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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.

Distraction by Abstraction?

Peter Nicholson

Earth Day is ripe for innovation. First observed on April 22, 1970, the celebration makes me and many of my sustainability colleagues cringe. While I firmly believe that “education is the foundation for progress,” as the Earth Day website exhorts, I also know from abundant experience that awareness is easy; meaningful action much more difficult. Such an occasion would be more powerful if it resulted in increased, ongoing capacity to forge positive change. Also, we need to better understand and address the relationship between relatively abstract terms like “climate," “sustainability," or “environmentalism,” and the more immediate concerns of local communities. Finally, as the late comedian George Carlin once so brilliantly highlighted, “the Earth” isn’t the problem, we are. Earth+Humans Year should be more like it. Let’s take a hard look in the mirror and better solve for that.