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We Won Chouteau Greenway Competition

De Nichols is a member of the Stoss Landscape Urbanism team, which won the 2018 Chouteau Greenway Design competition launched by Great Rivers Greenway with unanimous decision of it jury. 

via Great Rivers Greenway:

St. Louis – May 2, 2018 –The Chouteau Greenway Design Competition partners and jury have selected the team led by Stoss Landscape Urbanism to refine their conceptual plans for a new greenway to connect Forest Park and the Gateway Arch.

Four teams were chosen in January to compete and were given 90 days to develop conceptual plans for the Chouteau Greenway. Teams submitted their plans in early April for public feedback and presented their ideas to the jury and community last week.

“The teams’ responses to the design and community goals indicate their understanding of the complexity and transformative nature of the project to St. Louis,” said Don Stastny, Competition Manager. “Their receptivity to the community concerns and interests was apparent and will be important in the next steps of design refinement.”

In the deliberations that followed, the Stoss Team was unanimously chosen as the team to participate in the next stage of the competition. The jury provided comments about each team, suggestions for refinement of the chosen team’s concept and overall recommendations; the full jury report is available online.

“The team has gusto – not just talent, but also passion for the project,” said the jury. “Their successful response to the goals is due to their strong team, clear framework, and flexibility to work with the project partners, the community and also institutions. The outcomes in their presentation are not solutions but provide a starting point for dialog and design.”

Read the full press release via Great Rivers Greenway.

A 2018 DETOUR Is upon Us

Around this time every year, I enter a deep wave of travel, speaking, and co-creating across the nation, and this year, it begins this week. (Outside of traveling home for my nephew’s first birthday, I’ve been sitting still so far to complete teaching my first college course, Design as a Catalyst for Change, at Washington University in St. Louis.)

Some peole may remember how last year’s travels became heavy enough to be considered as the first DeTour (watch all the moments). And, this year is looking promising for engaging even more deeply with fellow young changemakers in both familiar and new communities across the nation (see below).

As I embark upon these journeys, I would love to keep you with me. In addition to these letters, experience each upcoming adventure via YouTube, and engage the lessons and insights I’ll be learning and sharing.

Also, read to the bottom for some cool perks (like TEDx discounts and a free ticket to the United State of Women Summit), and let me know: of all the social movements happening right now, which one(s) speak most to your heart’s fire? 


Major Talks & Convenings—Spring 2018 Dates

If I’m speaking in your city, let me know. It would be great to see you. Let’s talk about art, activism, and innovation in your community. Email to pitch ideas and share possibilities.


10—St. Louis
Arts & Activism Conversation with Author, Natalie Hopkinson

14–16—Washington, DC
Future States of America: National Arts Summit at John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

19—St. Louis
Politics, Power, & Design at Washington University in St. Louis

25—St. Louis
#STL2039 Launch ft. Brittany Packnett, Alison Ferring, Michelle Higgins, and Ryan Rippel

27—St. Louis
Dwell in Other Futures at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

28—Iowa City
Flyover Fest (just attending)


Harvard GSD 99 Provocations

2—Boston Meetup

3–6—Baltimore & DC
#Fight4AFuture Gun Violence Summit with Generation Progress

3—Baltimore Meetup

11—St. Louis
Black Women Speak: Exhibition Talk at The Griot Museum

18–19—Kansas City
Rocket Grants Jury & Talk


2—St. Louis
Influencing Social Policy Conference
FoodSpark’s The Spark

9–13—Los Angeles

15—St. Louis
Theater Communications Group Conference

16—Denver, CO
Americans for the Arts Conference

More Goodness

  • I now make new videos EVERY DAY (except Sundays)!! I’ve taken on the infamous #VEDA challenge this month. What’s that?
  • Welcome to Innovation City. Listen to my episode of this new podcasthighlighting St. Louis and Miami innovators.
  • BTW, Spotify wants to help more black women become podcasters.
  • Get a discount on this week’s TEDx in St. Louis. Enter TEDX45 (General Admission, discount from $60 to $45) when you register on MetroTix.
  • I overbooked myself. Take my place at the United State of Women Summit.

Taking on the VEDA Challenge

As social influencers, building a YouTube channel is of course one of the best methods to expand your reach, build your platform, and deepen the impact of your work.

This month, learn, connect, and take adventures with me DAILY as I take on #VEDA2018—the Vlog Everyday in April challenge.

VEDA is one of the many month-long challenges on YouTube, and I will use it to share the ins and outs of my life as a social practice designer, entrepreneur, and well, human. I’ll dive deep into the challenges, the inspirational moments, a lot of travel/journeys, and more.

SUBSCRIBE to catch all the videos:

*Click the little bell icon to get notifications.

Watch the first video.

Confidence for Consistency

#stickynotetoself 587 “Confidence is a force for consistency.”

When we think about the people who have achieved mastery in their fields, it has often come by building habits of consistent practice, engagement, or production. Often when we are inconsistent with our goals, there might be a lot of reasons at play, but so often for me, those reasons are connected with the level of confidence I feel in relationship to that goal. In this latest Sticky Note to Self video, I talk through some of these effects.

Watch on YouTube


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MUSIC CREDIT: Chilling by 🌴Oshóva🌴 Music promoted by Audio Library

Mar 27 | Black Tech Summit of the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

During the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in St. Louis, MO, De Nichols will join a panel of African American creators and technologists to engage the state of Black Tech in the metropolitan area. This collection of creatives will share tools and tips to help others effectively use digital/social media marketing platforms and technology to communicate their passions, enter the tech field, and develop their own enterprises. 

314 Day Challenge 2018

It’s #PiDay to the world, but to those of us in St. Louis, MO, it’s #314Day. To celebrate, I decided to challenge my friends across the internet to share the 3 places and 14 things they loved most about our city. With Vogue Magazine’s article, “An Insider’s Guide to the Magic of St. Louis,” as inspiration, the challenge included the following levels:

Simple Challenge: Write It Out

  • List 3 places people should know about in STL.
  • Share 1 experience you love most in St. Louis.
  • Tag 4 people who’ve influenced your St. Louis experience.
  • Post your answers using hashtag #314DayChallenge on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Bonus: If you use the Stories feature on Instagram and Facebook, use this photo to tag your favorite places and people in the city:

“Show Me” Challenge: Show the world what you love about St. Louis.

  • Film yourself in your home or favorite place in the city and answer the 14 questions below about you and the things you love most in St. Louis.
  • Post the video using hashtag #314DaySTL on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • Tag 3 people to do it too.

Simple rules: Make it awesome. Let’s show the world how much heart and pride the people of our city have.

Level Up Challenge: 3 Places, 14 Questions

  • Film yourself in three (3) places around the city and answer 14 questions about you and the things you love most in St. Louis.
  • Post the video using hashtag #314DayChallenge on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • Tag 3 people to do it too.

14 Questions to Consider

  1. How long have you lived in St. Louis?
  2. What neighborhood do you rep?
  3. How do you feel you contribute to the culture here?
  4. Favorite spot to eat?
  5. Best local artist or band?
  6. One person everyone should know in St. Louis?
  7. Best experience/memory you’ve had while living in STL?
  8. What’s one place that used to exist that you would bring back?
  9. What do you do on the weekend?
  10. If you told someone to “Meet Me in St. Louis,” where would you take them?
  11. Most underrated thing about the city?
  12. What keeps you living here?  
  13. If you could envision one thing to make STL better in the future, what would it be?
  14. Who else do you think people should hear from? (Shout out three people)

Want to add more questions/ideas: Connect with the creator of this challenge, De Nichols, via Facebook message or Twitter (@De_Nichols).


I am overjoyed and grateful for all who participated in this one-day challenge. It was fun to watch the different social media stories throughout the day, and some people actually leveled up and joined me in creating videos. Here are three from YouTube: