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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 Way the World Ends?

Peter Nicholson

Reflecting Instead of Seeing
Smartphones were everywhere. The 2000 year-old Teotihuacan pyramids outside Mexico City were being plundered by modern day conquistadors, their pictures and selfies overrunning the once great civilization. A similar phenomenon has struck art museums as well. Visits have become more about documenting an exhibit rather than experiencing it. The obsession with recording environments that we should be experiencing knows no bounds. Teotihuacan is but one layer of once vibrant civilizations that were eventually paved over by the next. Two thousand years from now, future archeologists will perhaps reboot the servers of something called Facebook. They will stare in amazement, trying to make sense of the obliviousness represented by the millions of goofy images. Confronted with a profound crossroads, people turned to taking pictures of themselves. They inverted foreground into background, converted lenses into mirrors in a frenzied, unconscious attempt to capture their own fading image, including, most ironically, in front of artifacts of previously vibrant worlds that had long ago declined.