Foresight Design Initiative
Foresight Design Initiative is a multidisciplinary innovation studio. We work with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions. We are committed to training the next generation of leaders.
The Foresight Design Initiative possesses over a decade of experience pursuing a range of sustainability-focused innovation projects and, concurrently, producing unique and compelling education experiences. Participant evaluations have consistently given the organization's programs top marks, validating its three-pronged approach that includes an emphasis on a triple bottom line (social, environmental, economic) perspective, reliance upon teacher-practitioners, and incorporation of experiential learning opportunities. Foresight program alumni have subsequently assumed influential positions in a diversity of sectors.
Learn more at the Foresight Design Initiative website.
Oberlin is a four-year, highly selective liberal arts college and conservatory of music. Founded in 1833 by a Presbyterian minister and a missionary, it was the first college to grant bachelor's degrees to women in a coeducational environment and, historically, was a leader in the education of African Americans. The Oberlin community is known for its exemplary academic and musical pedagogy and its commitment to social justice, sustainability, and creative entrepreneurship.
Oberlin’s legacy of inclusion and respect for diversity sets the tone for campus life today. The presence of a top liberal arts college and a world-class conservatory of music on a single campus is rare and enriching. Students live, dine, play, and study together in a community of intense learning and discovery. Members of the Oberlin community revel in their differences as much as they value the sense that they are all in this together. The Oberlin community shares a commitment to pushing the boundaries of their determination, intellect, and creativity.
Together, the campus and community create a place of urban sensibility reflecting the music, art, and cultural richness of the world. Oberlin's size, residential character, variety, and selectivity provide an atmosphere that is conducive to intellectual and personal growth.
The program will be led by experienced Foresight Design Initiative staff, supported by trained undergraduate teaching assistants, and will include guests from the Foresight Seminars Steering Committee, Oberlin faculty and staff, and Foresight's extensive network of sustainability leaders.
Peter Nicholson leads a multifaceted career focused on innovating greater social, environmental and economic sustainability. He has consulted on and undertaken a diverse range of projects for clients, including municipal government agencies, institutional nonprofits, and small businesses, and large corporations. Dedicated to empowering the next generation of sustainability-minded leaders, Peter regularly mentors interns, and leads a variety of education programs based on his professional experience. In 2002, he established the nonprofit Foresight Design Initiative, for which he serves as the Executive Director. In 2012, he formed Foresight Bright, LLC, an innovation consulting practice forcused on private sector clients. Prior to this, he held a variety of positions in the private and nonprofit sectors. In each, he has consistently pursued growth and innovation. Peter began his study of Sustainability and Design at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology and holds a bachelors degree from Oberlin College.
Tim Jones-Yelvington possesses a range of facilitation, research, communications and program development and assessment skills. He worked for five years as program staff at Crossroads Fund, a public foundation supporting grassroots community organizing and social justice activists groups in the Chicago area, including a number of youth-led campaigns. His position included managing a portfolio of grantees and helping to coordinate a community-led grantmaking process. He worked closely with the staff and leaders of small, new and emerging organizations to navigate their organizational growth, and contributed to fundraising and communications efforts. He recently completed a Masters of Education in Youth Development at University of Illinois at Chicago. His culminating field experience took place in the After School and Expanded Learning Team at American Institutes for Research, the nation's largest social science research and evaluation organization, where he acquired a wealth of resources for promoting youth program quality.
Resident / Teaching Assistants (RATAs)
The RATAs (pronounced rah-tahs) are current Oberlin College students who mentor Seminar participants as teaching/residential assistants. Below are biographies for the 2014 RATAs. Stay tuned for announcements regarding the team for 2015.
Jenny Goldsmith is currently a third-year Economics major at Oberlin College, with a focus on Environmental Economics. She believes in the necessity of moving from single (profit) to triple (environment, profit, social equity) bottom-line thinking, to reverse climate change. Outside of the classroom, she mentors a 5th grader, and is a captain of Oberlin’s Varsity Softball team. Jenny is interested in working with high school students and younger children on sustainability issues because this generation has the opportunity and power to bring triple bottom line values into the business world at a large scale.a captain of Oberlin’s Varsity Softball team. Jenny is interested in working with high school students and younger children on sustainability issues because this generation has the opportunity and power to bring triple bottom line values into the business world at a large scale.
Max Herzog is a sophomore at Oberlin College, planning to double major in Politics and Environmental Studies, and potentially minor in Philosophy and Economics. During the past four summers, he has accumulated extensive scientific research experience at Washington University in St. Louis (where he hails from), but has focused more on political, philosophical, and literary theory in his college coursework. His academic goals include personal philosophical development and preparation for a meaningful and impactful career in sustainability. His extracurricular interests can be generally described as music, music, music, and exercising (sort of). He also enjoys camping, skiing, and SCUBA. At Oberlin he participates in both Men's Ultimate Frisbee (go horsecows!!) and WOBC, the college radio station.
Jane Clark is a sophomore at Oberlin College, double majoring in Environmental Studies and East Asian Studies. She works for the Oberlin Student Co-operative Association (OSCA) to coordinate cleanliness, maintenance, and food safety standards for ~600 student members. She is fascinated with how human activity can be shaped to positively impact the environment, quality of life and culture. After learning more about sustainability initiatives in Cleveland through FLSI, she has become interested in how societies can rebuild to create more sustainable communities and regions after natural disasters (e.g. the 2011 Japanese tsunami-earthquake) or regional decline (ex. the Rust Belt). She enjoys organizing spreadsheets, blues and swing dancing (as much as she remembers how to), hiking, and will learn to unicycle once she finds the time. Sometimes, when she’s procrastinating, she draws comics.
Illustrations by Jane Clark