About OMEGA

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, and the word omega is sometimes used to mean “the end of a series.” We aren’t facing the end of the world, but we may well be facing a transformational period in human and biospheric history.

OMEGA was initiated in 2016 by a small group of funders who were active in environmental, health, justice, educational, and related issues. Since then, we’ve held small meetings across the United States and Europe, growing to about 50 members in the process. Our structure will evolve as needs and interests become evident.

We seek a balanced approach to positive and negative trends. We’re “trigger agnostic” and don’t claim to know what combination of factors will initiate major future shocks—or when they will come.

As we think about these issues and absorb the cumulative challenges we face, people often want to know what to do. Some want to prepare personally for future shocks; others want to build resilient local communities. Some want to change consciousness; others want to help build regional, state, national, or international institutions.

We believe these strands complement each other and aren’t promoting a specific response. Our goal is to draw attention to the Global Polycrisis.

Our Values

OMEGA is committed to core human and environmental values. These include social, racial, and gender equity, diversity, democracy, human rights, transparency, and biodiversity.

The Earth Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights address these values.

At the same time, we value perspectives from across the political spectrum, age spectrum, and from around the world.

A Learning Community

OMEGA is presently an invitational learning community for funders, former funders, individual donors, and thought partners. There is no fee for joining. Though we welcome contributions, OMEGA will not try to influence your portfolio. We simply encourage partners to reflect on the global challenge and how they choose to respond.

We select thought partners with the goal of ensuring a diversity of informed opinions and perspectives. If you’re interested in joining OMEGA please reach out via our Contact page.

If you’re interested in forming your own OMEGA circle, we encourage you to do so, whether you’re connected with philanthropy or not. To register your circle as part of our learning community, please send an email message through our Contact page.

OMEGA Staff

Michael Lerner is president and co-founder of Commonweal and the Jenifer Altman Foundation. His principal work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, The New School at Commonweal, and the Resilience Project/OMEGA. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983 and is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies (MIT Press).

Stanley Wu coordinates the OMEGA and the Resilience Project and brings a background in solar, geothermal and green energy systems. He is a community member, ex-wildland firefighter, tango dancer, father and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. Taking the road less traveled, he had the fortune of encountering permaculture practices while living on an off-the-grid Dutch farming community. Without electricity and running water, he and 12 other members built the infrastructure of a flourishing community equipped with composting toilets, a greenhouse and solar battery system. Growing the vast majority of their food and using recycled materials, they explored the very real limits of consumption and natural resources. Upon returning to the United States, Stanley dedicated himself to the Breitenbush intentional community where he managed the utilities of a small town living completely off the grid. He built, operated and maintained the geothermal, micro-hydroelectric, water treatment, septic and computer systems, and ensured all the systems were synchronized and functional (including a famous sauna and hot tubs). Working with Sunlight and Power, one of the top solar companies in the Bay Area, Stanley was a subject-matter expert and foreman for installed commercial solar thermal systems throughout the greater Bay Area including systems in Stanford, Oakland, Vallejo, Marin and UC Berkeley. In 2017, Stanley graduated from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He has since trained at hospitals in China, provided acupuncture to veterans and high-risk populations, and worked at community clinics such as the Glide Memorial Church. Practicing medicine has deeply enriched his understanding of humanity’s relationship with nature.

Joan Diamond, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere and of the Crans Foresight Analysis Consensus. Joan has executive background in private and non-profit sectors, including Fortunate 500 energy enterprises, and is a senior scenarist who facilitates uncertainty scenario workshops on human security.

Shorey Myers, Executive Director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation, manages client contracts, oversees a variety of portfolios focused on chemical policy, global grassroots movement building, environmental health and justice advocacy and International trade. Shorey also serves on the steering committee of the Health and the Environmental Funders Network.

Kozo Hattori has had many lives as an educator, filmmaker, father, cancer patient, and counselor. He is currently a research associate for Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies and the Resilience Project as well as OMEGA. His Hawaiian teachers taught him the importance of Aloha ‘Āina—love of that which sustains us—which he prioritizes in his life and work.