Join us on Friday, July 26 to learn about John Edel’s experience in eco and social entrepreneurship, and enjoy our pre-event interview with John!

1. How would you define this month’s theme, End, in one sentence or less? End is the looming problem of climate change. For me, End is about finding new ways of thinking about climate change.

2. What does community mean to you? Community means the larger whole, not just our neighborhood but the people who have the power to make a difference, such as politicians and designers.

3. What are you currently reading? The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek. Highly recommend.

4. What is your secret superpower? Pragmatism. I am able to breakdown a problem and think of different ways of solving it. Also, I do not get discouraged. I look at the bright side.

5. What advice would you give someone who wants to go green? Look behind the green rush. Understand where things come from and where they go. Do your research!

6. How do you like to approach a creative problem? I like to break things down into pieces to help eliminate steps.

7. What do you do when you feel creatively stuck? Move to the next problem on the list! There are plenty of other things to work on. I also like to come back to it with fresh eyes.

8. What was the most surprising part of starting The Plant? All the support and help that come from many people with different backgrounds. For example, engineers, architects and linguist brought their skills and support.

9. Where do you find creativity in Chicago? Neighborhoods, I love to eat! I enjoy non-chain restaurants because I find inspiration from the food and decor. I also like to ride my bicycle and absorb the outdoors.

10. How does Chicago influence you or your work? I am influenced by Chicago’s industrial history since Chicago is the food manufacturing capital. There is a lot of innovation. I also like looking back through the rich history of food and design. 

11. Who is another creative person / organization in Chicago that we need to know about? Advocates for Urban Agriculture, is a coalition of urban farms, community and school gardens, individuals and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago region.

Jana Kinsman a former graphic designer turned beekeeper.

12. Lastly, what’s one fun fact about you that’s not in your official bio? I like to ride my high wheel bicycle. I once biked 100 miles on it!