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.
OMEGA is committed to core human and environmental values. These include social, racial, and gender equity, diversity, democracy, human rights, transparency, and biodiversity.
At the same time, we value perspectives from across the political spectrum, age spectrum, and from around the world.
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 focuses on the Global Challenge.
- OMEGA is a learning community, not a funder affinity group in the usual sense.
- We’re not trying to change your decisions on resources or mobilize collective funding for specific initiatives.
- We simply think the Global Challenge is worthy of consideration.
- We welcome views from across the global spectrum of perspectives and opinions.
- Cultivate real hope
- Invite funders to explore the Global Challenge together
- Strengthen resilience at all levels
- Engage partners in civil society, academia, media, business & government
- Embrace psychological & spiritual resources
- Welcome diverse views & strategies
OMEGA has a commitment to agreements and practices that facilitate collaborative learning:
- Civility, respect and kindness among OMEGA partners
- Deep listening to the perspectives of others
- Welcoming diverse views from across cultural, political, and organizational divides
- Learning from each other and respecting our differences.
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, Coordinator for OMEGA. He brings a background in renewable energy systems, community living, and water management. He is a subject-matter expert in solar thermal and hydronic systems and is an ex-wildland firefighter, tango dancer, and father. In 2017, he received his doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the director of The Resilience Project at Commonweal.
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.