It’s been a year of expansion and deepening at The On Being Project. Our beautiful team has more than doubled in size to be of greater service in a tender and tumultuous moment in the life of the world. I’m delighted to announce that Lucas Johnson has joined us as the first executive director of the Civil Conversations Project. You may remember him from this conversation taped at the On Being Gathering — another milestone among many this past year.
And I’m beyond excited to announce the launch of a whole new gathering space and experience here at onbeing.org. Our website had become unwieldy under the weight of 15 years of content and wasn’t serving the ways we’ve heard you engage with and use our work — for personal reflection, for discussion in family and community, and for teaching and social repair. In over a year of intensive labor, full of the care and creativity of many, we fashioned a digital home that is newly beautiful and hospitable.
Transcripts are easier to find and read. Search is vastly improved. And we’ve created new features to meet the needs, thoughts, and suggestions we’ve heard across the years.
There are Starting Points — curated for the kind of day you may be having, for particular challenges or curiosities, or to introduce someone new to On Being. There are Libraries — our entire archive made accessible and welcoming by topic — for browsing and diving deep.
The Civil Conversations Project also now has a robust presence at the heart of our online home. The Grounding Virtues and the Better Conversations Guide are integrated throughout onbeing.org as they have become woven into the fabric of The On Being Project as a whole. Poetry, so foundational to our work and sensibility, also has its rightful place — present along just about every pathway.
As we’ve contemplated the purpose and shape of The On Being Project, we’ve defined our mission in this way:
Pursuing deep thinking and social courage, moral imagination and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together
This is an aspiration we take on with a generational sense of time. Onbeing.org will be a primary place where we are actively watching, learning, adding, and evolving. And you may already have noticed a new interactive volume and vitality as well in various social media spaces, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In the discernment of the last year, we have decided to discontinue the On Being Blog and columnists in their original form, but the wonderful writing that graced our project in recent years is present throughout this new site, and we are actively exploring what to incubate next. The Pause newsletter, which has grown in leaps and bounds as a beloved Saturday morning ritual, will be a primary way to stay on top of new developments and experiments to come – including our ongoing ventures on the road, in the old-fashioned flesh and blood.
On Being has always grown and evolved through listening to our listeners and to the world as much as listening to our guests. This is more true than ever before, and we are so honored by every voice and life that joins this adventure, even for an hour. I believe that the people and projects and energies alive in our community and its kindred places are nothing less than the generative narrative of our time. This is emerging right alongside the destructive narrative that gets all the attention, and we are committed to nourishing, emboldening, and accompanying it — that is to say, you.
With deep gratitude and, yes, love,
P.S. — We welcome any feedback you have about the new experience of onbeing.org, including reports of unexpected bugs you might encounter. Please get in touch with us here.