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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: Socrates Said What?

Peter Nicholson

Provoking Questions (Part III)*
I’m currently eyebrow deep in several challenging but rewarding, sustainability-focused consulting projects. Generating the best approach for these undertakings really depends on conjuring the right question, and at the right time! Herewith, the third in the series of my regular standbys.

1. If not this, then what?
Because: too often we believe that “the best way,” as perceived today, is the only way. Considering alternatives challenges an overly easy answer, and provides a ready strategy for when reality intercedes and the initial approach doesn’t work out. 

2. Urgency, impact, capacity?
Because: successful impact has a recipe, or at least necessary conditions. Foresight has found that these three elements are prerequisites for a potential intervention being implementable and effective.

3. How would you explain this to a 10 year old?
Because: jargon can be alienating. If I can’t describe an idea at the level that a young person could understand it, I probably don’t completely comprehend it myself.

4. Why? Ok, why that? Ok, why that?!
Because: I enjoy being annoying! Actually, this is a quick, albeit potentially irritating, line of inquiry that can lead one to considering the root cause of a problem or proposed solution. 

*See here for Part I and here for Part II