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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: Foresight Prep

This Week in History

Peter Toth

Alfred Nobel signed his final will on November 27, 1895, more than a year before his death, and bequeathed 94% of his assets to creating a prize fund for those who “conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.” While pursuing transformative change can be a lifetime’s work, platforms like the Nobel Prize and Foresight Prep @ Oberlin can empower future generations to carry on and improve these collective efforts. 

Who’s To Say?

Peter Nicholson

Invisible Inflections
Influence can take time to emerge. Earlier this week, I reconnected with a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. She mentioned the positive impact our teenage friendship had on her in subsequent years. I didn't realize. What seems to me like a simple action or gesture can for others carry potent meaning that we might never realize.

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Emergency Picnic Tote Bag Production

Jenny Goldsmith

We've had a great experience bringing our Emergency Picnic Tote and Lunch Bags to life with a local Chicago printer, Luckyprints, and are excited to share this short video inside look at the Emergency Picnic Tote Bag printing process!

We looked far and wide for the best reusable shopping bag (and supplier) before deciding on this one. Produced by a B Corp Certified manufacturer long dedicated to responsible practices, it is the perfect companion for a variety of activities like grocery shopping, daily errands, craft projects, travel, etc. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability. Unlike bulkier totes, this bag folds easily to neatly fit in tight spaces. The cotton web handles allow you to comfortably carry the bag either over the shoulder or as a tote. Our limited edition features a whimsical, climate-inspired drawing by renowned Chicago-based illustrator Tom Bachtell and pairs nicely with the related lunch bag.

All proceeds benefit the Foresight Prep Scholarship Fund.
Bag Image © Tom Bachtell.

More Than a Job?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 8*: Bonus Dividends
The envelope was a surprise. Bright pink, handmade, and with a simple “To: Peter” on the front, it was given to me by one of the valiant college students that help lead the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College program. For many years, I've kept a folder of all the thank you cards I’ve received as a just-in-case antidote to any future dark days.

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Whose Hands on the Wheel?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 6: Steering the Future
My grandfather let me drive. I was 10, and he had to operate the pedals. I sat on his lap steering us down the two-lane country road. If I started to drift out of our lane, he would gently suggest a correction: “Maybe you want to turn us a bit to the right?” If an oncoming car were in sight, he’d momentarily make the correction himself, although never suggesting I relinquish my grip.

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Interdependent Insights?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 5: Innovating Inclusion
I’m the minority here. The high school students in my sustainable business seminar embody far greater diversity than the cohort of professionals with whom I regularly work. I’m deeply invested in the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin program because more of my meetings should resemble the mix represented in this classroom. Making such pivotal educational opportunities more accessible is paramount. Despite good intentions, greater inclusion won’t just happen, it must be cultivated. Solving complex challenges often requires the wisdom of multiple perspectives. I’ve watched our students not just tolerate or overcome their differences, but rather combine, align and build upon them over the last month. Which doesn’t mean that everything always goes smoothly. However, living in close community for two weeks imbues these future leaders from across the country and world with a common experience, trusted bonds, and a sense of urgency that helps them navigate the occasional turbulence of collaboration. I continue to have my assumptions challenged and to learn from these motivated teens from backgrounds very different than my own, profoundly knowing that our success is dependent on theirs.

 

P.S. Due to robust demand this year, Foresight needs to raise $20K by August to cover the requisite scholarship resources to support the economically and racially diverse student body that is the program’s foundation. I would rather assume this challenge than turn away passionate, engaged and highly qualified students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend. It only takes a minute to make a one-time, or monthly, tax-deductible donation at: www.foresightprep.org/donate. Is it worth it? I’d invite you to read some of this year's weekly e-postcards posted on the program’s homepage. Each of our students embraced uncertainty, courageously grasping the opportunity to positively inflect their trajectories and, quite possibly, ours.

Many thanks to those who have already contributed and made a difference! 

The Lesson Within The Lesson?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 2*: Launching Pads
I’m trying to become dispensable. It can be a tricky balancing act, constantly judging when to intervene, and when to allow my teenage students to find voice and agency in the struggle to overcome whatever challenge has been created for them. They’re inherently more capable of spanning and integrating their geographical, economic and racial divides more quickly than any exercise I could devise.

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City Limits?

Peter Nicholson

Oberlin Diaries 1*: Forging Adjacencies
I’m living on an island. Surrounded by fields instead of water, the small Ohio town of some 8000 residents to which I’ve temporarily relocated is still an island. It’s quiet, pastoral, isolated, and yet connected to the other islands, and eventually the Cleveland-area mainland, by causeways extending in several directions across the fertile moat.

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What Does The Iceberg Model Even Mean?

Lyndon Valicenti

In a few days, I will have the honor of leading a passionate group of high schools students through a two-week change making seminar. One of the key lessons I hope to impart is the need for systems thinking when tackling society’s most complex challenges. To guide our discussion on systems thinking, we will turn to the iceberg model. What does the iceberg model even mean?

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