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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.


Peter Nicholson

Starbucks at Starbucks
Time is of the essence. I'm writing this on my phone while riding a bus. Time is always of the essence. Juggling multiple deadlines and evolving project demands this week has stressed my capacity for nimbleness. Sometimes we are more aware of the essence of time than others. I’m at Starbucks now. Coffee is an essence beverage. Not just any Starbucks, but a Starbucks Reserve, an "immersive space" where I’m “invited to discover and explore.” I’m currently discovering and exploring my anxiety about everything I’m working on not being a success, about challenges large and small going askew. And not just any Starbucks Reserve, but the one at the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. So elegantly and excruciatingly designed. I don’t drink coffee, not even “the rarest and most extraordinary” selection. If only I could emulate the crafted elegance with solutions to water, climate, food. I want to live here, allow the pervasive scent, (notes of hazelnut and caramel? a slightly citrus finish?) to placate my concerns, the attentive and well-trained staff to attend to my needs. Relax, time is not of the essence here. This exotic, magical beverage is drawn, brewed, poured over. Hints of affluence and success.