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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640
USA

773.271.1990

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.

All the Love?

Peter Nicholson

The Sustainable Embrace
Everyone knew Charlie. For many years, by the gentle force of his caring personality, my friend Charlie Hamlen was at the center of the classical music world, launching and managing the careers of some of the most gifted musicians on the planet. Through an introduction he made, I undertook a professional collaboration that resulted in one of the pinnacle achievements of my then young career. At the peak of his prominence, having lost a partner to AIDS, he didn’t so much as walk away from his vocation, as brazenly pivot, leveraging his extensive professional capital, and large circle of friends, into the potent fundraising organization Classical Action. Charlie innately comprehended the profundity of human connection, and the imperative to nurture. His rage manifested itself in love. He taught me, by example, those essential elements of sustainability. Last January, when I suggested “You should write a book” over lunch at one of his favorite New York restaurants, he laughed, shared one or two anecdotes, clearly for my benefit, before shifting the conversation to what was exciting ahead. It was the last time I saw him. His humor, love, and influence infused and inflected many, irregardless of whether their work took them on stage or not. Attending his memorial service last weekend, I felt the absence of his encompassing embrace, and also gratitude for having known it. It is an influence that is part of me and many others, one that I can only strive to carry forward with as much grace as he so abundantly possessed.