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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.

Blog

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

Filtering by Tag: Essay

Infinite Potentials?

Peter Nicholson

8 Years: Part II
Every tone provides possibilities. There are two kinds of classical musician: those that are placated by well-constructed performances, and those that are never satisfied, but rather are constantly exploring, seeking the potential depth of the experience. Bottomless curiosity is a genetic disposition. I appreciated a recent piano recital because it never sounded complete. The journey was dynamic, not a static fixed plan and, as such, imbued with intelligence and life.

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Unintentional Consequences?

Peter Nicholson

Evolutionary Envy
We are clumsy beings. I watched a pod of humpback whales off the northern coast of Iceland earlier this week, including one breaching. The sight of a 45-foot, 70,000-pound creature hanging motionless for a split second in mid-air before crashing on to the water was breathtaking. But so is observing them, fairly close up, as they effortlessly skim the surface, breathing, preparing for their next elegant dive.

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What Might Happen?

Peter Nicholson

Making Space
I hope you noticed. Foresight is fortunate to have a diversely talented staff that truly enjoys working together. Innovating around sustainability issues requires assembling the right people as much as developing insightful ideas. My vision for Foresight’s success involves the organization evolving beyond me, its founder.

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INSIGHT: Taking Your Shot?

Peter Nicholson

Part II: Going Long
Innovation requires intention and investment. The best investors seek out ripe potential, not already existing value, and place their funds there. Astute entrepreneurs have a track record of identifying and developing those opportunities. We need more of both, and for them to seek more than financial returns through projects that will pay environmental and social dividends as well. I don’t love fundraising, but I adamantly believe forging young leaders is an essential change strategy. The majority of Foresight’s summer program participants wouldn’t have been able to attend without scholarships that were supported by people they’ve never met. That said, I’m concerned that our urgency to address immediate concerns will overshadow building future capacity, and eventually inaugurate a longer crisis. You don’t have to be a millionaire to make an impact. Whether you have $100 or $1000 or more to plant and grow, the evidence that we’re seeing from Foresight’s diversity and leadership initiative is that promising signs of spring have started to emerge. Need a sign of hope—let these stories inspire you, and then help create more like them.

Who’s Worried Now?

Peter Nicholson

Yes, Everything is Not Okay
The patient is my father. Modern medicine’s sophisticated acrobatics astound me with their ability to sustain life. I rarely consider that the sustainable innovation projects on which I work ultimately share this objective. Energy, climate, agriculture, among other issues, possess less immediate feedback loops.

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INSIGHT: Defending the Future?

Peter Nicholson

Driven to Distraction

I write in the mornings. I try to start with a clear mind and not do any other work beforehand. However, the preponderance of daily political maneuverings easily distracts me. I’m living in a barely sublimated “fight or flight” state sustained by each news update.

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INSIGHT: The Kindness of Strangers?

Peter Nicholson

The Implications of Principles
Fundamentals matter. Recently, I’ve been considering the many gradations of progress, violence, trust and risk. Some manifestations are so subtle or common that I’ve failed to recognize them, either within myself or externally. Generosity is required. As much a personal discipline as specific act, this capacity can be expanded through practice, or never exercised at all. It runs deeper and broader than kindness.

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INSIGHT: Visible Revolutions?

Peter Nicholson

Cuba Diaries I: Revealed
Cuba changed me. I visited last week, wanting to experience it while its remarkable fissures between old and new are still so visible, and on so many levels. History and necessity have forged an ethos of resilience and sustainability that were apparent in both attitudes and practices, although...

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INSIGHT: From Inertia to Progress?

Peter Nicholson

View From a Ledge
Relationships change. I remember how in college, a close friend one semester could quickly become a casual acquaintance the next. Connections evolve as we grow, or should. Sometimes the choice to redefine is ours, other times not. Sometimes it happens gradually and organically, other times jarringly and unexpectedly. The new year inspires me to take stock of personal, professional and political evolutions and their potential implications. What do I need to redefine, shift?

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INSIGHT: What now?

Peter Nicholson

Ten Admonitions to Myself for 2017
In no particular order and for no particular reason, except that I can always use the reminders. All the best for the coming year!

1. Resist knee jerk impulses, because they rarely lead to adequate, productive solutions.
2. Understand systems by taking the time to comprehend the context in which an issue exists, in order to identify the best ways to approach it.

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INSIGHT: Up and Away?

Peter Nicholson

Alt Perspective

Alternatives emerge after takeoff. The evolution begins on the way to the airport. The urgency of a hundred details begins to fade. Despite my best intentions, some tasks just won’t get done. Being an executive director requires a split perspective, concurrently focusing on the long- and short-term.

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