About Ben Roberts
Contact info:
C +1 (203) 733-2252
19 Farrell Road
Newtown, CT 06470
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.
Work Highlights

  • Co-creating Funding Ecosystems for Regeneration (“CoFundEco”): May 2023-present
  • Lead convener of a community that supports and shares learning from the development of ecosystemic practices for funding regenerative work in a variety of domains
  • Produced a social system map to visualize the community and support self-organizing of “co-creation nodes”

  • One of three members of the global council of the Regenerative Communities Network who collaborated to design, convene, and host a two-week summit with ~1000 registrants and 120 sessions
  • Led the development of the online home for the summit, using the Qiqochat platform
  • Organized ~30 follow up conversations in 2023, aka “weaving in the valley of bioregional regeneration.”

  • Organized a collaborative of ~30 people, in partnership with the r3.0 organization, to produce a 170 page “blueprint” on allocating investment and grant-making for a regenerative and distributive economy

  • Strategizing on collaborative possibilities for TRCC "Circle" members, including Transition US, Movement Generation, Post Carbon Institute, Bloom Network (formerly Evolver), New Economy Coalition, Daily Acts, Shareable, New Stories, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Permaculture Action Network, Compassion Games, and more, as well as a group of independent change agents who serve "the movement of movements."
  • Collaborated to develop the "Co-project Initiative"--a democratic grant-making process where prospective grantees take the lead in deciding how to allocate a pool of grant dollars ranging from $160-$290K per year since 2014
  • Designing and hosting in-person and virtual gatherings, including the annual Movement Strategy Dialogue
  • Supporting a process for selecting and funding "co-labs" involving circle members
  • Led development and implementation of a "movement weaving" process combining appreciative interviews, group dialogue and online reporting

  • Now What?! Global Gathering and Gift Economy, lead convener and host, 2019-present
  • A series of six-week long gatherings on “the art of being fully human in a time of crisis,” that began in early 2019 and take place on a twice-yearly rhythm