One of the first innovation firms to focus exclusively on the issue of sustainability, Foresight Design Initiative has long been on the cutting edge of systems innovation through community building and culture change. Our accomplishments span across a diverse range of projects that represent ground-breaking efforts to inspire collaboration, engagement, and innovation around sustainability issues. Examples include launching the first sustainable civic innovation seminar (2003), the first sustainable business alliance in Chicago (2006), the first sustainability summer program for high school students (2009), and the first sustainability-focused Mayoral candidate forum (2011). Our project portfolio continues to evolve, but our commitment to fostering collaboration, facilitating engagement, and changing culture is stronger than ever.
As the longest-running and best-known sustainability gathering in town, Foresight Green Drinks was a Chicago institution that connected and edified the community from 2003-2012. Part of an international movement that grew in over 300 international cities, our Green Drinks attracted a unique cross-section of advocates, business leaders, students, and government representatives united by an interest in sustainability issues. Each event featured power networking, a panel discussion, resource table, and informal mingling.
By 2012, the sustainability community in Chicago had grown large and diversified. New events and gatherings popped up around specific issues, be it food, energy, or green buildings, and the demand for Green Drinks dropped 75% within 12 months. This decline in attendance was also felt at Green Drinks events in Seattle and New York City. It became clear that the sustainability landscape had evolved beyond Green Drinks and it was time for Foresight to move on.
Foresight Sustainable Business Alliance
The first network of its kind in Chicago, the Foresight Sustainable Business Alliance (FSBA) operated from 2006-2012. Members benefited from a network of professional services, cutting-edge industry updates, tools for influencing public policy initiatives, and a community of like-minded business leaders. Membership in the FSBA lent credible proof of sustainability leadership, and participating enterprises found competitive advantage, higher efficiency and profitability, reduced risk, and decreased waste and costs through their efforts to become more sustainable.
Like Green Drinks, by 2012, participation waned in the Foresight Sustainable Business Alliance. Other more issue- or industry-specific networks emerged and the need for a general sustainability alliance was declining. However, connections that were forged through FSBA now serve as the foundation for collective progress towards a more sustainable business community in Chicago.