is more an innate evolutionary human trait, rather than an individual dysfunction? Challenges, whether they involve starting a new business, or addressing climate change, can be daunting if accurately summed up in advance. When faced with intimidating hurdles, and sustainability projects offer many, something deeper can kick in, shift my brain chemistry to alter perceptions so that a steep mountain appears to be a scalable molehill. Once underway, the fiction fades and reality emerges but, well, I'm already engaged. “If I would have known this much effort were involved...” I think. Too late. In retrospect, it often seems that I did know. Reason gets hijacked so that, in the end, I’m not limited by my perceived limitations. Growth occurs, however born out of effort and frustration. Next time, I won’t be so easily fooled, I tell myself, even while knowing, on some subliminal level, that this too is most likely a lie.