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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
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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.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

The Lesson Within The Lesson?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 2*: Launching Pads
I’m trying to become dispensable. It can be a tricky balancing act, constantly judging when to intervene, and when to allow my teenage students to find voice and agency in the struggle to overcome whatever challenge has been created for them. They’re inherently more capable of spanning and integrating their geographical, economic and racial divides more quickly than any exercise I could devise. My role is to empower them to go farther. Trusted relationships are key, between them and me, between each other. I admire how quickly high school students can bond, a capacity that seems to dissipate with adulthood. They’re constantly teaching me, which keeps it fun. Embracing the assigned challenges, they find common cause in uniting their enthusiasms and intelligences, learning to align and excel in order to overcome. No person is left out. The underlying lesson, of course, has less to do with the climate-focused art they are producing, and everything to do with how its generation is teaching them to collaborate, understand and address problems. For now, they are focused on "the what." Tomorrow, I hope they will recall the profundity of "the how,” and the distance such collective genius can take them.

P.S. Checkout the most recent digital postcard from the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin program where I’m currently teaching the Artistic Responses to Climate Change seminar.