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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: History's Trajectory?

Peter Nicholson

Forward and Back
I didn’t get it. When my great grandfather, then in his 90s, would visit, we would take him to construction sites so he could observe whether or not anyone was working. As if at church, we would sit in silence. Ever the impatient young companion, I would try to find ways to assuage my near instantaneous boredom. I didn’t know what he, a carpenter by profession, found so captivating. Sometimes it was difficult for me to tell if the building were going up or coming down. Focused on creating change on a daily basis, I’ve developed an abiding interest in the machinations of progress. They include both assembly and demolition, regression and forward moment, barriers and overcoming. The two dynamic forces require each other. Friday's impending administration change has jarred the status quo, activating latent energies that I’m not sure would have been invoked any other way. Facing several long emergencies, we are poised for a great leap forward, but it will not occur without turbulences; steps back invoking, hopefully, more ahead. Standing across the street recently from a high rise under construction, observing the activity, I remembered being so puzzled by what now fascinates me; load, tension, and support choreographed into a new structure, rising out of the guts of something which was probably built, and/or destroyed, in my great grandfather’s day.