Ben Roberts
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Ben Roberts's Discussions

Sustainability at a Crossroads

Started this discussion. Last reply by Ben Roberts May 13, 2013. 2 Replies

Do you miss our regular calls?  Were you hoping to join one but never made it?  Then perhaps you will join…Continue

A Time for Courage: theme for the week of Jan 6, 2013

Started this discussion. Last reply by Janos Abel Mar 31, 2013. 25 Replies

We are being called to a place of courage.  As we contemplate the state of the world at the…Continue

Confronting Climate Change: theme for the week of 12/9/12

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jerry D. Hill Jan 8, 2013. 77 Replies

What is the climate conversation we most need to have now?…Continue

Gifts: Vital Conversation for the Week of 11/5

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dyck Dewid Nov 12, 2012. 18 Replies

What is the gift you have received from being part of the Occupy conversation?Please help us start this…Continue

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Latest Activity

Vic Desotelle joined Ben Roberts's group

Harvesting from our Conversations

A group for those who wish to work collaboratively to make meaning from the multiple conversation threads that are emerging in Occupy Cafe.Image of Gregory Harris painting courtesy of Rehs GalleriesSee More
Nov 29, 2011

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How would you characterize your connection to the Occupy movement?
Movement organizer, Active Supporter
List of on-the-ground Occupy sites where you participate, if any
Wall Street
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See my post in the Meet and Greet group Forum!
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Ben Roberts's Blog

New Writing from Graeber on Occupy and Democracy

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, has a new book out.  The Democracy Project starts with Graeber discussing the supression of Occupy Wall Street. That's part of his larger thesis that our political and economic institutions are so scared of change that they are more interested in making us believe change is impossible than they are in actually functioning effectively.  You can …


New from Strike Debt/OWS: "The Rolling Jubilee" Intitiative

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 10:04am 2 Comments

For those of you not on the OWS/Strike Debt email list...

It’s finally time to talk about an exciting new initiative from Strike Debt, called “The Rolling Jubilee”.  The Rolling Jubilee is a bailout of the people by the people - we buy defaulted debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it.  

We're writing to ask the national Occupy network for help to spread the word…


The Importance of "New Stories"

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 3:30pm 9 Comments

When a theme shows up repeatedly from multiple directions, I usually pay attention.  This is happening for me right now with the message about the importance of creating and sharing powerful stories that speak to the possibility of a major transformation of the human presence on this planet.

A core challenge in catalyzing systemic transformation is presenting the possibility (and, I believe the current reality) of that shift in ways that people can easily grasp and become inspired by.…


Video: "From Consumers to Citizens"

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 8:54pm 1 Comment

One of my favorite themes. 

This video was recently shared on the Art of Hosting list-serve by Ria Baeck via Simon d’Osogna. I just watched it and it really is a lovely nice-quality video about public participation, citing practices used in one region of Austria like Appreciative Inquiry, Wisdom Council, Citizen Juries, and World Café.  I figured some people on this NCDD list might enjoy watching it as well, so am sharing the link.  

A 55min video presentation by Manfred…


Comment Wall (47 comments)

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At 12:56pm on January 8, 2013, Sheridan Tinder said…

...she is known to me but is NOT a friend, though at one time I considered her a friend...

At 1:59am on January 3, 2013, Marie Poland said…

The name of the project I'm working on is "Weaving Our World."


At 7:48pm on October 16, 2012, John F. Dunbar said…

I'm not 100% sure that I like retaining the competition part. It might work in some circumstances but it always ends up leaving the least capable (or even the least competitive) behind until they are excluded, either in fact or in their perception. That is where we are at now; the wealthy can buy what they need to win are everyone else is disenfranchised. 

I'll beg your indulgence for a quick story. Before the so-called 'original' expansion of the NHL took place in the 1960's, a tie was still considered a valid outcome (in my estimation the best possible outcome) of a well-played game despite the fact that 2/3 of the 'original six' teams were American. With expansion bringing ice hockey to many more American markets with limited experience of the game and it was decided that the fans in those markets would not accept a game ending without a 'winner' and many, different strategies have been tried to determine which of the 2 teams that played equally well is unworthy. The decision is often made by some small bounce which has nothing more to do with the way the game was played than flipping a coin. I refuse to watch and leave the TV with my decision . . . a tie.

So why would one compete to see who can do the most good? If someone helps a stranger who is less mobile to cross the street, they are as worthy as Bill Gates or Warren Buffett but would that be recognized, most importantly by the person who helped the stranger? If not, then it would just be another version of the same old, same old.

I think competition and co-operation require two completely opposing mind sets which cannot be combined to make a third way of accomplishing tasks. Apparently some of the very large co-ops from Italy have entered into competitive global markets but I understand that their values and ethics had to be compromised in order to do so and that many of the older families involved did not support such activity. 

At 2:51am on October 16, 2012, John F. Dunbar said…

A rare bird indeed, that coopetition! Perhaps with incubation, nurturing and a strong will to leave the nest it will be able to be re-introduced.

At 1:41pm on October 5, 2012, Matthew Nicholas said…

I think right now, as I am not involved in any physical occupy movement (ie camping out...etc), the most important thing is to make sure all our wonderful people that are doing it are registered to vote. There isn't much time left to register and I personally do not want to see another disaster happen in the United States. I feel that it is important to not only march in the streets, wherever you hail from, but also to make your voices heard on election day.

At 10:26pm on October 2, 2012, Val said…

here is but a piece of the puzzle... the lower third is relevant to our discussion today... 

~peacefully, Val

At 12:43pm on September 17, 2012, Judy Frankel said…

Hi Ben! Sorry I've been gone for so long. I've been working on the attached "infomercial" that I hope will go viral. Today I'm interviewing a college student whom I hope will intern at to spread the message that we need to get money out of politics. Here's the infomercial:

At 4:54am on August 28, 2012, jules sansabri said…

Hi Ben

Is there a moderator here?  I have a question.

At 7:07pm on August 23, 2012, Susan Green said…

HI Ben, Thanks for welcoming me. My friend is Phil Mastrocola. I hope to join the conversation soon.

At 8:33am on August 11, 2012, Aryt Alasti said…
What's missing from a lot of Occupy communities at this point is a vision of what priorities we might focus on, which would reflect our commonalities of belief about what is wrong with this world, and with which we could have real hope of effecting the fundamental change necessary if there is to be a future of enhanced well-being for humanity. We can anticipate what the consequences of inaction will be. Can we learn from each other, from history, from the sciences, the arts, and all that the collective human experience has to offer us, so that indeed we avert those consequences and begin the process of bringing this planet to a new and better phase of its evolution?

Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

Latest Activity

Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

"Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street ... thoughts on Year One"

Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group

Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012


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