Like an unexpected slap in the face, news from Cape Town, South Africa about its severe water crisis both shocks and stings. In a few short months, the day will come when this major global city will have zero drinking water. But what does “Day Zero” really even mean? The Chicago Council on Global Affairs breaks it down for us this week. Click here to read their explainer.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
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I don’t know about you, but it seems like everywhere I turn folks are talking about blockchain and its potential to change all of the systems around us, from food to banking. But what does blockchain even mean?Read More
At the World Economic Forum’s annual convening, the business member releases The Global Risk Report which identifies the most important risks and trends in shaping global development in the next 10 years. For the last 10 years, I have been fascinated to learn of the world’s 1,000 leading companies’ perspective on emerging threats to our global economy. Truthfully, I have been curious to watch the threat of climate change rise on their list—which originally popped up in their top five in 2011. But what does The Global Risk Report even mean?Read More
Through our project work and research, Foresight has been studying and practicing the mechanics of cross-sector collaboration for years now. Collaboration is by no means a novel concept, but working together on complex challenges requires new approaches, structures, and measures of success. Now is the time to ask, what does transformational collaboration even mean?Read More
Most of us are aware of the causes and impacts of post-traumatic stress, whether we have experienced it personally or know someone who has — anxiety, sleeplessness, hopelessness in the aftermath of a traumatic experience. But what happens when the trauma never ends, for instance for wildfire fighters facing record breaking outbreaks year after year? In Chicago, this trauma can be seen in our communities that face persistent gun violence. What does continuous traumatic stress disorder even mean?Read More
If you have ever partnered with Foresight, you know that one of the first steps we take on a project is to create a “systems map” (or diagram) to better understand and make explicit the key elements, root causes, feedback loops, and forces that shape the system we are working on. But what does a systems map even mean?Read More
The holiday season is upon us, and with it often comes quality family time. Between the sugar cookies and punch bowls, there will likely be more than enough guilt trips, awkward politics, and jumping to conclusions to go around. A quick refresher on the ole’ Ladder of Inference—and how to avoid sprinting up it—might be just the trick to gracefully navigate this season of joy. But what does the Ladder of Inference even mean?Read More
Last week, you may have seen your Twitter feed explode with excitement around the #ChicagoClimateCharter, or you were in the room when over 50 mayors from across North America and beyond signed on to the Charter. But what does the Chicago Climate Charter even mean?Read More
For its 2017 Person of the Year, Time magazine just named “The Silence Breakers;” the brave people who have bared their pain from sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse by those at the highest levels of power and influence, and catalyzed the emergence of a truly transformative movement that is shifting our cultural tolerance. YES!
While we have touched on the concept of emergence before in this series, this moment presents a compelling example and an opportunity to revisit it. So, let’s re-pose: what does emergence even mean?Read More
Have you ever noticed how so many work-related (and home-related, for that matter) challenges come down to miscommunication or differences of perspective? Well, as systemic designers, we like to call that "social complexity" and explicitly design for it in our practice. But what does social complexity even really mean?Read More
In these tumultuous times, it is hard not to wonder how we will ever recover. Well, when a dear friend recently reached out for my recommendations on self care, I shared something that helps me sleep at night: the panarchy theory. But what does panarchy even mean?Read More
One key characteristic of a complex system—be it a forest ecosystem, city, or an organization—is that it demonstrates “emergence." Think of city; it is far more than the sum of its parts (buildings + people + streets). Out of a city emerges culture, innovation, and economic growth. But what does emergence even mean?Read More