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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.

The Unequivocal Embrace?

Peter Nicholson

Body in Flight I: The Physical
The acceleration jarred me. Sitting at the back of the plane, my feet dangling outside the door 13,500 feet above the ground, the burly instructor secured to my back, my mind went full and blank simultaneously. Courage, fear, determination converged at light speed as we lurched forward, leaving the safe, solid and secure for the unfettered mystery of free fall. Some kind of profound barrier of disbelief shattered as my butt lifted off the airplane floor and out into empty space. Having flown frequently since I was young, I’d never exited an aircraft like this before. I think I simultaneously gasped and yelled as the unbridled race toward stable, terminal velocity subsumed my voice. That first rush is really the thing, the source of the adrenaline flood, and they kept it secret. So much of my work is about generating momentum, overcoming stasis, getting people to if not to leave their comfort zone, at least consider it. There can be benefits to ignoring the hesitations, flinging yourself not into the unknown, but rather, just the opposite, into the very known. I’ve spent hours staring out of airplane windows gazing at the miniaturized world below. I’d just never experienced that initial blinding acceleration; the force of wind at 120mph; the intermingling of terror and exhilaration; the surprising insight that surfaced as I plummeted, dissolving impediments that I didn’t fully realize existed until I physically jumped; the surprising desire to do it again. You in?