Ben Roberts

Ben Roberts is a systemic change agent and “process artist,” working in service to what Joanna Macy and others have called "The Great Turning." Inspired in 2010 by the internet’s largely untapped power to convene and support new modalities for participatory dialogue, he has been a pioneer in bringing large group conversational processes into the virtual realm via platforms such as Zoom and Slack, and in blending and creating synergies between virtual and in-person engagement. Ben’s work focuses on: - Weaving communities, networks, gatherings, and movements - Co-leading the core teams of collaborative projects and initiatives - Creating open spaces for emergent dialogue Ben is driven by a belief that we are being deeply challenged at this moment in history by the urgent need for systemic transformation, the continued dominance of "Business as Usual," and the yearning for constructive programs with the critical mass to fully demonstrate that new paradigms are possible. At the same time, he recognizes the importance of Collapse as a context for engagement, and has been influenced by the call from Vanessa Machado de Oliveira for us to hospice modernity/coloniality in order to develop the capacity for something truly new to emerge. Ben sees dialogue as an ideal tool to address such complexity and uncertainty. He also recognizes that our dialogic processes must evolve, just like everything else. He is currently experimenting with a “conversation weaving” approach that entangles many small group conversations in hybrid space over a period of as little as a day or as long as several months.

The Story of the Clouds and the Forests

There’s a story one often hears in conversations about systemic transformation that goes like this… We are headed in the wrong direction and there’s very little time to reverse course.  Because of the scale and speed of the change that...