Risky Business

A letter from our Board of Directors President

Dr. Sunitha Chandy, Psy.D. | Artesian Collaborative, LLC

I had no idea how significantly my life was going to change when I said “yes” to joining the inaugural Carpe Ventus Board of Directors in 2013.  It was an easy yes; here was an opportunity to apply, in a small tangible way, all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into my dissertation research on best practices of youth violence prevention and positive youth development.  

It did not stop there.  I was surrounded by amazing passionate people who were putting their time, energy and resources toward making a difference and this continually made me want to do more.  So when our team got together to develop our curriculum for our youth it was invigorating. We were creating something that was utilizing the best of what we know from research.

Along the way we realized it was important to equip our volunteers and staff with the same framework of life-giving risk that we shared with our youths to foster the best in them.  We also wanted our volunteers to be aware of their own journey regarding the cultural and economic divides which often maintain the segregation of groups in our city. How do we equip these diverse groups of individuals to interact well when they spend time together off the grid during Carpe Ventus events?

First ever Groundworks Session - 2015

First ever Groundworks Session - 2015

Could we take the risk to try and create a training that did not shy away from all the hard stuff that comes with cross-cultural interactions that still highlighted the amazing beauty that authentic and open connection brings?  Could we take our positive development model and our love for positive risks and make this teaching come alive in a personal and engaging way?

This was how our Groundworks Training was born.  Since it’s onset we have had the privilege of not only training Carpe Ventus volunteers, but also mentoring organizations, churches and other community advocates.  Suddenly, I was feeling more alive than I had in years. I was getting to apply the skills that I had honed through years of clinical work into leading the Groundworks Training.  I was interacting with individuals and organizations that wanted more than just a better Chicago, they wanted to be better as individuals too. It was inspiring.

My experience on the board lead to the next risk.  As a psychologist I have been passionate about working with individuals and families, helping them navigate identity conflicts, interpersonal conflicts and cultural dynamics as they work towards authentic and deep change.  Here was the opportunity to see that change happen in organizations and systems! What if there were ways the fundamentals in our training could impact more teams, organizations and companies to think thoughtfully and authentically in how they interact cross-culturally and use their diversity as an asset in their work?

It was this thought that started me on the path of creating Artesian Collaborative, LLC which is geared to providing opportunities for organizations and teams to take the life-giving risks we have tested and developed in our Groundworks Trainings into the workplace.  This is how Risky Business and our Professional Development Groups were born. They were developed for organizations that want to do more than just check a box, for those that want to build a culture that creates space for the rich experiences, identities and resources to disrupt the status quo and create a healthy, effective and engaged workforce.

There is much to say about the success of several companies across the country that have hosted a Risky Business training for their employees.  Contact me to learn more and to discuss opportunities for your business or team. Carpe Ventus is impacting all of us. Youth, mentors, staff, volunteers and board members are taking life-giving risks, seizing the wind of opportunity, transformation and impact. New perspectives, businesses, and relationships are being born. New life brings new seasons for us, our communities and our city.  Do not hesitate to join us, seize the wind!


Sunitha Chandy, Psy.D. | Artesian Collaborative LLC

Carpe Ventus Board President

Erin Foster