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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.

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

Facilitating the Future?

Peter Nicholson

The Art of Allowing
Learning music was essential. When I was playing and studying chamber music in college, I had no idea how valuable the experience would later be to my career. There are a plethora of courses that teach meeting facilitation techniques. I would put my years of chamber music experience up against every one. Very little meaningful or impactful innovation happens without collaboration. Next week, I’ll be facilitating an important day-long gathering of diverse food and agriculture leaders. I’m nervous-confident, which I’ve found is the best way to be. I don’t pursue facilitation just intellectually anymore. At some point I realized the imperative to internalize all the theory and information and rely on a different type of intelligence. I can’t make it happen, but rather can only allow it. The first time I had such an experience playing in a quartet was transcendental, there was an exhilaration in having connected with something deeper than our individual contributions. Eschewing standard presentation-with-Powerpoint, next week's event will be highly interactive, with me guiding, but not controlling, the exchanges. I think this is a better way than more scripted formats, because it allows for greater responsiveness and freedom. But it only works if there is clear commitment and direction, a meter, a beat, however invisible its source.