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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.

Overlooking the Obvious?

Peter Nicholson

Considering Human Capital
People are essential. The statement sounds painfully obvious. Yet I’m continually amazed at how often the pivotal role people play in various sustainability-related initiatives is overlooked, particularly in the nonprofit realm. Rarely during an interview for a new undertaking or grant have my colleagues and I been earnestly questioned about our qualifications or perspectives. Generating the idea is often equated with the capability to execute it. Recognizing professional potential can be difficult, but not impossible. Proposed projects can be described in writing, their logic and validity more easily assessed. Averting failure is pursued through developing rigorous "logic models” that detail what might foment change. I’ve seen very few such models that consider professional competence, leadership potential, the ability to innovate, remain resilient, figure it out. The first grant Foresight received was, in retrospect, an investment not in an idea, but in two earnest people that were, hopefully, asking and pursuing intelligent questions. We didn’t have an immediately relevant track record. The contribution wasn’t much compared to our current budget, but it meant a lot then. It made all the difference to the success of our first event, and the many others that followed. We don’t need to believe less in new ideas, but rather, more in people. The world will shift more quickly, and for the better.