Founder, Tim Magner

From studying history in Vienna, to drinking tea in Boston, teaching golf in North Carolina, eating grits in Georgia, skiing with Colorado kids that rip, exploring New York City, ice-fishing in Minnesota, cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and nearly calling California home – I’ve been around. My nephew Johnny thinks I’m 93.

My earliest memories are of life outdoors –out the back door and with grandparents in Wisconsin and Michigan. We chased what made us curious; frogs, ducks, our shadows and fireflies. We swam after fish, pulled weeds in the garden and picked berries. Our family bought roadside sweet corn and Mom organized husking competitions. I climbed the fruit trees and wondered about life as a farmer. We explored the woods after rainstorms and visited the garbage dump to watch bears.

Even if I didn’t always do my homework, I read. Dr. Seuss, E.B White, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson kept me up ’til Dad would remove the lamp from my bedroom so I’d go to sleep.

Now, I live in Chicago where I mostly explore- about where we are, where we’ve been and getting an idea of where we might go. I’m convinced today is the most exciting time in the history of the world to be alive. Throughout history, change is always the constant, but never before could it happen so quickly. But what type of change will occur as it applies to how civilization functions? Can we apply what nature has learned over billions of years? e.g. powered by current sunshine, cycle ‘wastes.’ Will we create systems where humans fit in?

If it begins with a different mindset, can we create formal education that supports these efforts? Can we develop and harness children’s innate desire to learn, to understand connections, and to solve problems? So much is possible.

Where did the name “Sugar” originate?

My last name’s Magner and “Mags” was my nickname. As a Boston College student, I attempted to sing the Grateful Dead tune “Sugar Magnolia.” I became SugarMags. Then, just Sugar.