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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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INSIGHT: The Next Step?

Peter Nicholson

Staging Success
I’m still not there. My tidying exercise that began over Labor Day continues. Organizing the last 10% of stuff is the most difficult. Last weekend, I scattered several piles around the living room and then stopped, overwhelmed. Viewing it all at once was paralyzing. I didn’t know what to do with much of it. I’m not often focused on the big picture at work, however much it looms, but rather on various projects' immediate next steps. It’s not so much disbelief I’m suspending, but intimidation. In some remarkable way, progress breeds progress. Clearing a spot by filing away a stack of papers alters my perspective, suddenly I gain insight into what to do with an adjacent one. The older I get, the less need I have for the illusion of certainty. Rather, I’ve developed more confidence in the ability of the process to deliver the destination. Distinguishing between my psychological needs and the project’s demands is essential. I’ve seen undertakings struggle out of a desire to prematurely define the journey. While direction and intention is crucial, drafting the map before exploring the geography can be a misguided effort at forcing certitude, whether you’re organizing an apartment, or trying to address climate change.

P.S. In response to several requests from last week’s post, a list of resources I recently used in my tidying efforts (or have used in the past) is published here. I’d encourage you to check websites for hours and the specific types of goods/materials they accept.