Sustainability crosses over. The intersection of the personal and the professional has been the focus of this column from the start. Last week, they collided in an unexpected way: a young family friend’s suicide coinciding with the end of a project exploring student mental health issues on a college campus like the one he would have attended in the fall. It’s not just T’s death that has jarred me, but also witnessing the repercussions for his friends and family, including mine.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
Filtering by Tag: Sustainability
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.
Along The Way
There are parallel realities. A single event can shift us from one to another, from denial to truth, ignorance to insight, normalcy to mourning. I am waiting for us to flip into the deeper authenticity of climate change from this surface lie in which we’re so immersed. The suicide of the 18yo son of close family friends last weekend has jarred me from my everyday existence into a pervasively grey mind space. With climate change, all kinds of indicators are highlighting that something isn’t right. But the truth has yet to become inconvenient enough to pursue the level of innovation required to adequately address it.
Places can be magnetic. I felt an immediate and inexplicable affinity for the Netherlands when I first arrived in 1998. Whenever I return, like I have this week, I still feel this connection. The way these lowlands are ordered, and integrate astute design in so many facets, reverberates with me.
Outfitted for the Forefront
I never feel totally prepared. I’ve secured the fancy rain shell, down jacket and hiking shoes, and now sit contemplating how to fit all the gear in the suitcase, while simultaneously questioning whether I’m omitting something important. The older I get, the more packing induces anxiety. Perhaps I’m more aware of what can go wrong?
I yearn for levity. Sustainability pursuits are intrinsically barrier-laden. The trick is to never lose sight of appreciation and possibility. When my grasp of those elements begins to slip, the free fall dreams start to surface. Wordsworth comes to mind: The world is too much with us. Last week, the Foresight staff slipped up to a borrowed, high altitude Colorado house to consider the organization’s trajectory.
Places Yet to Go
I’m still learning. Nineteen years ago, I attended my first sustainability-focused conference. Like the first day of school, considering “what might be” captured my imagination, and set my professional trajectory for the next two decades. Success has been elusive, however.
On behalf of ComEd, The Chicago Community Trust has issued a request for proposals to help build a job training pipeline program to meet the anticipated demand for an expanded and qualified solar PV installation workforce. Signed into law last year, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act is expected to drive a significant increase in solar installation across the state. But what does the Future Energy Jobs Act even mean?Read More